Can We Trade Trump For France’s Macron?

Remember “Freedom Fries”? Remember those sneering comments about the French? Because after all, we’re Amuricans, so we are clearly superior.


I watched the French election with interest. It was right after “Amurica” accidentally elected the Orange Ignoramus, and thoughtful observers were worried whether our disastrous election–coming on the heels of the equally disastrous Brexit vote in England–heralded a global spread of white nationalist extremism.

Trump, if you’ll recall, endorsed Marine Le Pen.

Fortunately, Trump’s Le Pen endorsement was every bit as effective as his lukewarm endorsement of Luther Strange and his full-throated advocacy for Roy Moore. The French election was won overwhelmingly by Emmanuel Macron. I’d been rooting for Macron–my middle son’s partner is Parisian and they split their time between Manhattan and Paris, so I had more insight into the French candidates than I would otherwise have had.

My preference for Macron has now been validated. As Reuters recently reported,

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron plans to award multi-year grants for several U.S.-based scientists to relocate to France, his office said on Monday on the eve of a climate summit hosted by the president to raise finances to counter global warming.

Macron unveiled the “Make our Planet Great Again” grants after President Donald Trump in June said he was pulling the United States out of an international accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that was brokered in Paris in 2015.

Macron repeatedly tried to persuade the U.S. leader to reverse his decision. In a statement, the Elysee Palace said 13 of the initial 18 grants will be awarded to scientists based in the United States.

Meanwhile, our dumb and delusional President just dropped climate change from America’s National Security Strategy, in favor of “economic competitiveness.” (I assume we’ll be exceedingly competitive when we’re underfed and underwater..).

Lest you dismiss Macron’s offer to the scientific community as simply a (richly-deserved) middle-finger gesture to Trump, Science Magazine informs us that Macron’s invitation has already borne fruit:

French President Emmanuel Macron’s effort to lure disgruntled foreign climate scientists to France—especially from the United States—has produced its first harvest. France today announced that Macron’s Make Our Planet Great Again initiative has recruited its first class of 18 scientists. Of the new recruits, 13, including a few French nationals, now work in the United States, whereas others are based in Canada, India, and elsewhere in Europe.

It’s hard to disagree with the reaction of the liberal website Daily Kos:

Macron is appealing to shunned U.S. scientists with a simple message: Come do your work in France and we will give you grant money and respect you. What France gets out of the deal is a front-row seat for all of the environmental, energy, and other technical innovation that those scientists will now be producing in their new laboratories. Being on the forefront of new technology has been one of the surest ways to ensure your own workforce is highly skilled and earns high wages. You know, that thing that the United States was once famous for.

You have to wonder just how Donald Trump justifies his daily presidential existence when, at this point, even allies like France are openly mocking him. Donald said he’d be staffing our government with “the best people.” It turns out we got people like Kellyanne Conway while our “best people” take job offers in countries willing to respect their work.

Of course, Donald Trump doesn’t see any reason to “justify” his Presidential existence. He wouldn’t even understand the question.

America has elected an intellectually-challenged and severely mentally ill Chief Executive (casting serious doubt on the mental/intellectual capacities of American voters, but that’s a subject for a different day). Other countries–not just France, which will at least continue to be our ally during this depressing interlude– but China and of course Russia will take advantage of our diminished capacities and our dramatically declining global status.

But hey– Trump voters are happy. They got rid of that black President, brown people aren’t coming here anymore (even as tourists!), and as a bonus, they’re offloading those fancy-shmantsy elitists who do “science” and “facts.”

Happy (White Christian) days are here again….


  1. I find it exciting that SOMEONE is interested in putting the best and brightest to work to solve important problems. I hope they also put some money behind medical science that has been blocked by the Right Wingers in the US. Stem Cells for example.
    YAY for FRANCE. YAY for Mankind.

  2. The majority of us don’t live in an all White, Christian, American, heterosexual world where the White male reigns supreme. Most of us have friends and family from countries, ethnic groups, sexual preference, religions different than our own, and we like it that way. We don’t long for a past that never really existed

    For us, Donald Trump and Mike Pence can cause severe anxiety for the next few years, but they can’t change who we are, who we love or the way we live. Try as they might, they cannot turn back time.

    Everyday, I ask myself the following questions? How much damage can they do? How long will it take to undo that damage they are doing?

  3. Unfortunately, the anti-intellectual strain of Americana seems quite strong. However, I would point out: (1) DT was not elected legally–the “MAGA” crowd got him close enough (although he still lost by 3 1/2 million) that Putin could flip a relatively small number of votes in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan to give DT an electoral “win”; (2) Indications are that the “surprise” vote in Brexit also was part of Putin’s handiwork; and (3) Putin wants chaos, and DT is great for that job. Impeachment will not reverse all those lifetime judicial appointments—only nullification of the 2016 results can.

  4. History Central:
    “The Electoral College was created for two reasons. The first purpose was to create a buffer between population and the selection of a President. The second as part of the structure of the government that gave extra power to the smaller states.
    The first reason that the founders created the Electoral College is hard to understand today. The founding fathers were afraid of direct election to the Presidency. They feared a tyrant could manipulate public opinion and come to power. Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Papers:
    It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations. It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. But the precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief.
    (See All of the Federalist 68)
    Hamilton and the other founders believed that the electors would be able to insure that only a qualified person becomes President. They believed that with the Electoral College no one would be able to manipulate the citizenry. It would act as check on an electorate that might be duped. Hamilton and the other founders did not trust the population to make the right choice. The founders also believed that the Electoral College had the advantage of being a group that met only once and thus could not be manipulated over time by foreign governments or others.
    The electoral college is also part of compromises made at the convention to satisfy the small states. Under the system of the Electoral College each state had the same number of electoral votes as they have representative in Congress, thus no state could have less then 3. The result of this system is that in this election the state of Wyoming cast about 210,000 votes, and thus each elector represented 70,000 votes, while in California approximately 9,700,000 votes were cast for 54 votes, thus representing 179,000 votes per electorate. Obviously this creates an unfair advantage to voters in the small states whose votes actually count more then those people living in medium and large states.
    One aspect of the electoral system that is not mandated in the constitution is the fact that the winner takes all the votes in the state. Therefore it makes no difference if you win a state by 50.1% or by 80% of the vote you receive the same number of electoral votes. This can be a recipe for one individual to win some states by large pluralities and lose others by small number of votes, …”

    I copied and pasted the Electoral College information from the History Central web site; sorry it is so long but…it does explain how 2017 and seemed to be five years long and it isn’t over yet. The very reasons the Electoral College was enacted and the very problems it was enacted to prevent, “a tyrant could manipulate public opinion and come to power”, are the very problems which put Donald Trump in the White House and this entire country is currently drowning in the “trickle down” effect of the Trump version of “draining the swamp”. We are instead, up to our ass in alligators.

    Does France have an equivalent “Electoral College” election process or do they simply let the people elect their president?

  5. I think it a fantastic idea! GENIUS!!!
    It is too simple a solution!… ~8) it makes ‘sense’. And at last report ‘Sense’ was no where to be found and said to have ‘left the building’…!

  6. I’m very fortunate to have had the opportunity to witness the GHETTOIZING of at least 40% of the population. I’m anxiously awaiting the outcome. It should be very interesting to say the least.

  7. Marv’s right. The parallels are now even more striking. That White House meeting yesterday, after the passing of the horrid tax bill in the Senate, where the GOP Senators fawned over Trump was likely very similar to those held in Berlin when Hitler and the NSDAP were in power and likely like those held in Pyongyang for Kim Jong Un right now. Just nauseating to watch a cult of personality at work in the freaking White House.

  8. The big question still to be answered: Will 40% of the population in America, walk like “sheep to slaughter” as did the Jews [less than 1% of the population] in Nazi Germany.

  9. I was not a fan of Macron as a right center candidate but supported him from afar over Le Pen, the flame thrower from the far left. I have since warmed to his even-handed approach to politics and his latest support for importing scientists from countries such as ours where scientists here are put down, ignored and insulted in carrying out their research. I expect to see other American scientists go to France and other enlightened states on their own and without subsidy since they are underappreciated here and their research into matters such as climate is politicized and financialized by such as the Kochs and Mercers and their political lackeys in the Oval Office and Congress.

    Trump and his rhetoric and legislative synchopants for the profit-driven rich and corporate class are driving our best minds elsewhere. We would be well-advised in this connection to recall that the racist policies of Nazis drove scientists from Germany prior to WW II and that one such scientist was Albert Einstein, who helped us come up with an atomic bomb. I have often thought of how world history would have changed had Germany been more hospitable to such as Einstein and had come up first with the atomic bomb.

    While the foregoing scenario may be an extreme example, destruction of our environment is an atomic bomb in slow (though accelerating) motion, and ultimately just as existential. We are already taxing our grandchildren and great grandchildren to pay the rich today via yesterday’s passage of the Republican tax bill. Must we add toxic air, land and water to the mix? I hope not.

  10. We have been headed inexorably toward this result since 1968. Let’s face it, we did this to ourselves. We didn’t pay attention. We didn’t vote. We just didn’t care. If this becomes the wake-up call we so desperately needed, it will work out. However, we must make sure that future generations don’t forget.

  11. I’d gladly trade the Oval Office Orangutan (O³) for Justin Trudeau as well. Just when I think The Man With The Cockatiel Hair can’t slip any lower, the bar descends yet again…

  12. I kept looking for some familiar face in the crowd strategically placed on the staircase to join in the celebration yesterday. Were they all Senators or the White House custodial staff dressed in their finest to provide an audience for his egotistical, praise-seeking announcement. I especially admired the decision to place that one Black man behind and slightly to the side of Trump during his speech; anyone know who the “token” was? The film shots were quick but I saw no other Black faces and few women in the grinning, applauding crowd. Pence embarrassed himself with his grinning, applauding and fawning over his “massa”. I wonder what Pence and his wife talk about when alone? How he will deal with the presidency maybe; or do they have to worry about their private home not being fully private due to possible “bugging”?

    I am not wasting my time wondering IF Trump will accomplish another dastardly deed before the New Year; I will be wondering “WHAT”.

  13. Time magazine profiled Macron not only as the new leader of France but likely the leader of Europe which puts even more weight behind his invitation. Every other industrialized country is leaving the US in the 1950s. And Trump just keeps on talking with Congress’ approval.

  14. Peggy,

    “If this becomes the wake-up call we so desperately needed, it will work out.”

    Hopefully, an ETHICAL FRONT will start to materialize before the 1st of the year straight out of the ANTI-NAZI PLAYBOOK.

  15. Marv – This comment of yours is so true …..

    Let’s be honest. America is now nothing more than a dumb-downed version of Nazi Germany.

  16. daleb – World politics abhors a vacuum and Macron is filling the vacuum Trump abdicated. We came out of WW II as the acknowledged world leader and with the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Trump has vacated our position as world leader and the political vacuum thus created is up for grabs. Let’s hope it’s Macron and not Putin who assumes this mantle of leadership. Having lost that position of world leadership, my concern now is that we will lose the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, a position we have held since the Bretton Woods Conference in New Hampshire in1944. China and Russia are vying for that position or in the alternative talking of a so-called “basket of currencies” to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. With a self-professed Leninist adviser Bannon’s advice on hand who tells us he wants “to destroy the administrative state,” I fear Trump will not defend the dollar.

  17. From the Anti-Nazi Playbook (creating the Ethical Front):

    “The easy victories of National Socialism, which has never had to face any powerful opposition, have not only given it a feeling of irresistible strength but prevented its strength from being effectively tested.”

    “The dictatorship will be overcome without doctrine—not in the nihilist sense but the reverse, the readiness to accept and incorporate all that is constructive and creative. There is beginning to grow up what might be called the ETHICAL FRONDE. Against this FRONDE the totalitarian policy of National Socialism will come to grief. A state , a society, a nation, even the smallest community has no lasting quality if it is without an ethical basis.”

    “It may well be that nothing but the PLAIN EVIDENCE of the destructiveness of the nihilist revolution will furnish the ethical Fronde of which I spoke with ACTIVE POLITICAL DETERMINATION…..I do not myself feel that matters will come quickly to a head in Germany, though they may. But if they can at any time without the nation having to pass through the total anarchy of complete nihilism, it will only be through the active intervention of the ETHICAL FRONDE.”

    “The Revolution of Nihilism: Warning to the West” by Hermann Rauschning (Alliance Book Corporation, New York, 1939) pp. 117-119.

    ni-hil-ism (ni’ e liz’ em) n. [< L nihil, nothing] the general rejection of customary beliefs in morality, religion etc. —ni'hil-ist n.—ni'hil-is-tic adj.

    ~Webster's New World Dictionary

  18. The rest of the world thinks we’ve lost our minds, and they are right – at least as far as what our government presents to the world. Republicans have openly mocked the poor, Puerto Rico and anybody seeking fairness and justice in sharing the wealth of the country. How can anyone respect that attack on the people while the few rich bastards wag the dog of Republicanism.

    Instead of making America great (We were already great, no matter what the orange hairball says.), Trump and the Republicans are making America the laughing stock of the world.

  19. Question from above >> “You have to wonder just how Donald Trump justifies his daily presidential existence when, at this point, even allies like France are openly mocking him.””

    The answer is: Trump will personally save up to $15m under tax bill, analysis finds. “Trump, of course, promised to release his tax returns, like every president since the 1970s, but has brazenly gone back on his word.

    One more piece to the Trumpet – Donald Trump’s threat to cut US funding to countries that oppose his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in a UN vote on Thursday has set the scene for confrontation with countries already bridling over the president’s approach.

    Trump made his threat to cut US funding on Wednesday as he gave his wholehearted support to his UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, who had sent members a letter warning that the US would be “taking names” of those who opposed it.
    A fellow Vietnam Veteran on a another website referred to the Trumpet as Agent Orange.

    Agent Orange for those of you not familiar with it was a toxic herbicide that was sprayed on large sections of Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Agent Orange is named after the orange stripe on the 55-gallon metal drums in which it was shipped, there were also other herbicides used during the war. Admiral E.R. Zumwalt Jr., who was acting as a special assistant to the secretary concluded that the US corporations that manufactured Agent Orange not only knew that the herbicide was dangerous but actually falsified their research in an attempt to show that the chemical was less dangerous than they knew it was.

    The report states Dow knew of the threat to humans posed by Agent Orange years before the US military build up in Vietnam. It also notes that US government agencies conducted research on Agent Orange in such a skewed manner as to make it appear harmless. The Zumwalt report notes “dioxin is regarded as one of the most toxic chemicals known to man.”

    So Trump is a near perfect personification of Agent Orange. The Trumpet’s voters, FOX News and Right Wing Think Tanks (Oxymoron) cheer him on. He is totally toxic and the lingering effects will go and on and on.

  20. I’m sitting here being fortified by the music from the Broadway musical…Les Misrables. In the late 80’s, during its first year on Broadway, my very successful ex-wife surprised me with a special trip to New York from Dallas to see the play as a Christmas gift. She might not have loved me, but she definitely understood me.

    You can listen to a few different versions on You Tube.

  21. I only read this to find out if I was still a racist, homophobic, anti-science, white privileged knuckle dragger. Thanks Sheila! Identity politics are alive and well.

  22. I believe we’re seeing some of the weaknesses on the part of the “New Third Reich.” They don’t like to be IDENTIFIED. That’s why, according to George Lakoff’s accounting, they have spent billions and billions on DECEPTION. They need to be, urgently, UNMASKED like Walter Cronkite advised more than a decade ago.

  23. For those who might consider fighting back, I would suggest:

    The Movie:Twelve O’clock High (1949)

    A hard-as-nails general takes over a bomber unit suffering from low morale and whips them into fighting shape.
    Director: Henry King
    Writers: Sy Bartlett (screenplay), Beirne Lay Jr. (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
    Stars: Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill | See full cast & crew »

    Gregory Peck comes up with the answer while lecturing his pilots who appeared be “gun shy.”

    One of the best comments of all time (paraphrased), “Quit being scared of death, you must consider yourself DEAD if you’re going to fly for me.”

    This movie can be rented on Amazon for $2.99.

  24. Trump is advertising all around the world that Americans are has beens, no longer relevant to the rest of the world. Obsolete. Failing to thrive.

    Other countries have no reason to argue. They accept our surrender of first place and seek to fill it. From that point Putin was right in helping us shoot ourselves in the foot. His global stock value is substantially improved.

    As I think about it none of that is mere marketing. We are diminished. There are a long list of reasons why we matter so much less to other countries. While we can blame it on Trump/Pence/McConnell/Ryan/The Cabinet they just took what we the voters offered.

    We are our overseas image.

  25. While we’re still allowed to vote, we must get off our self-important asses and get people who are unregistered to vote and introduce them to the mental frame of excellence by way of investing in people, not stock paper or electrons. Remember, 90+ million people didn’t vote in 2016 and 30% of eligible voters are UNREGISTERED.

  26. JoAnn, you made me laugh. I’ll take most of the European and Canadian leader over orange hair ball. (laughed about that Vernon).

    Everyday I wonder why I bothered to come back from Europe. They have healthcare, vacation time, sick leave, maternity leave, don’t have the homeless problem we have here and transportation the envy of this country. What was I thinking? Oh, yes, I forgot, it was expensive in Switzerland. If only we had stayed in Germany or the UK.

  27. Sheila: the simple, snarky answer to your rhetorical question is: “No”. The majority of Americans don’t want him, either, much less the rest of the world.

  28. What’s so discouraging is not only that foreigners are poaching our scientific stars but that our stars are accepting the poachers’ offers.

    The USA used to be the place on earth where everyone wanted to come – including the world’s best minds. Now the best minds are demeaned and disregarded by our President, his cabinet, and the current Congressional majority which denies funds for research. This is NOT the way to make America great.

  29. To me the single biggest difference between the way France and America are run is that in France, working people retain an important voice. While ours can still decide an election with their vote, they are the first to die in wars, the first to suffer when the economy goes south, the first to perish from lack of healthcare, the first to live on the streets when scammed out of their houses or natural disasters strike, the last to get any type of useful response when submitting grievances to government, the very first to be betrayed by demagogic politicians making fake promises, the first to have their power eroded by corporations, and the last to get a raise (has it already been 30 years? My, how time flies!).

    A hundred million people are a lot to exclude from every important debate. How a democracy can succeed by pretending that a third of its citizens don’t exist is a mystery wrapped in an enigma encased in an orange concrete bunker which doubles as the head of our head of state.

  30. The Trumpet (Agent Orange) loses another popular vote, this time in the UN. UN votes resoundingly to reject Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as capital. The vote came after a redoubling of threats by Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, who said that Washington would remember which countries “disrespected” America by voting against it.

    Despite the warning, 128 members voted on Thursday in favor of the resolution supporting the longstanding international consensus that the status of Jerusalem – which is claimed as a capital by both Israel and the Palestinians – can only be settled as an agreed final issue in a peace deal. Countries which voted for the resolution included major recipients of US aid such as Egypt, Afghanistan and Iraq. (Side bar does this mean we will begin to withdraw our military from Afghanistan and Iraq and end these wars at last??)

    But only nine states – including the United States and Israel –voted against the resolution. The other countries which supported Washington were Togo, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands, Guatemala and Honduras.

    What a sweet public slap in the face for the Trumpet!!!!!

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