By: Gabriela Yareliz
Lauren Collins’ profile on Macron (in The New Yorker) and the meaning of Macronism has been floating in my head since its June 24, 2019 publishing date.
He doesn’t fascinate me at the Sarkozy level, but I have to say that the profile opened him up to me. He is this complex creature who was enamored by his grandmother, had an affair with his high school teacher who later became his wife, and ended up in political positions he was unlikely headed toward, but made it anyway… and now we are here. MONSIEUR LE PRÉSIDENT. In my mind, at a glance, he isn’t very likeable or clean cut, but up close, one can tell he has a brain that can discern nuance and reality.
Not many people like him. He is described as blunt and seducing. Jacques Attali, a writer and economist I respect, doesn’t think of him as a person who loves risk, but rather as someone who likes “transgression.” YIKES. That said, I like learning about people and looking at the whole picture. There were some quotes and soundbites from the profile that stood out and resonated with me.
In the end, as with anything– Macronism is as complex as Macron himself.
Here we go:
- “Macron believes that inequality is unjust if created by circumstances, but acceptable if created by conscious choices. Perhaps his most fundamental belief is in the primacy of individual rights.” (Lauren Collins, The New Yorker, July 1, 2019, pg 33). I have to say the man is onto something. We live in a society that wants to work on extremes and excuses people from personal responsibility.
- “For me, there are no forbidden questions. We will not agree on everything, that’s normal, it’s democracy.” Macron (pg 42) In a time of so much division, we need to think this way. Disagreement is important. Dialogue is important. It’s democracy.
- “He leaned in and spoke with fire in his voice. ‘I think today we are at a very critical moment,’ he said. ‘We have to accelerate a lot of our transformations, and we are challenged by what people are living through in day-to-day life. I think we have a duty not to abandon any of our idealism but to be as pragmatic as the extremist are. This is a battle. And, even if you die with good principles, you die.'” (43) That last part– it’s a very realistic, it-is-what-it-is attitude. Sometimes, we want to have it all. But the reality may be that living for principles means things end badly for you. If you hold fast to the principles, then you must be willing to pay whatever price is set. Sometimes, you can’t have it all. Life is a battle. There is a battle for the soul, every day. And while Macron and I may or may not agree on what a person should choose, reality will strike us both the same. The difference, if there is any, will be in our satisfaction with the choice we have made.