I find myself in a difficult position. Following the media blitz surrounding French President, Emmanuel Macron’s official state visit to the Trump White House, I’m left with a sense that I ought to defend this seemingly submissive posture with Donald Trump.
My thoughts are that President Macron’s “Charm Offensive” strategy is targeting a number of objectives. The primary objective President Macron had (I feel) was to dazzle and woo Trump and place himself into Trump’s good-graces; enabling the French president to exert influence on Donald Trump’s decision-making “process” on key foreign policy initiatives.
Something that many Americans forget is that President Macron is a head of state in his own right. Something that infuriates a number of people on the internet, but for vastly different reasons.
One: his own people view this strategic move to court Trump’s favor as weakness. One can’t rightly disagree with their assessment. Were the U.S. President to go abroad and be treated in such a condescending and deplorable fashion by an authoritarian (let’s say, for example…Vladimir Putin), the American people would be equally up in arms…calling our President a “sellout,” “weak,” or “compromised.”
Second: Americans view his submissiveness as weak. At the end of the day President Macron is not accountable to the American people…and while I have full faith and confidence that he is an empathetic individual…the welfare of France and its people and Europe is of greater importance to him, and thus…this is what drives his decision making process.
Finally, we must divorce ourselves from the idea that America stands as a great Colossus, standing astride the world. Believe it or not independent nations and states have autonomy and the ability to set their own policy objectives…naturally, we want to shape the world in a way that aligns with our ideals and policies of Peace, Freedom, and Bacon ‘n Eggs (Maybe, less so the bacon and eggs)…but Europe and it’s nations will proceed through their governance and economy without us if we continue to pursue policies that further isolate us and make us the irrational actor on the international stage. Heck! The EU has already reached trade agreements with Mexico already as Trump and his cronies continue to ramp up the “Trade War” argument.
Macron was able to salvage the bad optics of his visit in his address to the Joint Session of congress, where he upheld the need for the U.S. to re-enter the Paris Agreement, preserve the Iran Nuclear Deal, and stand against propaganda and outright lies all too prevalent in the media these days.
I really appreciate President Macron’s efforts to build a positive relationship with Trump. I view this particular strategy to be sacrificial in nature. He has taken a huge political risk by seeming to kowtow to Trump, effectively taking a proverbial bullet for Europe to hopefully shape Trump’s toxic foreign policy to one that is more reasonable, palatable, and not lead us all down a road of greater international instability. Having said all that, I fear that his strategic goals have not been accomplished.
While at the present, President Macron may be able to convince Donald Trump that the Paris Agreement is a good thing; that the Iran Nuclear Deal is a good thing…President Macron is not a White House Staffer. President Macron has his own nation to lead, and therefore can’t setup shop in the West Wing or continuously text/tweet at Donald Trump. At the end of the day President Macron must return to France…and with the absence of Trump’s new best friend, his racist and war-mongering advisers will insert themselves back into Trump’s sphere of influence (For instance, your John Bolton’s of the world and propaganda outlets like Fox). It’s well established that a goldfish has a more robust short-term memory and attention span than Trump…the moment President Macron is gone and Trump is left alone in The Residence, the first airing of Fox & Friends will ultimately distract him from any diplomatic work conducted by Emmanuel Macron.
Finally, I would say that President Macron’s charm offensive was ultimately sabotaged by the moronic toddler he was trying to charm. Trump is a creature of the ’80’s…he’s built his image as a bully…and still believes power-moves are applicable to the modern world. Trump was more than happy to take advantage of President Macron’s conciliatory tone; treating a notable, world leader in the most disrespectful and insulting manner possible. While American pundits putter over what all this means for our European relations the Americans should ultimately find themselves in a state of deep and lasting embarrassment at how Donald Trump Comports himself on the world stage and treats our friends and allies.
I’ll close with: The BBC notes that Macron has presented the world a “Master Class” in dealing with Trump. This assessment gives a LOT of credit to President Macron, where it may not really be needed. Impressing and building good relationships with Donald Trump is not hard. Here’s a checklist to world leaders, job applicants, staffers, and others that (if you follow these steps) will ensure you can have a good meeting with Trump:
HOW TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL TRUMP MEETING – CHECKLIST
IMPORTANT NOTE: This checklist is satirical in nature. Following this checklist, will likely get you into Donald Trump’s good graces (temporarily), however, following this checklist will cause a massive rift in your soul as you ignore Trump’s deplorable and unacceptable acts and words. So…please…do NOT treat this as an actual approach. I mean really…you have your conscience and self-respect to think about people!
- Before you even begin remember: Donald J. Trump has no emotional self-awareness and possesses the demeanor, maturity, and intellect of toddler; a toddler that’s perpetually mentally stuck between simmering rage and full-blown temper temper tantrum.
- When you first meet, have a firm handshake…if you feel like you might be breaking his hand, you’re doing it right. Note: If you are unable to do this, take his death-grip handshake in stride and submit.
- Don’t forget to compliment Donald. He has incredibly low self-esteem so the more compliments you can provide and the bigger and more outrageous they are the better. If you have to ask yourself: “Am I being too obsequious?” You’re doing it right (just take a page out of Senator Ted Cruz’s playbook).
- Donald Trump also suffers from inadequacy issues…so don’t forget to use the following adjectives when describing Trump, his White House, and policies:
- Really Really Great
- Really good
- Note: Donald Trump is essentially functionally illiterate, so avoid using too many multi-syllabic words (translated to Trump-Speak: Don’t use big-ass fancy words).
- Note for Foreign Dignitaries: You’re command of the English Language likely already surpasses Trump’s and his MAGA followers, but if an English word doesn’t readily come to your mind, don’t worry! When conversing with Trump…just use the above adjectives or the noun “thing.”
- Don’t get held up by facts, because Trump certainly isn’t…Don’t contradict him or use facts. Try and go with “feelings” instead. Remember, Trump’s sole-source of information comes from crazy conspiracy theorists, racists, unqualified amateurs, and propaganda outlets like Fox (all the same thing…?)
- Our Narcissist-in-Chief is incredibly self-absorbed (in case you hadn’t figured it out yet); ensure that in your effort to convince Trump of something, you need to let him know how a policy or policy change will benefit him, personally…he really doesn’t seem to care about the American people.
- If Donald Trump acts inappropriately or treats you without respect, grin and ignore it.
- This next one will be particularly difficult… If Trump says something Racist or attempts to grope your wife or says something patently misogynistic…you’re going to have to roll with the punches. Confronting a mean-spirited bully with a penchant for racism and sexual harassment/assault will earn you points in the arena of public opinion, but not further your goal with Donald. Sorry.
- Topics to Avoid:
- Barack Obama (unless you want to provide a dig or criticize our 44th President)
- Hillary Clinton (see above).
- Stormy Daniels
- Robert Mueller
- Liberal Hollywood Celebrities (if you want to small talk topics…you can talk about how much you liked James Woods’ latest major work…um…Can’t think of recent example this MAGA Celebrity’s recent blockbuster…after the mid-’90’s…hmmm…)
- His close relationship with Russia
Are you feeling like you’ve been taking crazy pills? Do you disagree? Did I mess something from the worst checklist imaginable? Well…I’d like to hear your thoughts too. Please feel free to Comment, share, and like. Also, subscribe to ensure you get the latest updates. You can also follow me on twitter @streamingdan82