Yesterday, I watched an incredibly insightful interview by Christianne Amanpour with the Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, a link to which I have posted in our new and growing Library. Szijjarto demonstrated incredible composure as he warded off repeated assaults from Amanpour on Hungarian nationalism and the country’s immigration policies. And I also noticed one other thing; no one is rioting in Budapest.
As previously reported in “The Federalist Pages,” the Paris, gilet jaunes riots, so called because of the yellow vests worn by demonstrators, are a direct result of President Emmanuel Macrón’s decision to raise fuel taxes by the equivalent of 0.25¢ per gallon on gasoline that already costs the equivalent of $6.00 per gallon. Macrón’s decision is openly based on his perceived need to cut down on gas consumption in order to fight off global warming. The reality is that France accounts for about 2% of the world’s oil consumption, and it is already second only to the United States in nuclear power production. So, to say that Macrón’s fuel tax is going to make any difference in the world’s carbon footprint defies reality.
There must be another reason that drives Macrón to raising fuel taxes.
Macrón is a globalist. More importantly, Macrón is strongly pro-European Union. It is very possible that his policy positions on global warming and carbon footprints are overtures designed to appease the interests of the members of the European Union in an effort to strengthen his position there in anticipation of a post-presidential position.
But Macrón has been too eager to abandon the interests of his own constituency. Macrón is viewed as the president of the rich, and his green tax incentives are not seen by the French as altruistic efforts for the betterment of the world order, but rather as a self-indulgent effort by the President of the rich. French citizens appropriately view his fuel taxes as disproportionately impacting the poor and middle classes, a perception confirmed by the New York Times in its recent report on the French’s reaction to the fuel tax. In fact in a poll conducted on Saturday, after the initiation of the French riots, gilet jaunes carried a 72% approval rating among the French. Scenes of the French police and firemen removing their covers in solidarity with the demonstrators that have been flowing through social media validate that impression.
It is interesting that these events should come in the heels of Macrón’s harsh criticisms of President Trump and his strongly “nationalistic” views. In his zeal to criticize the American President, Macrón has actually revealed a much more threatening truth about his priorities to the French people, Macrón does not value the importance of representing the interests of France in the world stage. In fact, he would rather have France suffer through painful measures such as exorbitant green taxes to appease the needs of others over the needs of the French.
Indeed, in making his case, Macrón openly conflated the context in which President Trump uses the word “nationalism.” President Trump’s “nationalism” is philosophy upholding the societal benefits of the nation-state in international and domestic policies. Macrón’s contention that that the term “nationalism” even as used by Trump, denoted the arrogant, ethnocentric view of believing in the superiority one’s race even if it means the eradication of all others.
It is clear, that Trump’s call for a healthy sense of nationalism and patriotism is inconsistent with the false charge made by President Macrón at the 100 years anniversary of the Armistice ending World War I.
After having failed to make the case against President Trump, the implication of Macrón’s globalist philosophies and the lack of regional representation they beget played themselves out in a hostile and painful manner in the City of Lights, which has lately become the City of Bonfires.
Yes, the gilet jaunesriots are about abusive tax policies. They are also about ramming a green agenda down the throats of the people when they can ill afford to comply despite the futility of the actions they are being asked to undertake. But they are also an anti-antinationalist movement that recognizes the precarious position in which a population is placed when its leader does not uphold his or her nation’s priorities.
It is evident that Hungary recognizes this truth, much to Christiane Amanpour’s chagrin. And France has not, much to the chagrin of its own citizenry.