February 13, 2017


Trump's Francification of America (Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, February 13, 2017, The Week)

But now, it seems that America's Francification is coming from the right, and in particular from President Trump. Instead of making America great again, he's turning America into France. Here are three striking ways.

1. Lepénisme

I'm certainly not the first to comment on the ideological cousinage between President Trump and France's Marine Le Pen. Both draw on populist anger at the self-dealing elite class and respond with an agenda that involves an embrace of (if we're being generous) patriotism shading into nationalism, immigration crackdowns, trade wars, economic nationalism, and robust government activism in the economy. [...]

2. Crony capitalism

As Americans were still digesting the stunning election result last November, the president-elect was already engineering an ad hoc deal with the company Carrier to keep industrial jobs in America. This move left much of the commentariat, left and right, baffled. But it is a familiar one to any observer of French politics, where they have become so common as to be boring. [...]

3. Anti-Semitism

Perhaps the most worrisome of all these developments is the return, after many decades, of anti-Semitism as a real thing in American politics. Although, mercifully, nobody thinks there is a real electoral constituency, even a small one, for anti-Semitism (as opposed to the one there might supposedly be for other forms of coded racial appeals), it remains the fact that since Trump's campaign and election, anti-Semitism in public discourse, even to wonder whether it is there, has become a topic in the American public conversation. Whether or not the Trump administration is animated by prejudice against Jews or plans to exploit prejudice against Jews, the fact that this is even something anyone has to think about is astonishing.

Posted by at February 13, 2017 6:46 AM