Bravo, President Macron for laying out your vision for Europe! The future has always belonged to visionaries capable of making concreate proposals that lead to action and then progress. So “yes” to the three proposals: to the protection of democracy, to a common defense, and to pro-active governance. Like all worthwhile visions, these proposals will be contested and meet much criticism – which is necessary to help sharpen the focus and increase chances of success for the European project. What we need now is a coalition of the willing in a dual sense: willing to carry the vision forward - and willing to bear the consequences knowing that any political payoff may be years away!
Policy gurus spend too much time with others like them – top civil servants, high-flying journalists, successful businesspeople – and too little time with ordinary voters. If they could become “humble, competent people on a level with dentists,” as John Maynard Keynes once suggested, voters might identify with them and find them trustworthy.
For Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, appeasing US President Donald Trump is not so much a choice as a necessity: he must prove to Japan’s people and their neighbors, particularly the Chinese, that he knows how to keep Trump on his side. But Abe's strategy won't work with a US administration as fickle and self-serving as Trump’s.