French President Emanuel Macron’s three-day visit to Washington started on an awkward note when he kissed an obviously uncomfortable President Donald Trump. The scene was a symbolic reminder that the two leaders do not enjoy an “intense, close relationship” invented by the media. In reality Macron is, both ideologically and temperamentally, the polar opposite of Trump. The latter was admittedly impressed by the welcome he received for the Bastille Day celebration in Paris last year, and Macron has the distinction of being the first foreign leader to come for a state visit to Trump’s Washington, but there is less than meets the eye to their alleged “chemistry.”
To start with the basics, Trump and Macron are not “two alpha males,” and I have this sneaky suspicion that the leftist-liberal media machine is keen to award the French president Trump’s indubitable “alpha” status in order to neutralize suspicions about Macron’s sexual orientation. In reality, while Trump is a heterosexual who evidently likes pretty women younger than himself, Macron is most likely a bisexual who was fond of older women as a teenager—his wife is 24 years his senior—but now prefers handsome younger men, like the former Radio France president Mathieu Gallet.
Trump is an eccentric in many ways, to be sure, but for all his faults he is genuine and honest, a true albeit diminishing American type. Macron is the poster-boy of Europe’s postmodern transnational elite, a former international banker and fanatical Euro-integralist. He is also an Islamophile (“No religion is a problem in France today . . . What poses a problem is not Islam, but certain behaviors that are said to be religious and then imposed on persons who practice that religion”) and an open-borders enthusiast (by allowing over a million migrants in, “[Chancellor] Merkel and German society as a whole exemplified our common European values. They saved our collective dignity”). In February 2017 he lampooned Trump’s promise to protect America’s southern border by pledging never to build a wall of any kind.
While Macron has earned some brownie points with Trump by pretending to treat the false-flag operation in Douma on April 8 as a real atrocity, and by joining the choreographed attack on Bashar’s non-existent “chemical weapons installations” six days later (poor De Gaulle is turning in his grave!), those two men have little in common. During the campaign Trump had manifested all the right instincts of an anti-interventionist, anti-globalist nationalist, but since coming to the White House he has succumbed to the Permanent State on many important issues (Russia, Syria, NATO etc). Nevertheless, it is still unlikely that he has internalized the global hegemonists’ Weltanschauung as such. By contrast, Macron has been in the Camp of Demons ab initio. He embodies the deracinated Western elite class, rootless, arrogant, cynical, and manipulative. He illustrates more vividly than any other European leader (save Angela Merkel) the Spenglerian loss of the will to define and defend one’s Kultur, and the pan-European loss of the desire (let alone ability) to procreate.
On balance it seems that Trump and Macron do not necessarily dislike each other, but have reasons to pretend that they are closer than they are. (With Frau Merkel—who will pay a low-key visit to Washington next Friday—Trump cannot even pretend; he loathes the woman, and rightly so.) As for the Trump-Macron “special relationship,” the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The Frenchman probably won’t be able to exert his alleged influence on Trump to change his mind on any one of the three key issues on his agenda: the climate change protocol, the Iran nuclear agreement, and the imposition of U.S. trade tariffs on European steel and aluminum. Whatever Macron does or says,
Trump will not become a convert to the global-warming mantra, and he will keep the United States out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation (I’d say this is 95% certain);
Trump will take the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal on May 12, thus throwing the entire agreement into disarray, and upsetting the European signatories (80% likely); and
Trump will keep the tariffs on European steel and aluminum when they expire on May 1 (70 percent likely); at best he may expand the number of countries which will receive temporary exemptions.
On Wednesday Macron will follow in the footsteps of his three immediate predecessors in giving a speech to a joint session of Congress. It will be just another eminently forgettable pean to our shared values, democracy, historical ties, etc. The oration, no doubt carefully crafted, will be forgotten by the time the French president returns to his increasingly Eurabian country. France no longer matters in world affairs; arguably she mattered more under Petain, following the debacle in May-June 1940. More surprisingly, perhaps, she has become irrelevant (or worse) in the realm of ideas and art. Macron has appeared from nowhere to confirm Marianne’s degeneracy, not to reverse it. Trump would be well advised to choose better company.
Dr. Srdja Trifkovic, foreign affairs editor of Chronicles, is the author of The Sword of the Prophet and Defeating Jihad.