Yesterday, in a historic speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, French President Emmanuel Macron warned against President Trump's "America First" policies, pulling out of the existing Iran nuclear deal, and ignoring the dangers of climate change. "There is no Planet B," he declared.
Macron's speech followed a day of touchy-feely imagery and conversations at the White House, during which Macron was honored at a glittering state dinner. All of that pomp and circumstance led Trump to tweet that Macron's speech before Congress would be "great" and he couldn't wait to hear it.
Wonder how he felt when Macron took a swipe at his populist nationalist philosophy and "America First" mantra. "We can choose isolationism, withdrawal and nationalism," said Macron. "This is an option. It can be tempting to us as a temporary remedy to our fears. But closing the door to the world will not stop the evolution of the world. It will not douse, but inflame the fears of our citizens."
Unlike Trump, it was clear that this young French president has thought about the future -- or what could be the future -- in a world that must contend with Trump's determination to walk out on international agreements on climate, trade, and nuclear proliferation, insisting that others must carry the load.
"Other powers with the strongest strategy and ambition will then fill the void we would leave empty," warned Macron. "Other powers will not hesitate once again to advocate their own model to shape the 21st century world order."
And then, he said, "Personally, if you ask me, I do not share the fascination for new strong powers, the abandonment of freedom and the illusion of nationalism."
No 'Planet B'
As to the environment, Macron declared "We are killing our planet. Let us face it: There is no planet B."
"We must find a smoother transition to a lower carbon economy," Macron said. "Because what is the meaning of our life, really, if we work and live destroying the planet while sacrificing the future of our children? ... On this issue, it may happen we have disagreements between the U.S. and France, it may happen, like in all families. That for me is a short-term aggravation. In the long run, we will have to face the long-term realities... together."
"Let us work together in order to make our planet great again and create new jobs and new opportunities while safeguarding our earth," he declared. (Wonder where he got that from!)
Macron also jabbed Trump's trade policies."We need a free and fair trade for sure," Macron said, adding, "a commercial war opposing allies is not consistent with our mission, with our history, with our current commitments for global security."
He called for differences on trade imbalances and over capacity to be managed through the World Trade Organization, precisely the opposite of Trump's threats of tariffs that have rattled our allies abroad.
There was more, and most of his speech was met with cheers from lawmakers attending. Wonder if Trump thought that speech was as "great" as he expected.