Thursday, February 22, 2018
Can America Find Its Own Emmanuel Macron?

WASHINGTON, D.C. May 8 (DPI) – Many Americans and their press are acting as though French voters, by electing  moderate candidate Emmanuel Macron on Sunday, just saved Western Civilization from demagoguery and nativism.

More likely, it may turn out that the sudden rightward turn of the last year – first Brexit, and then the stunning elevation of Donald Trump to the presidency – was more an anomaly than most realized.

The election in France of a neophyte reform-minded moderate was perhaps a sign that democracy can still function, and not destroy itself, Venezuela-style, electing authoritarians.

In fact, historians may eventually recognize that Trump is simply an antidote to what’s been a festering illness. The American political class – for years  a self-serving duopoly, for years corrupted by pay-to-play, and ineffective and unresponsive – got what it deserved in an insurgent outsider. Never mind that the nation now has to deal with narcissistic buffoon for the next four years.

As one poster wrote today, “French chose the person who knew the issues. America didn’t.”

After Sunday’s election in France, many readers expressed desire for an intelligent reform-minded moderate, independent of the political class, to descend on American politics. What’s more, US voices today watching the Macron landslide expressed one sentiment: Hope.

But in typical fashion for inward-looking Americana, the comment boards on US news sites were notably less active in commenting on a foreign election. Those who did focused on the contrast with the US election results of six months ago. Among the most popular comments:

Your description of one of the critical moments in the race, the debate, was striking to me: “It was an hourslong tirade against Mr. Macron, laced with name-calling and epithets, and woefully deficient in substance. She appeared lost on subject after subject…Mr. Macron, on the other hand, demonstrated a quality that French voters, unlike many Anglo-Saxon ones, have long found essential in their successful candidates: cool mastery of the critical issues confronting the country. Where Ms. Le Pen repeatedly lost herself in the weeds, Mr. Macron sailed right through them.” Wow, does that sound like our two presidential candidates. Except, the French chose the person who knew the issues. America didn’t.

Clearly the French learned from our example. Our allies are going to have to be the sane ones for the next few years. Hopefully, we will not lose them.

France gave Americans the Statue of Liberty, now she gives the US a model of common sense and decency to emulate. The French election shows that a Trump-style demagoguery, which exploits ignorance and racial resentment to feed a narcissist’s ambition, is not the way to address social issues.
France, like the US, has legitimate issues of immigration and cultural threats. but unlike Americans, the French love their culture too much to sacrifice it on the altar of a demagogue’s ego.

All I can say is, thank goodness the French people learned from our foolishness!


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