Opinion

Mr. Macron’s Lecture – and Who Americans Are

Macron lecture AmericansOnce sitting with Ronald Reagan, he retold a story to me.  It was entertaining, actually funny, but becomes sobering on a day when a French President can speak of fearing the United States – this nation which twice in one century rose en mass, fought with all our hearts, and died in hundreds of thousands on French soil, to save the French people from fascism.  President Emanuel Macron should reread his history.

Our day was sunny.  Sitting with President Reagan, there was no pressure.  Just a former White House staffer, visiting.  On the wall, a photo hung of President Reagan with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.  On my noticing it, Reagan told the story.

At an early G-7 meeting, he entered a room and saw Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sitting in a chair.  Over her, filled with emotion and wagging a finger, was liberal Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, father of the current Canadian liberal.

Patiently, Thatcher listened as Trudeau lectured her on how wrong her attention to certain aspects of history, conservatism and way of viewing the world was.  In time, Trudeau drifted off.  Thatcher rose and quietly headed down a hallway.  Reagan caught up with her, and said “Maggie, why did you let him get away with that?  He had no right to speak that way to you …” To which, Reagan recounted, she turned to him with a smile and said, “Ron, a woman must know when a man is being simply childish.”  And in the retelling, Reagan laughed aloud – he loved it.

Now, we come to Macron and his utterly misplaced, oddly dismissive, and objectively inappropriate comments this weekend about the United States, and our role in the past, present and future of Europe.

First, Macron announces, jarringly at the 100th anniversary of Word War I’s Armistice, that he favors a “European Army” to defend against the likes of China, Russia and – yes – against “the United States of America.”

So, one is tempted to ask, do the 4 million Americans who rose to defend Europe in World War I, the more than 116,000 who died, the more than 200,000 who were wounded, and the many Americans cemeteries across France count for nothing?  We, who in that devastating war, turned the tide after 1917, ending the conflict that would have ended France?

Or perhaps Macron has forgotten that France – the entire existence of the country and society – would have perished, but for intercession of the United States in World War II.  To end that world-changing horror, Americans sent 16 million men and women into combat.  Of that group, more than 416,000 died.  Many of those Americans died in places like Normandy, the Argonne, Battle of the Bulge, and on blood soaked French battlefields.

Then, the French President went one better.  On Sunday, adding “insult” – yes, President Trump was correct, if unduly direct – to injury (and death), Macron gave a speech saying that Americans who embrace the idea of their unique national identity, pride in their nation as a source of global courage, what dictionaries describe interchangeably as “patriotism” and “nationalism,” are “selfish.”

Said Macron to 60 global leaders, Americans should instead focus on “universal values” – as if we had not defended exactly those values in two world wars, and do not have them enshrined in our Bill of Rights.  With strange focus on the United States, Macron solemnly rejected the “selfishness of nations looking after their own interests.”

So, on this seminal 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I, in a country twice saved by the blood and treasure of Americans, on a continent rebuilt with American citizen’s tax dollars, we were lectured by a young, unschooled and apparently even unpopular in France leader, who needed to take America to task.

This listener’s reaction is hard to put into words.  Members of my own family who fought in World Wars I and II lie at Arlington.  For one moment, I pondered what they might make of this revealing show of consummate adolescence, historical impertinence and brazen indifference to history.

For a moment, the image of hundreds of thousands of American families listening to this lecture, as if the French leader was leaning over some relative of theirs – long since buried – as he sat in an armchair, flashed by me.  How could a French President take Americans to task, on the 100th anniversary of the seminal WWI Armistice?  It was unthinkable.

Then I thought of Reagan and Thatcher.  I thought of how simple, selfless courage, inner peace and unruffled dignity respond to impertinence in all ages.  Even today, their shared optimism, attitude and wisdom echoes brightly.  “A woman must know” – and men, too – “when a man is being simply childish.”  Macron cannot – with an ill-timed lecture – change facts:  America saved freedom, France and all Europe in World Wars I and II.

Here is the sobering kicker.  Whatever Mr. Macron thinks, it is in our nature to fight for what is right – and if push came to shove, make no mistake:  We would do it again.  Because, Mr. Macron, that is America.  That is who we Americans are.

***

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Keith H
2 years ago

Poor little soy boy Macron who lets Islam tell him what to do, while they destroy his country with their satan worship.!!! Don’t think We The People need to listen to his gibberish, when he kneels to satan !!!

jack Brunelle
2 years ago

With respect, this article is missing the point. Macon’s comments are in direct relation to Trump wanting to suddenly, and unilaterally pull out of the short and medium missile treaty that would leave the European continent wide open to, yes, Russian and American missiles aimed at each other. So yes, Europe would now need protection from missiles–from both sides. It has nothing to do with the United States arriving in 1917 during the Great War nor does it have to do with crosses all lined up in a military cemetery from a 100 years ago–it has to do with future cemeteries holding millions of dead Europeans from short and medium nuclear missiles that have no place over the European continent.

TomCat F14
2 years ago

F—- that dip shit, his parents didn’t teach him to have respect for the Country that saved their ass. They are worthless scum suckers anyway.

ScarletDove
2 years ago

France is just not a smart country and neither is the childish half-twit Macron!

Mickey
2 years ago

The French government and/or leadership has always been the largest turd in the history of the world.

mark demos
2 years ago

Macron is a little muppet. Pathetic excuse for the head of anything. The French folded like wimps and half turned on their own people and got into bed with Hitler. They should be forever grateful to the Brits and Americans or they would all be eating sauerkraut and driving VW’s. He needs to go suckle at his mommy wifes teets and go to bed with his teddy.

Karen Elliott
2 years ago

Well said….thank you very much!!

Alan Power
2 years ago

I think they despise us because they know they can never adequately repay us.

Donald Nichols
2 years ago

Growing up in the 50s I talked to my elders on their thoughts and asked many questions.The big questions were on their service during World War 2. I am in my late 60s and will always remember these people that served our country during War time.Today some of our young pay no attention to what the rest of the World is doing.With our debt growing everyday no one understands what it means for our Future in the USA.I believe we are a dying country to be taking over by foreign countries.Look at big business already owned by people outside the USA.The reason these people who sold out are telling US everything is OK is because they made a great deal selling out.One thing I know for sure is we will never be the same country as people were right after WW2.I would like to believe after this life we have to come back and live again.This would change our thinking of what we should be doing NOW.

Gman
2 years ago

As long as we have real Americans keeping America strong, Europe will remain free

Robert F. Sirico
2 years ago

Maybe Mr. Mac(a)ron(i) should see the movie “Saving Private Ryan”. In view of the sacrifices made, I have always admired the French and regarded them as “worth fighting for”. I think of them when I see our Statue of Liberty with brotherly fondness. That comment was a ‘slap in my face’.

“Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for a friend”.

Mamaw5
2 years ago

BRAVO. PERFECT REBUTTAL TO A FOOL.

Rick
2 years ago

Maybe we should send back the Statue of Liberty – COD!

ahem tonto
2 years ago

It is difficult to watch the purported leader of a nation remove all doubts as to their ability to understand history and their nation’s place therein. Macrone bared his arrogance of ignorance to the humanities of the world with a ten minute dissertation regarding his mis-understanding or intentional corruption of the word Nationalism as regards President Trump, America’s soldiers and her citizens. A pity to embarrass French citizens Europeans and all freedom loving peoples of the world with such un-appreciative gobbly gook. Let Macrone defend France and the French people. Americans can stand silently by and watch the horror unfold.

Lincoln Sorensen
2 years ago

“That’s who Americans are.” Well, that is changing rapidly to “not so much”.

maureen
2 years ago

This french prez is very typical of many people today…on the world stage and not. They are very ignorant of history..and in many cases the history they have been taught is the biased warbling of a weak-kneed angry lib. There is no incentive on their part to question and research what they have heard. Surprisingly, there are a number of older books, still available, where a curious mind might go back in time and see the the war world AS IT REALLY WAS. When faced with an enemy intent on taking over your country, and maybe the world, eating cheese, drinking wine and running is not an HONORABLE option!

Mark
2 years ago

When a high ranking French officer asked a captured British officer why their soldiers wore bright red coats, the British officer told him that the red coat hid the blood from the enemy that the soldier had been shot.
In the following weeks, the French army adopted brown trousers.

Laura C
2 years ago

Perfect.

Greg
2 years ago

Perhaps France should be asked to repay the the monetary cost of World War 1 and World War 2. And let’s not forget prevailing interest

Thomas H
2 years ago

Hoping that president Macron trips over an American soldier’s grave marker.

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