Tags: french | trump | presidency

How the French View the Trump Presidency

How the French View the Trump Presidency
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By Tuesday, 22 May 2018 03:13 PM Current | Bio | Archive

The headline today in the French media:

“Here is the latest Donald Trump tweet.”

Oh great.

It’s not so much about the content of the news but the very fact that the T buzz is alive and well in Paris.

Ok, right now the French press says this latest tweet, an attack on the president’s own Justice Department and FBI run by his own appointees constitutes a threat to American Democracy.

But tomorrow what’s coming next?

He may fire one or two of his staff, send jets over Damascus, tell us how smarter he is than Barack Obama, or he may declare that North Korea is our friend and himself worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize.


It’s the whirlwind of constantly doubling up, reminding even the French audience that Trump invented a new principle: “I owe you 10 million, I’m in trouble; I owe 100 million, its you my lender who’s in trouble.”

To make some sense out of what is happening in America we have to go one step back and try and reach a conclusion on the French reaction to this stream of news. There are two very clear generalizations that emerge from interviews with a cross section of French men and women.

The first is that an extraordinary number of people are addicted to Trump.

They, much like their American cousins, can’t wake up in the morning without searching out any television, radio, newspaper, or internet source that will give Trump news.

This goes for those who love him and those who hate him.

Both are in need of their Trump fix.

And woe to any media that doesn’t give a Trump beep, echo, message every hour or so.

The rating for the channel or site will get hammered if their audience goes too long without something about the T.

The second is related to the first, but not entirely.

There has always been a uneasy feeling that the U.S., despite years of State department and White House high minded rhetoric that our country uniquely acts to preserve peace in the world, in fact uses its power, military and economic, to further its own interest. The U.S., in short, is not much better than the empires that came before.

Now with Trump, the devil has come out of the closet. We have the perfect embodiment of what America is all about.

Of course America always came first! And we’re all rushing to see this newly uncovered truth by clicking on Trump.

The Left leaning Carters, Clintons, and Obamas, despite electoral promises and deeply held personal convictions, were ultimately subsumed and submerged by the elites who are the pure product of American economic world dominance. That Goldman Sachs finally parachuted into the Obama White House was the ultimate victory of the mighty against any illusion of principle.

So… after the initial shock… what a relief to finally do away with hypocrisy and see the truth in the form of a big loud trumpet (play on word intentional) that reveals the secret that everyone agreed to push under the rug.

A member of the House of Lords who after the November 2016 election was aghast that an uncouth arrogant uneducated real estate mogul and television personality could achieve the presidency, is now saying: “Well, the guy is not so bad after all because what we see is what we get.”

The post-war American dominance was based on the one hand on world dominance in consumer power and on the other on world dominance in the printing of the dollar. Every penny spent on protecting our allies and every action to allow foreign manufacture of products for American consumers was paid back through massive purchases of U.S. Treasury bills and other securities, funding that facilitated America’s economic world leadership.

But either through duplicity or some other slight of hand, Americans at all levels, from the house wife in Peoria, Illinois, to the occupant of the White House, were naïve victims of the illusion that the motivation of our foreign policy was a benevolent commitment to world peace.

So… here in Paris France, and certainly we can extrapolate to other European countries, we have One, Trump addiction, and Two America finally through its choice of Trump as president revealing its true self.

This combination produces a conclusion that crosses over the observers of America who are strong and passionate pro- and anti-Trump.

Some from both camps emphasize the division between Europe and the United States that has now become evident. Others, on the contrary, see that the open sore that we are now witnessing may lead to the arrival of a new fresh political class in the United States that can rekindle the ideals that the world craves for. There is somehow somewhere despite lots of bad news, some from a troubling awareness of Europe’s own divisions, an eternal optimism, that the pendulum that brought us George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and then Donald Trump might just swing in a new and better direction.

Mark L. Cohen has his own legal practice, and was counsel at White & Case starting in 2001, after serving as international lawyer and senior legal consultant for the French aluminum producer Pechiney. Cohen was a senior consultant at a Ford Foundation Commission, an advisor to the PBS television program "The Advocates," and Assistant Attorney General in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He teaches U.S. history at the business school in Lille l’EDHEC. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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Ok, right now the French press says this latest tweet, an attack on the president’s own Justice Department and FBI run by his own appointees constitutes a threat to American Democracy.
french, trump, presidency
Tuesday, 22 May 2018 03:13 PM
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