Emmanuel Macron is sinking in the polls. His approval rating has fallen to 30%, down from 36% last month and 43% in late June. President Trump is more popular among Americans at 37%.
Macron was elected because many French were tired of polarised right and left politics. The right-wing Les Republicains are mired in corruption and very dependent on the old trope “we manage the economy better than the left”, code for making the rich richer and the poor poorer. On the left, Le Parti socialiste was delivering inertia on a grand scale under President Hollande who mistook power for leadership. And so Macron became the saviour of France on a promise of bringing the country together. But France remains stubbornly divided and Macron is becoming the focus of division.
I too was encouraged by the Macron phenomenon, but then he lost all credibility in a single speech. On the 16th July 2017 he said “Nous ne cèderons rien à l’antisionisme car il est la forme réinventée de l’antisémitisme” or “We will not surrender to anti-Zionism because it is a reinvention of anti-Semitism”. It’s an argument intended to intimidate and stifle discussion. In effect Macron is saying that Palestinians must endorse their own ethnic cleansing or be labelled anti-Semites. Blatant racism.
Now Macron is intelligent, smart and careful with his words. His public statements are considered and deliberate. If Macron can be so intentionally dishonest on this issue, how can we believe anything he says? Just another politician for sale.