Emmanuel Macron and the Crisis of the Elite
Is he stumbling towards sanity?
Did we back the wrong candidate in France? Is Emmanuel Macron—dare I say it—“our guy”?
Only a few months ago the Great and the Good were celebrating the victory of the fanatically pro-EU and anti-nationalist Emmanuel Macron in the French presidential election. The brand-new party Mr. Macron founded then went on to win a majority in the French parliament.
Mr. Macron’s approach towards his own country had been approaching nihilism. He called colonization a “crime against humanity,” and suggested France must apologize. He called mass immigration from the Third World “unstoppable.” He even denied the existence of French culture, saying that “there is culture in France and it is diverse.”
His opponent in the presidential election, Marine Le Pen, had asked voters to “choose France.” Mr. Macron chose Europe, by celebrating his victory with the “Ode to Joy,” the anthem of the European Union. Mr. Macron, who claimed France had voted for him to “defend the Republic” against the unpalatable Ms. Le Pen, was a formidable champion of neoliberalism and transnational elitism at a time when many nationalists were dreaming that a populist wave was about to break over Europe.
And yet since entering office, Mr. Macron has unsettled the leftist elite. He horrified progressive opinion by inviting Donald Trump to Paris for Bastille Day and by all accounts created a warm friendship with the American president. Mr. Macron appears to have moderated his predecessor’s demand for the ouster of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, infuriating opposition groups and moving closer to the Russian position. And he also mused about how his thoughts are too “complex” for journalists, and how his could be a “Jupiterian,” quasi-monarchial presidency.
Yet all of this pales in response to Macron’s recent comments about Africa. When asked by an African journalist why there was no Marshall Plan for Africa, Mr. Macron stated, “The challenge of Africa is completely different, it is much deeper. It is civilizational today. Failing states, complex democratic transitions, the demographic transition.” He later said, “One of the essential challenges of Africa . . . is that in some countries today seven or eight children [are] born to each woman.”
Mr. Macron’s statement has been termed racist, colonialist, and imperialist. The latter accusation came from National Review, where one Elliot Kaufman leapt at the chance for the Beltway Right to deploy its favorite claim: Democrats Are the Real Racists (DR3). “To think of people this way—not as unique individuals created by a loving God, but as burdens and roadblocks to economic development—is cruel, but liberal above all,” he wrote.
Read the rest of Gregory Hood’s article here.