Macron’s Language at the UN

1 10 2018

For while, I really admired French President Emmanuel Macron both for his substantive positions on policy issues and for his style. However, the hubristic and immodest language he used in his recent speech at the UN concerns me. As a journalist put it, “he was auditioning to be leader of the free world.” I tend to admire political leaders and CEOs who avoid grandiose language and instead focus on facts, facts, facts. In other words, I tend to prefer the data-rich speaking style of Michael Bloomberg to any recent US president. (Perhaps that reflects the fact I grew up in Canada, a generally well-managed country whose leaders rarely adopted hubristic or idealistic language of the sort US leaders have used for generations).


Consider this example of Macron’s language: “We stand ready to replace the US as leader of the world” See more here and here.

Macron’s language is highly hubristic, almost as hubris-filled as the speech of a US president. When a CEO suddenly starts using hubristic language, you should sell your shares (some academic research on hubristic language use by CEOs is here). Sadly, it is far harder for French residents to vote with their feet and move to Switzerland than it is for shareholders to liquidate their holdings in a company.

Remember French taxpayers: presidential hubris gets you big wars and crappy trains. Just look at the US.

I thank Prof. Geoffrey Miller for bringing Macron’s language to my attention.



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