Remember “Freedom Fries”? Remember those sneering comments about the French? Because after all, we’re Amuricans, so we are clearly superior.
I watched the French election with interest. It was right after “Amurica” accidentally elected the Orange Ignoramus, and thoughtful observers were worried whether our disastrous election–coming on the heels of the equally disastrous Brexit vote in England–heralded a global spread of white nationalist extremism.
Trump, if you’ll recall, endorsed Marine Le Pen.
Fortunately, Trump’s Le Pen endorsement was every bit as effective as his lukewarm endorsement of Luther Strange and his full-throated advocacy for Roy Moore. The French election was won overwhelmingly by Emmanuel Macron. I’d been rooting for Macron–my middle son’s partner is Parisian and they split their time between Manhattan and Paris, so I had more insight into the French candidates than I would otherwise have had.
My preference for Macron has now been validated. As Reuters recently reported,
PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron plans to award multi-year grants for several U.S.-based scientists to relocate to France, his office said on Monday on the eve of a climate summit hosted by the president to raise finances to counter global warming.
Macron unveiled the “Make our Planet Great Again” grants after President Donald Trump in June said he was pulling the United States out of an international accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that was brokered in Paris in 2015.
Macron repeatedly tried to persuade the U.S. leader to reverse his decision. In a statement, the Elysee Palace said 13 of the initial 18 grants will be awarded to scientists based in the United States.
Meanwhile, our dumb and delusional President just dropped climate change from America’s National Security Strategy, in favor of “economic competitiveness.” (I assume we’ll be exceedingly competitive when we’re underfed and underwater..).
Lest you dismiss Macron’s offer to the scientific community as simply a (richly-deserved) middle-finger gesture to Trump, Science Magazine informs us that Macron’s invitation has already borne fruit:
French President Emmanuel Macron’s effort to lure disgruntled foreign climate scientists to France—especially from the United States—has produced its first harvest. France today announced that Macron’s Make Our Planet Great Again initiative has recruited its first class of 18 scientists. Of the new recruits, 13, including a few French nationals, now work in the United States, whereas others are based in Canada, India, and elsewhere in Europe.
It’s hard to disagree with the reaction of the liberal website Daily Kos:
Macron is appealing to shunned U.S. scientists with a simple message: Come do your work in France and we will give you grant money and respect you. What France gets out of the deal is a front-row seat for all of the environmental, energy, and other technical innovation that those scientists will now be producing in their new laboratories. Being on the forefront of new technology has been one of the surest ways to ensure your own workforce is highly skilled and earns high wages. You know, that thing that the United States was once famous for.
You have to wonder just how Donald Trump justifies his daily presidential existence when, at this point, even allies like France are openly mocking him. Donald said he’d be staffing our government with “the best people.” It turns out we got people like Kellyanne Conway while our “best people” take job offers in countries willing to respect their work.
Of course, Donald Trump doesn’t see any reason to “justify” his Presidential existence. He wouldn’t even understand the question.
America has elected an intellectually-challenged and severely mentally ill Chief Executive (casting serious doubt on the mental/intellectual capacities of American voters, but that’s a subject for a different day). Other countries–not just France, which will at least continue to be our ally during this depressing interlude– but China and of course Russia will take advantage of our diminished capacities and our dramatically declining global status.
But hey– Trump voters are happy. They got rid of that black President, brown people aren’t coming here anymore (even as tourists!), and as a bonus, they’re offloading those fancy-shmantsy elitists who do “science” and “facts.”
Happy (White Christian) days are here again….