While some in the mainstream media attempt to manufacture and sensationalize tension between Trump and Macron, these two businessmen turned world leaders prepare to work together, as Richard Wagner explains.

Macron of the mainstream won a decisive victory in the final runoff against Marine La Pen.  As La Pen represented the National Front Party, which is effectively a more extreme version of Britain’s UKIP, many have claimed that La Pen is the Trump of France, and have tried to claim that Macron’s victory symbolizes French rejection of “Trumpism”.

Such a claim, however, shows ignorance of the very nature of nationalism, as well as of Trump’s brand of American Republicanism. In reality, Trump maintained his distance from La Pen, preferring not to interfere in France’s internal affairs (consistent with Trump’s rejections of globalism and respect for national sovereignty) and he is now prepared to work with the new French President Macron on our common interests, despite today’s handshake controversy.

Trump’s EU Visit and Macron

As Trump makes his first visit to the EU, this was also his first opportunity to meet with Macron.  This ended up becoming the focus of this visit, as Macron has been President of France for less than a month, and therefore could greatly impact relations between the US and the EU in the near future.

Though Macron is seen as the “establishment” candidate, he, much like Trump, has a mostly business background, largely funded his own campaign, and appealed to grassroots support.  Much like Trump, therefore, he will be learning as he goes.

Much like two businessmen for whom time is money, Trump and Macron kept their introductions brief and cordial. Trump congratulated Macron for his election while mentioning some points of common ground.

The Handshake

The internet has been buzzing over the firm and supposedly tense handshake between Trump and Macron.  (This handshake followed the greetings discussed above.) Our press pooler described it as follows:

“They shook hands for an extended period of time. Each president gripped the other’s hand with considerable intensity, their knuckles turning white and their jaws clenching and faces tightening.”

Many in the mainstream media have been trying to manufacture political conflict between Trump and Macron, as well as a Trump/La Pen alliance.  (Only La Pen showed any desire for such an alliance.)  They might dub this “handgate 2.0” (Handgate 1.0 being the incident with Melania’s hand in Israel).  The reality is that Trump has somewhat unusual body language in public, even with his own wife and family.

Down to business

While sensationalism brings quick hits to a mainstream media struggling to stay relevant in the information age, Trump and Macron are aware of the enormous responsibilities they have and prepare to work together.  There are some genuine points of tension between them, primarily over the Paris Climate Agreement. These matters should be discussed in detail throughout the day.

Also Read:

Cohn On Russian Sanctions, Free Trade, And Trump’s Decision On Environmental Action

Macron’s Second-Round Supporters Demand Results – Not Ideology

Richard Wagner is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Florida State College at Jacksonville. He conducts independent study on the American conservative movement and foreign policy. When he is...

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