France’s soon-to-be-ex-President François Hollande is on the wrong track, and not just because of that soon-to-be part. He’s now saying
My ultimate duty is to make sure that France is not won over by such a program [French Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen and her program], and that France does not bear such a heavy responsibility[.]
His ultimate duty, he says, is to prevent Le Pen’s election.
No. Duty is to the safety and prosperity of the nation. National level political goals should not be aimed at defeating a politician, a person. Goals, to be durable after their achievement, need to be for something—policies good for the nation—not against something; that’s the fulfillment of duty.
The proper contests should concern ideas and policies, not personalities. Winning the proper contest usually will carry along with it the defeat of a politician, but that must be a side effect of the larger struggle, not the purpose of it.
Contesting personalities leads, ultimately, to the defeat of those ideas remaining after the main body of them have been lost to the clashes of personality. And that loss is far more long-lasting and far more dangerous to a nation than the momentary victory of an unsavory person.
Hollande’s mindset vis-à-vis Le Pen might be one factor in his failure as France’s President.