French President Emmanuel Macron is warning of a “crisis of democracy” including in the United States after years of “pressure” and “destabilization” efforts in an exclusive US interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Asked by Tapper if he was worried about American democracy, Macron replied, “I’m worried about all of us.”
“I hate lecturing people and saying, ‘I’m worried about you.’ … But I believe that what is at stake is what we built in the 18th century,” Macron said in an interview.
The French leader warned of a global crisis of Western “liberal democracy” as Tepper questioned trends in nationalism, populism and racism in Europe and the United States.
“I think we have [a] The great crisis of democracy, which I will call liberal democracy. Let’s be clear about this. Why? First, because open societies and open and very cooperative democracies put pressure on your people. It could destabilize them,” Macron said.
“And this is why we must always express respect for the will of the people, the mention of the middle class and all the advances of our democracy by welcoming different cultures, open and cooperative. It’s a matter of balance,” he continued.
“It is clear that in the last few years there has been increasing pressure on our society and we are at a point where, in many of our countries, we have what I would call a crisis of the middle class.”
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Macron also said that social media “is playing a very important role in endangering our democracy” – “for the best and for the worst.” He said that social platforms have been the drivers of “fake news” and the “new relativism”, which he called “a killer for all democracy”, because it is completely severing the relationship with truth, science and the foundations of our own democracy. ”
Macron’s comments echo President Joe Biden’s broader efforts to define the 21st century global competition by democracy versus dictatorship. Such warnings have taken on new weight in recent months amid fears of a global recession and threats to democracy, along with Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine.
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the immediate “partial mobilization” of Russian citizens, a move that threatens to escalate his relentless offensive in Ukraine after being defeated by Moscow.
Putin said in a speech that he would use “all means at our disposal” if he deemed Russia’s “territorial integrity” threatened and even raised the specter of nuclear weapons.
Mobilization means those in the reserves can be called up, and those with military experience will be subject to recruitment, Putin said, adding that the necessary decree had already been signed and went into effect on Wednesday.
Macron called the decision a “mistake” and a “lost opportunity to move towards achieving peace”.
“A few months ago Vladimir Putin gave a message: ‘I was aggressed by NATO, they triggered the situation and I reacted.’ Now, it is clear to everyone that the leader who decided to go to war, the leader who decided to escalate is President Putin,” Macron said.
“And I have no reasonable explanation,” he added, calling the attack “an interventionist strategy by Germany” and a “post-Covid-19 consequence” of Putin’s isolation during the pandemic.
Macron won re-election in April by pitching to voters in a globalized, economically liberal France led by a muscular European Union.
But the performance of his far-right opponent, Marine Le Pen, served as the latest indication that the French public is turning to extremist politicians to express their discontent with the status quo.