Emmanuel Macron is hardly a terrible president. A business-friendly centrist who, like past French presidents, is trying to dig the country out of a fiscal hole created by the impracticality of European socialism, he started out as a 39 year old wonder kid with high favorability ratings.
Those days are over.
In the wake of the worst protests in France since the 1960s, Macron has now done what he said he would not do: namely, reverse a tax hike on diesel which was the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back” for the longsuffering French taxpayers.
Consider that French consumers pay nearly three times what their American counterparts pay at the pump (before the 6% tax hike Macron was proposing) and it is easy to see why the nation’s anger boiled over, as manifested by the “gilets jaunes”, or yellow-vested protesters.
They sent a clear and direct message to the French ruling class, and their masters in the EU: to hell with the damn carbon taxes! Enough is enough!
In theory, most likely many of the yellow vests want to reduce fossil fuel consumption, and believe it a noble mission to try to counteract so-called “climate change.” In reality, they do not want to pay even more for their energy.
They see Emmanuel Macron as increasingly out of touch. Macron also made some terrible gaffes when he suggested that French citizens, in place of complaining about rising diesel prices, should merely wait for better public transportation options, or carpool.
That is hardly the message that your typical working class rural or suburban Frenchman wants to hear. How practical is that? In France, one of the world’s great developed countries, you are now expected to call up your neighbor to carpool to pick up your kids from school, drive into town to the bank, or take a trip to the supermarket?
Macron’s comments were entirely tone deaf.
Even worse, however, was the sheer and utter hypocrisy on display from America’s #1 Climate Change Foe, Vermont’s socialist senator Bernie Sanders, who, it turns out, spent a whopping USD $300,000 on private jet travel in the month of October alone, as he criss-crossed the country to campaign for “progressive” Congressional candidates.
This is why I love Bernie Sanders so much. He lectures us commoners about the wonders of socialism from the comfort of his multi-million dollar Lake Champlain mansion, while he jets around the country spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on private jet travel. Sanders is just too important and fancy to fly commercial…even on first class, it seems.
I have a great idea for a new middle name for him. Senator Bernie “Hypocrite” Sanders. Meanwhile, Sanders and his socialist pals dream about a day where Americans enjoy $10 gas like their European counterparts, and air travel is so expensive that only the uber-wealthy could afford it. All part of the new regime of “carbon taxes” that is one of the centerpiece of Sanders’ presidential campaign.
Here’s a new slogan for Bernie: “I like to travel exclusively by private jet, but you can ride a bike.”
Why isn’t Bernie doing his ever-so-important political travel on one of those solar or wind-powered planes I’ve been hearing so much about these days?
Oil may pollute, but it is also the foundation of our economy, transportation, and infrastructure. Leaders like Macron and Sanders, who wish to push ever-more punitive carbon taxes on the longsuffering public, do so at their own peril.
Or, they could take a page out of Al Gore’s book when it comes to hypocrisy: Gore famously sold his Current TV network in a USD $500 million deal to one of the world’s largest oil exporters, a conglomerate that owns Arab broadcaster Al Jazeera. Hypocrisy anyone?
Gore’s seminal work Earth in the Balance is peppered with fearmongering and hysteria, with wildly false and inflammatory predictions that never came to pass. For example, do you remember that time that 40% of Florida’s population would have to relocate to other states because of climate change?
Oops. Turned out that may have been a bit of an exaggeration.