De Gaulle, de Gaulle, de Gaulle! Emmanuel Macron will have spent the year 2020 chanting the name of the founder of the Fifth Republic, like a slogan. First in May in Montcornet (Aisne), the scene of a tank battle led by Charles de Gaulle in May 1940, then in London for the appeal of June 18 and finally in Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises. Perched on a hill in Haute-Marne, this place of pilgrimage is marked by three stations: the residence of “La Boisserie”, the cemetery and the gigantic Cross of Lorraine.
This is not the first time that the president has bowed to the 44 m of this concrete monument. On October 4, 2018, Emmanuel Macron had already gathered there. The big history had then allowed him to relativize the small one: his Minister of the Interior Gérard Colomb had resigned the day before. In the register of symbols, the head of state also had a cross of Lorraine added to the logo of the Elysee. How to cajole the right? To praise the unity of the country in the face of current trials? To identify with the captain in the storm?
An adviser to the president underlines Charles de Gaulle’s ability to “resist the upheavals of history”, to “embody the spirit of the French nation”. But is there a historical continuity between these two periods? “I don’t see much of it,” comments Eric Branca, author of “De Gaulle et les grands” (Perrin). Emmanuel Macron is actually closer to Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. Same desire for reform, not necessarily followed by effects. Same election after a raid, a lightning operation. VGE had the small party of Independent Republicans; Macron, the movement On! To which can be added the European commitment of the two leaders during their campaign.
Commemorations that act as a transition in the quinquennium
The historian Fabrice d’Almeida adds: “When Valéry Giscard d’Estaing arrives at the Elysée, he is the youngest President of the Republic, underlines the academic. He leads liberal reforms economically. “But this rapprochement deserves a nuance, however, he continues:” This year of commemorations on De Gaulle falls well for Emmanuel Macron. It allows him to drop, like dead skin, the first part of the five-year term. Because the one that opens with the crisis turns out to be less free-trade, more authoritarian, more skeptical of Europe. There is now a bit of Sarkozy with regard to Macron’s security posture, embodied by Gérald Darmanin… and a bit of De Gaulle. “
An increasingly consensual reference in the political class … Even at the RN, where Marine Le Pen recently sang the praises of the general. “De Gaulle was a strong power, authoritarian and little focused on dialogue, summarizes the political scientist and biographer Eric Roussel. Public opinion is paradoxical and ambiguous with this memory: it regrets it but would probably not accept it on a daily basis… ”
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr