Emmanuel Macron not loved at home

Pity French president Emmanuel Macron.  When he returned to France from his visit to Washington, he caught holy hell.  The French are irate not only that their president came home empty-handed on matters like the Obama-Iran nuclear deal, the Paris Climate Accord, and the steel and aluminum tariffs, but also for the warm embrace he gave to Donald Trump. 

This latter point seems to have ticked the French more than anything else.  Here's a sampling of the French reaction to President Macron's bromance with Donald Trump.  

Leftist French lawmaker Clementine Autain said, "France should bang its fist of the table rather than courting Donald Trump."  What would that accomplish other than perhaps providing some comic relief at the Trump-Macron meeting?  But then again, maybe the woman has point.  I have a cat who is a stone-cold killer when it comes to rodents.  One day, he cornered a field mouse out in the backyard.  The cat's head was about a foot away from the mouse, and he was ready to move in for the kill.  Suddenly, the little mouse reared up on its haunches and squeaked at Tiger.  To my surprise, the cat cocked his head in utter amazement and soon ambled away, leaving the mouse unscratched.  So maybe sometimes it does pay for a mouse to roar.

Another lawmaker, center-right Daniel Fasquelle, said, "France prostituted itself before the U.S.," while Patrick Cassan, a civil "servant," said Macron served as Mr. Trump's dishrag.  J.C. Icart, a French intellectual, was quoted as saying Macron's demeanor before Trump was a sign of "vassalage."  Well, if France and Germany want to formulate their own foreign policy and not be thought of as vassals, then they can begin by providing for their own defense.

One of the quotes most insightful to French thinking comes from a Macron supporter in Parliament.  Herve Berville defended his president's tactile (hugging, backslapping, hand-holding, and dandruff removal) approach to Donald Trump by claiming the French president would not have gotten anywhere deploying the kind of strategy – reason and logic – that might have worked on President Obama.  So, in this man's mind, Macron had to use an emotional strategy.  Berville concluded his assessment by adding "with irrationality, you can deploy physical contact, touching."

There you have it.  To the French – and Europe in general – for a U.S. president to put American interests first is an indication of irrationality.  Au contraire.  Trump is not irrational.  Rather, his actions are further proof that past U.S. presidents, both Democrat and Republican, have too often neglected their country's own national interest for the sake of comity with our trans-Atlantic friends.  In doing so, they have spoiled the Europeans in the areas of trade and defense and have allowed European pretensions of grandeur grow to unreasonable limits.  The reorientation process that President Trump has initiated may be uncomfortable for Europe, but it is necessary.

This reality is sinking in.  Emmanuel Macron gave a speech last week in Aachen, Germany, assessing his visit to Washington.  There, he called for a more muscular Europe, one that can presumably stand up to the big boys in international affairs.  For that to happen, however, several obstacles stand in the way, the greatest being that the European Union is apt to fragment before it can be further unified and muscled up.

Pity French president Emmanuel Macron.  When he returned to France from his visit to Washington, he caught holy hell.  The French are irate not only that their president came home empty-handed on matters like the Obama-Iran nuclear deal, the Paris Climate Accord, and the steel and aluminum tariffs, but also for the warm embrace he gave to Donald Trump. 

This latter point seems to have ticked the French more than anything else.  Here's a sampling of the French reaction to President Macron's bromance with Donald Trump.  

Leftist French lawmaker Clementine Autain said, "France should bang its fist of the table rather than courting Donald Trump."  What would that accomplish other than perhaps providing some comic relief at the Trump-Macron meeting?  But then again, maybe the woman has point.  I have a cat who is a stone-cold killer when it comes to rodents.  One day, he cornered a field mouse out in the backyard.  The cat's head was about a foot away from the mouse, and he was ready to move in for the kill.  Suddenly, the little mouse reared up on its haunches and squeaked at Tiger.  To my surprise, the cat cocked his head in utter amazement and soon ambled away, leaving the mouse unscratched.  So maybe sometimes it does pay for a mouse to roar.

Another lawmaker, center-right Daniel Fasquelle, said, "France prostituted itself before the U.S.," while Patrick Cassan, a civil "servant," said Macron served as Mr. Trump's dishrag.  J.C. Icart, a French intellectual, was quoted as saying Macron's demeanor before Trump was a sign of "vassalage."  Well, if France and Germany want to formulate their own foreign policy and not be thought of as vassals, then they can begin by providing for their own defense.

One of the quotes most insightful to French thinking comes from a Macron supporter in Parliament.  Herve Berville defended his president's tactile (hugging, backslapping, hand-holding, and dandruff removal) approach to Donald Trump by claiming the French president would not have gotten anywhere deploying the kind of strategy – reason and logic – that might have worked on President Obama.  So, in this man's mind, Macron had to use an emotional strategy.  Berville concluded his assessment by adding "with irrationality, you can deploy physical contact, touching."

There you have it.  To the French – and Europe in general – for a U.S. president to put American interests first is an indication of irrationality.  Au contraire.  Trump is not irrational.  Rather, his actions are further proof that past U.S. presidents, both Democrat and Republican, have too often neglected their country's own national interest for the sake of comity with our trans-Atlantic friends.  In doing so, they have spoiled the Europeans in the areas of trade and defense and have allowed European pretensions of grandeur grow to unreasonable limits.  The reorientation process that President Trump has initiated may be uncomfortable for Europe, but it is necessary.

This reality is sinking in.  Emmanuel Macron gave a speech last week in Aachen, Germany, assessing his visit to Washington.  There, he called for a more muscular Europe, one that can presumably stand up to the big boys in international affairs.  For that to happen, however, several obstacles stand in the way, the greatest being that the European Union is apt to fragment before it can be further unified and muscled up.