French President Emmanuel Macron, who’s thought to be one of Trunmp’s favorite world leaders, delivered a rarefied address to a joint session of Congress Wednesday, in which he managed to broadly indict President Trump’s highly nationalistic worldview, without mentioning the president by name.
Macron expressed positions which are — to say the least — at odds with those of Donald Trump. In particular, Macron strongly urged the US to stay in the Iran nuclear deal and made a passionate case for the responsibility of the developed world to deal with climate change. These are among the issues issues that have caused the most acrimony between Trump and the UN at-large.
Macron also encouraged free trade. Not only was it surprising that the French President would deliver these comments to Congress during what had otherwise appeared to have been a very friendly state visit, but the timing was impeccable. Just two weeks ago, France joined the United States and United Kingdom (the only other nuclear NATO members) in the coordinated bombing in Syria. That was pretty atypical of France.
Of current US policy, Macron said, “We can choose isolationism, withdrawal, and nationalism. 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.”
As is pretty typical of a high-level French politician, Macron did manage to add loads of charm to his speech and sprinkle in various statements of praise.
Even the most direct criticism was delivered with humor, Macron said he was sure that one day the US would rejoin the Paris agreement because: “Let us face it, there is no planet B.”