Whether you love him or hate him, it is uncanny how often President Trump is right. How do you get a Trump reference in a blog about the Yellow Vest protests in France? Simple:
1. Macron decided to verbally rebuke the President at the World War I memorial service in November in Paris.
This is particularly galling to insult Trump, because it was an insult to all Americans. The French had to shoot their own soldiers in World War I for refusing to fight – the reason most gave was they were waiting for the Americans to arrive to save them … which we did. Never mind the liberation of Western Europe in World War II. Obviously, the volume of American blood and treasure spent on defending and saving the French (and all Western Europe) should only result in one form of public statement whenever French leaders speak – and that is to say – “thank you.”
2. Macron has been forcefully pushing policies moving France and the EU away from the United States, such as a new currency regime with Iran, and a European defense force. This was a direct affront to Trump.
Never mind the Europeans cannot even meet their NATO goals of 2% GDP spending on their own defense, Macron has been forcefully pushing for alternatives to the American-led defense order. His support of German proposals to work with the Chinese and Russians to create a currency facility with Iran – which would circumvent US sanctions and damage dollar hegemony – is par for the course from this French leader. This goes against the America’s current Iran policy.
3. Macron has positioned himself as the de facto European leader on the issue of climate change. He is Europe’s Al Gore – regularly deriding Trump over the Paris Accord withdrawal, and bragging about his fuel tax increase. That is, until now.
And that is where we find ourselves now – the protests in France known as the Yellow Vest Protests were a rejection of the massive higher fuel taxes the Macron government imposed upon the French people primarily to meet their Paris Climate Accord requirements. Laughably, and predictably, the French people rose up to reject this fool-hardy plan. Since then the protests have grown, with wide-spread riots and property damage on a massive scale. Macron went on TV to try and calm the masses, and to give in to most of their demands … eerily reminiscent of the Jimmy Carter’s malaise speech as many analysts have stated. It was a colossal failure, and grandiose defeat, of epic proportions. Macron’s public rebuke of Trump, only to follow with such a disastrous policy failure … and lower approval ratings as Trump points out … makes this issue tailor-made for a Trump tweet assault. And of course, he delivered.
The French Yellow Vest protests are a protest against fuel tax increases and other government fee increases that have had a huge negative impact on the home finances of France’s middle class. These protests are reaffirming what we knew a few years ago – first with Brexit, then with the election of Donald Trump: there is a popular revolt against the globalist elite political agenda.
That populist, nationalist revolt includes:
1. “A rejection of the Paris Climate Accords and global climate policy“: It’s not that people wish to harm the environment, or that they don’t believe man impacts the environment. They just are rejecting radical changes to their lifestyle and giving more power to government’s that already don’t deliver on their promises. The public does not see the science as overwhelming, and they see politicians and big business ready to enrich themselves over the changes to economic policy (see Solyndra). Macron’s fuel taxes and the Yell-Vest protests are another prime example of this issue. That has inspired the push-back.
2. “A rejection of open borders”: This is the most glaring, and most obvious of all. The Italian government was elected on the platform of closing the borders … all of Eastern Europe and Poland have elected governments specifically on the issue of secured borders … Brexit voters primary motivation was rejecting open borders … German alt-right parties have won more seats than since the Nazi era, and Merkel had to provide a resignation date, solely on the issue of closing borders … Donald Trump’s signature issue was building a wall … the importance of this issue to actual citizens in each country cannot be disputed, or over-looked.
3. “Taxation without representation is still a potent ignition of populist anger”: It may not be the Boston Tea Party, or the American Tea Party protests of 2009-10, but the French Yellow Vest protests have been unmistakably anti-government and anti-taxation in nature (and certainly violent, as compared to the peaceful US protests in ‘09-‘10). The public will only take so much … while the rich and powerful jet across the world and seem to take no responsibility for climate change, they instead force the working masses to pay the price for these policies and economic changes through higher taxes. That will always be met with public rejection and the visceral anger you see in the Yellow Vest movement.
So back to Trump – exiting the Paris Climate Accord was met with global derision and disdain. But as of today, how is everyone else doing in meeting their climate accord goals?
The answer: not a single country is reducing their emissions … France and everyone else has increased their emissions above their historical averages. So not only has the rate of increase not slowed, but the increase has accelerated!!!
The only countries currently compliant with the Paris Climate accords are:
Seven countries in total, none of whom are known as large, industrial powers to begin with.
What are the takeaways?
1) The US was right to withdraw from an accord that was not ratified by the Senate, that no other country is committed to and that, as now proven, does not work.
2) Macron’s fuel taxes and the Yellow-Vest protests are proof that globalist climate change policies pushed by the elites are not welcomed by the voters.
3) Western elites are growing further and further apart from their voters, and this is causing great upheaval in what used to be traditionally stable countries.
Governments will have a hard time enacting new taxes when their elites live better, and more apart, from their voters than ever before. There is no “trust” between the governing and the governed, and without radical changes to the standards and ethics of those in power in the near term, long-term planning and execution of important government policy will prove difficult to achieve.
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