If Elected, What Emmanuel Macron Might Learn From Donald Trump’s First 100 Days

If Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump are very different in personality, background and politics, I do believe that there are some important similarities between the two men. Let me be absolutely clear, Macron is no Trump. Trump is a genuine populist and maverick. Macron is a highly manufactured independent. However, Macron has managed to get to where he has with a few principles that, I believe, are very similar to Trump’s. And, if elected, Macron would do well to learn from Trump’s first 100 days.

Brand Trump and Brand Macron – birds of a feather?

Macron TrumpI know it sounds a bit provocative, but Trump and Macron do share several common points. At a superficial level, coming into the election, neither Macron nor Trump had ever previously held elected office. Moreover, neither really belonged to a party. Trump only became begrudgingly the Republican candidate. Macron, who split from the Socialist party, for his part will naturally morph his En Marche “movement” into a new political party. But, more importantly, both Trump and Macron absolutely embody their ‘movement.’ There is no feasible replacement. They have both succeeded thus far by creating the cult of the individual. Brand Trump and Brand EM (En Marche = Emmanuel Macron) embody their base. Yet, just as great brands are all about trust, both Trump and Macron [will] have their work cut out in moving from “BIG” words to significant action to create a trusting clientele (in the form of the voting public).

1/ Pragmatism versus a Programme

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America First, Me Too – Where’s Europe?

Unless you have been living in a cave, you will have noticed that many countries have responded to Donald Trump’s America First pronouncement with a rather tongue-in-cheek Me Second video. It all began with this one from The Netherlands, by the Dutch comedy show called Sunday with Lubach (Zondag met Lubach).

First, one has to laud the speedy reaction of the Dutch team. This was put up 3 days after the inauguration (Jan 20). At time of posting, it has had over 22 million views (in less than 3 weeks). Kudos!

America First, Me Too

Inspired by the Dutch initiative, there have been many copy cat videos coming from (in alphabetical order) Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iran (two versions with the second one making the distinction between Iraq and Iran), Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira Island, Moldova, Morocco, Namibia, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Having swept through them all, it’s worth nothing that virtually all of these videos have a minimum of 500,000 views each. A good publicity stint, if nothing else. However, they certainly also do speak to the level of outrage.

There’s even been a more fanciful video made by the ever-welcoming Mars planet.

Where’s Russia?

In one the major ironies, I don’t see a China Second or Russia Second video. Why? Censorship? Or perhaps because they both believe they are first? No doubt, everyone seems to be pulling the sheet cover over themselves.

Where’s Europe?

But, there is something else that struck me about the list (of copy cats) above. Over half of the countries come from Europe. But no one represents Europe. When I wrote about Brexit in the past, I mentioned that the project of Europe is in dire trouble because there is no united vision of Europe. The affiliations are at best national (and regrettably tending toward increasing nationalism). If Europe were strong, we’d have an America First, Europe Second video, no?

It would have to go along the lines:

Here is a quick introduction to Europe. Europe is great. We love history. We love diversity. We love building walls, both physical and imagined….

Sadly, the constituent countries of Europe are so embroiled in their own problems, that no one is taking care of Europe. Any takers out there to do the Europe Second video?