Macron, Trump and the Washington Post

Photo by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff | CC BY 2.0

French President Emmanuel Macron visited the United States this past week. Macron and U.S. President Donald Trump displayed some bizarre public displays of affection for each other, much to the delight of the perverted U.S. media. The Washington Post really had its mind in the gutter. I counted one, two, three, four articles in one day on the two men touching each other.

With eager eyes, the Post delivered superfluous analysis.  Some of the most saucy quotes from Tuesday April 24: “As such, some of their touching was chummy. There were bro-y back slaps. We saw a few cheek kisses — one initiated by Trump, who is a frequent exception to the norm in a country that doesn’t generally engage in man-to-man cheek kisses.…It’s more of a playful dominance…The romance is there, and they’re just kind of fooling around, but it’s real.…We have an intimate relationship, but I’m dominant, I’m the alpha gorilla, I’m going to groom you,’ ”… Around noon, President Trump and President Macron appear in a joint press briefing. Why not ask Trump: “Mr. President, why did you flick alleged dandruff from the shoulder of President Macron?”… A century ago, l’affaire Dreyfus roiled France. Now, that nation must confront l’affaire dandruff….”

And then too, without a hint of self-awareness: “If there’s one thing Trump has accomplished in office, it’s flooding the media with issues to chew on.” I am not sure why the media has become so obsessed with Trump’s personality. What really is interesting about him? He just says the most cruel, stupid or baseless thing that comes to his mind. And the media bites every time. He is by far the most boring President in recent memory. And who cares about him touching Macron? For all the liberal zeitgeist, isn’t there also a tinge of homophobia under all of this?

Among more interesting and more important topics that could be discussed when the Presidents of France and the United States come to meet:

+ The Paris Climate Agreement. Macron wants Trump in. Trump refuses to do so. This is a tremendous step backwards. The United States’ reduction of carbon emissions and other pollutants is crucial to saving the planet. We are responsible for nearly 15% of the world’s emissions. What Trump did was shocking and dangerous. It may prove to be one of the more costly decisions of all time when we consider that there never has been a greater threat than climate change in human history. One could also talk too about how much the Paris Climate Agreement falls short of saving the world from a mass extinction in the near future.

+ The recent bombing of Syria by the United States, the United Kingdom and France. This is a major pivot from Trump’s rhetoric of leaving Syria shortly before the alleged chemical weapons attack. Meanwhile, thanks to heartless refugee policies, people in Syria, Yemen, and beyond, are left to die by the millions.

+ Donald Trump’s desire to leave the Iran Nuclear Deal and Macron’s plea for him to stay in it. This deal was perhaps Barack Obama’s greatest achievement in diplomacy. It feels odd to say that because Obama expanded the nuclear arsenal in the United States and killed Libyan Prime Minister Muammar Gaddafi after he dumped his own nuclear weapons. Perhaps one could say the Iran Deal was one of Barack Obama’s greatest efforts to keep the highly unequal postcolonial world order intact. Still, peace is something at least and Mr. Trump has little interest in anything other than “winning”, whatever that means.

+ The mutual deregulation of the market by both Macron and Trump. Here at home, Americans are familiar with Donald Trump’s vow to cut two regulations for every regulation added. In reality, he has been far more successful in his goals. His war on the environment truly has been appalling. See the nullification of the Clean Power Plan, Clean Water Rule, Methane Rule, Greenhouse Gas Emissions Measure, Renewable Fuel Standards, Oil, Gas, and Coal Lease Valuation Rule, Oil and Gas Fracking Rule, Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, Penalties for Violations of Fuel Efficiency Standards, Pesticide Applicator Certification Rule, Stream Protection Rule, Well Control and Blowout Preventer Rule and many more. Macron has been greatly impactful in limiting the rights of workers—cutting government jobs, reducing industrial tribunals and unions, capping unfair dismissal severance payments, harsher benefits after a lay-off, and pension reforms—among other things.

These sorts of things are life and death, and are therefore actually quite interesting. I for one find that the destruction of all things beautiful—whether that be humans or the broader environment—is far more worthy of attention than the relationship between two very hideous men. A more interesting person of study would be Holly Butcher, a 27 year old who died from cancer. A letter she wrote shortly before death went viral. Among her final words: “forget the trivial things that we let bother us”. I am assuming though that the elites are actually bothered by Trump’s antics. After yet another week of salivating over his perversions I am beginning to wonder if the so-called Resistance will be planting dandruff on their own shoulders; with the hope that President Trump will ‘make them perfect’ the next time he lets them into his lair.

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Nick Pemberton writes and works from Saint Paul, Minnesota. He loves to receive feedback at pemberton.nick@gmail.com 

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