Monday, May 08, 2017

A Better Outcome

Last week Never Trumper George Will wrote about  the "man whose combinationof impulsitivity and credulity render him uniquely unfit to take the nation into a military conflict."  He noted that candidate Trump had little familiarity with the "one China" policy or the nuclear triad and that the President is truly impressed with the "job" Frederick Douglas is currently doing. He added

Now, however, he has instructed us that Andrew Jackson was angry about the Civil War that began 16 years after Jackson’s death. Having, let us fancifully imagine, considered and found unconvincing William Seward’s 1858 judgment that the approaching Civil War was “an irrepressible conflict,” Trump says:

“People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”

Library shelves groan beneath the weight of books asking questions about that war’s origins, so who, one wonders, are these “people” who don’t ask the questions that Trump evidently thinks have occurred to him uniquely? 

Better (or maybe worse) yet, we learned when Will appeared to discuss the column on "The Last Word" that in a primary debate "in defending the conservatism of his sister, who is a federal judge, he said that his sister had signned some of the same bills that Justice Alito had signed on  the Supreme Court."

That's some mighty ignorance going on there, unless Donald Trump has been punking us for the past 23 months. And so it's no trivial feat that 39-year-old former investment banker Emmanuel Macron captured over 66% of the vote in defeating anti-Muslim nationalist Marie Le Pen in the French presidential election.  This followed a debate in which Le Pen gave

an hourslong tirade against Mr. Macron, laced with name-calling and epithets, and woefully deficient in substance. She appeared lost on subject after subject, fumbling on one of her signature issues — withdrawing from the euro — that is opposed by a majority of French. Something essential about Ms. Le Pen, and the National Front, had been revealed to France.

Mr. Macron, on the other hand, demonstrated a quality that French voters, unlike many Anglo-Saxon ones, have long found essential in their successful candidates: cool mastery of the critical issues confronting the country. 

The land of the free, home of the brave, that most exceptional nation, only six months ago could choose a presidential candidate who laced his campaign with name calling, was woefully deficient in substance, and was considered the loser in 3 out of 3 debates. Or it could opt for one with mastery of the critical issues confronting the country.   It didn't go well.

Unlike in the USA, the (runoff) election in France featured two candidates without governmental experience. Still, this small group of voters on the continent selected the more tolerant, rational, sensible, and knowledgeable candidate, as well as the one who far better recognized the proper geopolitical role of the nation. Notwithstanding Hillary Clinton's triumph- narrowly- in the popular vote, the election in the United States of America went the other way.  For now, at least- and despite Emmanuel Macron's shortcomings- Vive la France!

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