Dear Partners in thought,
Having amply covered DT, directly and indirectly, and just focused on EM, I thought it was fun to see what brings them together and obviously separates them in terms of form, substance and approach both as man and State leader. Having a foot in both countries (and a third one in Central Europe, so still distant if only geographically) I thought I could try doing this quick review for your benefits.
DT and EM look more alike than one would think even if they do not stand for the same values and world ideals.
On where they are today
They are both “improbables”. Both won presidential elections nobody thought they could. They initially had no party nor electoral base (even if DT had more time to build it given the longer primary process).
On their impact on the political landscape
They both transformed their own political landscape, EM by totally redefining it, DT in changing the ethos of the Republican Party that became the Trump Party.
On their social origins
Both share a privileged background in their countries, EM the son of an upper middle class family, DT the son of a successful real estate developer. If anything DT is more the son of his father than EM is, while the latter is definitely a product of the French meritocratic system, enhanced by privileged childhood.
On their personality
They greatly differ. DT’s personal life, involving three marriages, is riddled with extra-marital affairs and a loutish behaviour. EM was married once to his former teacher, 22 years his junior, not known for any affairs and well known for a total respect of women, the latter that drove his drive for gender parity in government and parliament. EM and DT could not be more different in terms of persona.
On their style
They greatly differ. DT speaks mostly about anything for its core base, to cement support and reassure, with little primary regard for actual facts. EM does not communicate much and could explain his policies more, which has been an issue lately though, when he does, focuses on policies that are aimed at reform rather than his political base.
On their view of the world
They greatly differ. DT is a Palmerstonian where one has no permanent friends and only permanent interests, thus projecting a nationalistic policy that no living American can remember. EM is a defender of the Western world and values, believing in Truman’s NSC 68-based order where alliances do matter to ensure a stable world.
What if we dreamed a bit?
Give his profile and values, EM would be a great American President, which would benefit the U.S. and the world would love.
Serge Desprat- July 7th, 2018 (Prague)