French President Emmanuel Macron addressed Congress during his state visit, at the invitation of speaker Paul Ryan. He is the eighth French president to have done so since President Marquis de Lafayette started the tradition in 1824.
Macron reaffirmed the special bond and friendship between the two countries, allies for most of the younger nation’s existence.
He started his speech with a parade through history that connects the two countries all the way back to the American and French Revolutions.
President Donald Trump reciprocated in kind. Before the speech, he tweeted that Macron “will be GREAT!”
Busy day planned. Looking forward to watching President Macron of France address a Joint Session of Congress today. This is a great honor and seldom allowed to be done…he will be GREAT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2018
However, the question is whether Trump was as happy about the speech afterward. In addition to his kind words, Macron used the opportunity to lecture Congress on the virtues and importance of globalism.
A significant portion was devoted to climate change and other global issues. At times, he formulated sweet linguistic soufflés that garnered bipartisan approval: “Let us face it. There is no planet B.”
However, many of his globalist selling points was praised beyond the call of duty by the Democrats. Slogans such as “we are just citizens of the same planet” and “I am sure one day the United States will come back and join the Paris Agreement” got cheers and long ovations. One sensed that Macron could easily run as the Democratic Presidential candidate in the United States.
He also leveled a surprisingly strong attack against “nationalism and isolationism” and said that “we will not let the rampaging works of extreme nationalism shake a world full of hopes for greater prosperity.”
It says volumes about the political situation in America when one party gives far greater support to a foreign president than they do to their own. There can be little doubt about who is the source of division.
In one sense, this speech comes full circle. France gave the Statue of Liberty as a gift to America because she represented a beacon of light to the rest of the world. The United States was an inspiration for all freedom lovers across the world. Now Macron is telling America that her vision of freedom is passé and that she needs to join the global world order.
Culturally, this is certainly true. The reign of American cultural influence has been waning for a century. Today it is instead French philosophers who dominate in American universities.
The new beacons are French post-modernists such as Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, who represent the negation of the ideals upon which the United States was founded. The French influence has been to replace life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with patriarchy, white privilege and systemic racism.
America should stand its ground. There is still some juice left in Lady Liberty, and with some luck she can make a comeback and revive not only American culture, but also once more shine a light of inspiration on the rest of the world.