French President Emmanuel Macron’s handouts to Yellow Vest protesters have damped the demonstrators’ fervor somewhat but failed to stop the regular eruptions of violence, so now Macron and his government have decided to wield a heavier stick. The new rules being proposed ought to raise some eyebrows: They’re tougher than the norms Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime uses to suppress political opposition. Comment: Yet France is considered a democracy and Russia is considered a dictatorship. Hmm… Maybe, just maybe, Russia is not a dictatorship? And maybe, just maybe, Western democracies are not as superior to Russia as most in the West believe? The shift from a conciliatory tone toward law and order began with Macron’s New Year’s speech, in which he condemned extremists who had no right to speak in the name of the French people. “They are only the spokespeople of a hate-filled mob,” he said. Then, on Monday, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that the government would…

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