I really do need to find a transcript of Macron's speech to Congress (first, let's understand how lazy I am):
I believe in this rights and values. I believe that against ignorance we have education. Against inequalities, development. Against cynicism, trust and good faith. Against fanaticism, culture. Against disease, medicine. Against the threats on the planet, science.
Why can't we get an American politician to speak English this well? Or even this well?
Some people think that securing current industries and their jobs is more urgent than transforming our economies to meet the global challenge of climate change. I hear these concerns. But we must find a smooth transition to a low-carbon economy. Because what is the meaning of our life, really, if we work and live destroying the planet, one sacrifice things for the future of our children. What is the meaning of our life if our decision, our conscious decision, is to reduce the opportunities for our children and grandchildren.
By polluting the oceans, not mitigating CO2 emissions, and destroying our biodiversity — we are killing our planet. Let us face it. There is no planet B.
Or show this much wit in their native tongue:
“Let us work together in order to make our planet great again,”
And in a lesson from the Old Country:
“To protect our democracies, we have to fight against the ever-growing virus of fake news, which exposes our people to irrational fear and imaginary risk,” he said. He continued:
Without reason, without truth, there is no real democracy, because democracy is about true choices and rational decisions. The corruption of information is an attempt to corrode the very spirit of our democracies.
He even does a better job of quoting us back to ourselves than we do:
“Anger only freezes and weakens us,” he said, to applause. “And as Roosevelt said, the only thing we have to fear it is fear itself.”
That one I'd like to apply to the whiny Millennials I read about (on-line only; and they said irony is dead) complaining about how the Boomers screwed them. Of course, I'd have to explain who Roosevelt was, and the context of the quote.
But Macron can freakin' reason! In a speech!
Therefore, let me say we have two possible ways ahead. We can choose isolationism, withdrawal, and nationalism. This is an option. It can be tempting to us as a temporary relief to our fears. But closing the door to the world will not stop the evolution of the world. It will not douse but enflame the fears of our citizens. We have to keep our eyes wide open to the new risks right in front of us. I’m convinced that if we decide to open our eyes wider, we will be stronger. We will overcome the dangers. We will not let the rampaging work of extreme nationalism shake a world full of hopes for greater prosperity.
"Eyes wide shut" may become my new idee fixe, my new figure of speech for modern American politics in general.
And even show us the way forward, as Vox notes after those words:
It was a message that received overwhelming Democratic support, and a less than tepid response from the Republican side of the aisle.Quelle surprise, as the French say.
And is this just about Iraq, about the Middle East?
We must ensure stability and respect sovereignty of the nations, including that one of Iran, which represents a great civilization. Let us not replicate past mistakes in the region. Let us not be naive on one side. Let us not create new walls ourselves on the other side. There is an existing framework called the JCPOA to control the nuclear activity of Iran. We signed it at the initiative of the United States. We signed it, both the United States and France. That is why we cannot say we should get rid of it like that. (emphasis added)
Yeah, I don't think so, either.
And here I want to say: "Feature, kemosabe; not bug", as I must add emphasis again:
I believe facing these challenges requires the opposite of massive deregulation and extreme nationalism. Commercial war is not the proper answer to this evolution. We need a free and fair trade for sure. ... At the end of the day, it will destroy jobs, increase prices, and the middle class will have to pay for it. I believe we can build the right answers to legitimate concerns regarding trade imbalances, excesses, and overcapacities by negotiating through the world trade organization and building cooperative solutions.
Which takes me back to this; and what are we going to do about it? It's not enough to cheer the speech, or enjoy who made it and where. We have no excuse for not putting it into action, and should be ashamed our politicians, even our best politicians, appear so mendacious against this Frenchman.