US President Donald J. Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron spent the first few hours holding hands and mutually rubbing shoulders. The two presidents also held hands for the benefit of global politics and the cameras. However, President Macron did a complete soft turnaround, and completely opposed President Trump's political philosophy. The difference in worldview between two the presidents was quite stark when the French leader gave a speech before a Congress joint session.
Opposing America First and common ground
Macron was firm like a hammer encased in velvet. He effectively defended the globe from Trump's toxic nationalism. The US President has labeled such toxic nationalism “America First”. The path adopted by Macron illustrated his well thought out American strategy. He wants to lock the United States into the present Western global system. According to him, the United States must revert to multilateral efforts to make Iran desist from its nuclear ambitions. The United States must also participate in the fight against Climate changes. Globalization and free trade must be safeguarded.
President Macron began with paying respect to the many common values which bind the two countries together. He pointed out that both France and US have made a number of common sacrifices. He reminded President Trump that both of them are now trying to navigate common struggles like terrorism, not only in their respective countries but also Syria.
Macron, more importantly, wants to place France as the principal conduit between the European Union and America. His wish is helped by Germany's weakening position in the EU due to the political stand taken by Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor. Britain has harmed its chances by withdrawing from European Union. Macron needs the support of Trump to fulfill his ambition for France.
Sound like a Democrat
These were the reasons Macron was assiduous in courting Trump. For those with a keen sense of US-French history, the contrived affection between the two leaders reminded the relations which existed between Voltaire, the French philosopher, and Benjamin Franklin, the founding father of the United States. The French President even reminded his audience of the same in the House of Representatives. He said that his behavior will remind them of something.
Macron played to the gallery in the House. He made the decision to give his speech in English. His accented English was easily understood. The audience comprehended the policies he advocated. Many observers made a wry comment that the French Premier's speech was similar to a Democrat president's State of the Union words.