Return of the Kings

In a television appearance on January 7, President Emmanuel Macron of France, rather than addressing his compatriots exclusively, directed his remarks to his “fellow citizens of the E.U.,” saying, “2018 is a very special year, and I will need you this year.”

Macron, a former investment banker and cabinet minister in the Socialist government of François Hollande, after founding his centrist party En Marche! in 2016, proceeded to win the presidential election the next year following the collapse of the established parties of the center-right and left, and the Front National.

Having taken 66.1 percent of the vote, Macron has proved in office to be apparently more than many of his supporters had bargained for.  He has been accused of having a Napoleonic complex, has said himself that he wishes to rule like a Roman god, and recently remarked that his thinking is “too complex” to be grasped by the simple-minded members of the Fourth Estate.  In some ways, he is attempting to govern as a Gaullist, holding court at Versailles, challenging the unions and the established body of labor law, and adapting something of Marine Le Pen’s immigration policy by breaking up migrant camps and communities, and expelling their inhabitants.  Last year, he traveled to Africa, where he complained that the natives breed too prolifically and explained why France cannot—and will...

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