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Will Macron finish his term? Will Macron finish his term?
by Joseph Gatt
2019-01-24 09:43:24
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10 reasons the French president might not finish his term.

1.      'People magazine politics.' French tycoon, politician and media personality Bernard Tapie once famously said “la politique, c'est serieux” which roughly translates into “there's no joking around in politics.” It's never a good sign when a politician, a president at that, takes too much time thinking about his image. That's exactly what Macron did. He was talking about his wife when he was supposed to be discussing politics. He was defending his image when he was supposed to defend his policies.

2.      His speeches put people to sleep. When you're the president, people are supposed to be saying “be quiet, the president's speaking.” The problem is Macron does not know his stuff, does not know France, does not know the French well enough to talk to them in ways that appeal to them.

3.      macr001_400_02Macron can't handle a crisis. When key ministers resigned, he was so shocked he took a couple of weeks before replacing them. Rumor has it no one wanted the ministerial jobs. When people came demonstrating in the streets (a French tradition) he indirectly framed them as “anti-Semitic thugs” (he never actually said that, but people in the press who support him did) rather than doing what most French presidents do: delegate to the cabinet and the National Assembly.

4.      People who work for Macron are not happy to be working for him. And it shows.

5.      Macron worries about his image, but he needs professional photographers and a professional camera crew. His photographers and camera crew can't frame pictures properly.

6.      People who support Macron praise him for being able to give speeches without notes, but I think he probably needs notes. Or at least to rehearse the general idea of what will be said. His improvised interventions, again, put people to sleep.

7.      Macron is opposed to demagoguery. But anti-demagoguery does not mean agnonism. Demagoguery is saying what people want to hear, agonism is saying things that invite people to fight you. A little praise and empathy never harmed anyone.

8.      The rest will deal with France's general situation. The economy of France is almost in recession. Unemployment rates are high, stagflation is a major issue. You don't solve that by telling people they should “all try to be millionaires” (something he actually said.)

9.      France has major security concerns. Daesh is slowly infiltrating France and could cause serious trouble in France. Crime is rampant, including drug trafficking, street assaults, muggings, pick pocketing, street harassment and sexual harassment. Not to mention workplace bullying and hazing. Macron looks too weak to deal with those issues.

10.  France is a divided nation, Macron further divides it, no candidate seems to have a unifying discourse. On the one hand you have those who want a France that is authoritarian, militarized, tough. Tough on crime, tough on immigration, tough on labor unions, tough on the poor. On the other hand you have those who want a gentle France. No heavy police presence, easy on immigration, empathy with the poor, empathy with workers and labor unions. The president usually tries to stay out of the whole debate. Even Sarkozy, who was notoriously tough, stayed out of the debate.

Advice for Macron: what most French presidents do is have a divided National Assembly and a quiet president. That is a president who deals with official duties (funerals, memorials, national honors, taking care of foreign dignitaries) while the cabinet and National Assembly holds heated debates on questions related to the nation.

Unfortunately, Macron dealt with local issues rather than official duties, and now that he's opened that Pandora's box, there's no way out. That's why I don't see him being able to finish his term.

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