Well played, Mr. Macron

— Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

When Donald Trump visited the French leader, he lied about the cause of his problems at home, defended his bimbo eldest son for conspiring with Russian emissaries to throw the presidential election, and made condescending remarks to the foreign leader’s wife about her appearance. Then he went to dinner, at no less than the very French Le Jules Verne in the landmark Eiffel Tower. On the chance Trump ordered his usual overdone steak, ketchup was flown into France for the occasion.

Any other president would have held out for a better restaurant.

The joke is of course on Trump, and French President Emmanuel Macron is brilliant. Le Jules Verne offers exorbitantly priced fois gras and duck confit and lots and lots of French wine, none of which Trump will eat or drink, and is something of a tourist trap. For someone as impressed with pomp, circumstance and real estate as Trump, Macron and his wife have pulled a good one on the clueless American president.

It’s no wonder most Americans believe Trump is an embarrassment to the office of the president. Worse, Trump is getting quite the ugly reputation overseas as well.

Trump is so shallow and transparent that even that North Korean Kim Jong-il can see right through him, and Kim thinks he’s crazy. Russia is laughing its collective head off. Iran just ignores him. Worldwide, the latest Pew Research Center poll suggested America’s favorability under Trump’s watch has plummeted to 22 percent, compared to Barak Obama’s 64 percent.

The poll questioned people in 37 countries. Per individual country, Trump polled better than Obama in only Russia and Israel. Trump’s character and personality were viewed as unfavorable as were his international policies. Among these policies, 76 percent of the world views Trump’s proposed big beautiful wall as a big beautiful problem.

Among other world leaders, the poll suggests, long-serving German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin all had more favorable ratings than Trump. The entire nations of Germany and Mexico, in fact, hate him. And Canada is just being polite. That’s what Canadians do.

Broken down by age, people under 35 in Mexico, Tunisia, Germany, Turkey and Brazil think Trump is totally lame, while seniors in Vietnam, Italy, Japan and Poland are oddly okay with Trump. Opinion is split on the African continent. Men around the world tend to give him better ratings than women. And a significant majority of those questioned internationally say they think Trump is arrogant, intolerant and dangerous.

Niccolo Machiavelli once said it is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both. Trump may not know how to spell Machiavellian, but he knows how to live it.

7 thoughts on “Well played, Mr. Macron

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