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Trump as an example?

Not a day goes by without undermining the White House and not a presidential tweet is posted that fails to shock. And yet the much maligned man is performing miracles, no doubt unaware of it himself.

The column by Pierre-Antoine Delhommais in this week’s Le Point sheds more light on the phenomenon. The magazine writes, “In an unprecedented achievement, US businesses have created jobs continuously in the last 95 months”. So what to make of this? The US economy is in robust health, on fire, even. Wall Street is setting record after record and the confidence of US consumers has never been so strong. Inflation is contained, at 2.7% next year, which will mark “the longest ever period of expansion”. Even Donald Trump couldn’t have scripted the scenario. Unemployment remains under 4% with full employment almost in sight, while the president is rolling out an unwavering and fiery strategy of monetary imperialism. As Le Monde’s New York correspondent Arnaud Leparmentier writes, “the world says it hates Trump but everyone is voting for him”.

Does this suffice to impose a programme or an ambition, or even establish communication expertise? Emmanuel Macron must be looking at these results disapprovingly and yet with a certain jealousy. Because the same is not happening in France. Unemployment remains a scourge, growth is weaker than expected and anxiety is growing, fuelled by Brexit and doubts over Europe. Confidence needs to be restored and a common voice found, with “a Singapore-on-Thames looming for the EU27 if no deal is reached on Brexit conditions,” according to Luc de Barochez, again in Le Point.

Doubts over the future are rife in Europe. As Le Figaro Economie writes in today’s issue, “European commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Wednesday that the current political tensions in Europe were the ‘direct result’ of the management of the crisis. Yet populist parties are also gaining ground in wealthy countries with low unemployment rates. With the European elections of May 2019 fast approaching – in which nearly 500 million European citizens will be voting to elect 705 MEPs, 79 of them French – and political parties faced with the headache of working out their candidate lists, Europe seems more than ever divided between pro-Europeans and populists (notably from the extreme right).”

So here we are, face to face with our destiny, armed with our talents and our possibilities for wrestling with fits and bursts of growth. What are we waiting for to rekindle the fire? And what are we doing to make the task easier? This is without a doubt a crucial moment. We need to fully harness the confidence that lies within us. These are historic times for Europe. Rather than tweeting, it should be reinventing itself!

Christian Moguerou

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