There’s No Trump-ing Bastille Day For The French

There’s a certain unease in the French air. On the surface everything appears normal: the birds are singing, the sun is shining, people are going about their business while making preparation for tomorrow’s holiday – July 14th, Bastille Day. It’ll be one year to the day that a mad jihadist drove a truck down the promenade at Nice, killing eighty-four people. But it’s not that which stirs unease in the air of France.

Trump is in town. The U.S. president was invited to spend Bastille Day in Paris by the new French president, Emmanuel Macron. Nobody’s asking, “Why?” Everybody’s thinking it. Trump’s already caused a degree of embarrassment by telling the French first lady, “You know you’re in such great shape.” She’s twenty-five years older than her husband.

There’s huge security around Paris and French fighter jets have been regularly boring holes in the sky over northern France all day. It’ll likely continue tomorrow, also. There’s a bevy of protesters hanging around the city, but violence isn’t really anticipated. Most Parisians, indeed most French people, just shrug and pretend to carry on as normal.

As one man told the Independent:

“Donald Trump is a real fool, but I’m not concerned by him coming here,” says Maxime Adam, sitting on a park bench in central Paris.

While thousands of Parisiens were preparing to protest the US President’s visit to France, the rest of the capital gave a collective shrug as life continued as normal.

“I don’t like him but if Emmanuel Macron decided to invite him it’s for some reason,” Mr Adam added.

“Mr Trump can do whatever he wants – I don’t agree with it but it’s not like that here.” [1]

Tomorrow there’ll be a military parade in the Champs-Elysees, with Trump as guest of honour. It’s to mark the centenary of America entering the First World War in 1917, just a year before it ended (1914-1918).

Then Trump will return to America in Air Force One and the country will breathe a quiet sigh of relief when he’s gone. The birds will continue to sing, the sun will still be shining, and people will go quietly about their business. Trump will be soon forgotten. In the cafes of Paris and the rural farmhouses of Brittany, French folk will sip their wine and break open their baguettes as they relax over their ninety-minute lunch breaks.

For that’s France, and that’s the French. It’ll take more than Donald Trump to change anything here.

[1] “Trump in Paris: Relaxed French locals dismiss US President as a ‘fool'” The Independent, July 13th 2017

3 Replies to “There’s No Trump-ing Bastille Day For The French”

  1. A bit of mutual stroking of egos going on, I suspect.

    I think it’ll also take more than Trump to change much of anything here too, when the dust has settled and people tire of tut-tutting; mainstream media will, eventually, run out of wind, and more stuff to sneer at… and things will be, as usual, as always: FUBAR

  2. Twilight – FUBAR, indeed! We’ve just got rid of one menace only to find another one in his place. Netanyahu arrived in Paris today, ostensibly to attend a commemoration. It’s 75 years since 13,000 Jews were rounded up in Paris and deported to Auschwitz in July 1942. I think Macron’s decided it’s best to get his meetings with all the bad ones over at one fell swoop.

  3. My little corner of the world feels the same about 45. Shrug. Your problem Amurika, we have enough of our own. Off the beaten track and forgotten.

    Trade agreements are the biggie for Da Boyz to sort out and sycophant (new verb?) around.


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