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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

This French faux pas Trumps it all


Donald Trump's limited vocabulary, mangled syntax and idiosyncratic behaviour mark him as a man of limited intellect. However, confronted with glamorous women he’s in his comfort zone and knows exactly what to do.

Meeting the 64-year-old wife of the 39-year-old French President for the first time in Paris, Trump kissed Brigitte Macron on both cheeks, then grabbed her hand and blurted out “You’re in such good shape ... beautiful”. Then, turning to her presidential husband, he reiterated “She’s in such good physical shape”, as if discussing a prize heifer.

English is one of those languages where what's left unsaid counts for as much as what's been said, and one could almost hear the silent "but" or "considering", as in "... considering that she's 25 years older than you".

The age difference between the Trumps is just one year less that of the Macrons, and it's a pity that the French president didn't turn to Melania and say to her, "You're surprisingly beautiful, considering that you're married to this overweight slob with the social graces of a caveman".

But then Emmanuel Macron is the democratically elected president of a country steeped in culture, whereas Trump is the stand-in clown for a yet to be properly elected president of a nation that gained its place in the world simply by being the last man standing after World War II.

(It then turned its dollar into the bitcoin of the 20th century by printing an endless supply of it and swapping it for all the riches of the world - but that's a story for another day).