From the west side of the Atlantic, France may appear to be experiencing a time of political calm. While President Donald Trump feeds news outlets a constant stream of staffing changes and political crises, President Emmanuel Macron offers relatively infrequent opportunities for breaking news. Stories on Macron rarely examine the inner workings of his administration, instead often highlighting flashy PR moments, like when he impersonates James Bond or welcomes celebrities like Rihanna to Paris. However, this disparity in news coverage is deceiving. Although France lacks the conspicuous chaos that characterizes the White House, cracks in Macron’s shiny political exterior could be beginning to emerge. His short time in office has been characterized by public disagreements with his officials and popular backlash to his proposed policies, leaving Macron doubling down on his cabinet to salvage his public image and preserve his vision of the presidency. Macron entered office with a vision for a “Jupiterian” presidency, which exists above petty political squabbles, but it seems he has grossly underestimated the inherently conflictual nature of democracy.
Read the full op-ed in The National Interest.