Here's why Macron disguised himself as Tom Cruise of "Top Gun" to see the military

Home"TO THE ONE"Here's why Macron disguised himself as Tom Cruise of "Top Gun" to see the military
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Emmanuel Macron ou Tom Cruise dans "Top Gun" ?
Emmanuel Macron or Tom Cruise in "Top Gun"? - Arnold Jerocki / AP / SIPA

Here's why Macron disguised himself as Tom Cruise of "Top Gun" to see the military

To meet the Air Force, this Thursday, July 20, Emmanuel Macron donned an aviator's outfit, like Tom Cruise in "Top Gun". A highly calculated initiative to belong to their "tribe" ... and mixed success.

Tom Cruise President of France? Some viewers were able to doubt a few seconds, this Thursday, July 21, observing this thirty-something in aviator's uniform typing in the back of the military at the nuclear air base Istres (Bouches-du-Rhone). After blinking a few times, they had to face the facts: he was not the star of Top Gun but of Emmanuel Macron, the French head of state. He simply wanted to put on the Air Force uniform to visit his troops.

Two days after the outcome of the Villiers affair, which led to the resignation of the Chief of the Defense Staff, such attention was obviously not fortuitous. According to Caroline Baly, an image consultant at Image Nouvelle, Emmanuel Macron wanted to tell the military that he was interested in them: " To dress in military when we meet the army, it refers to the sociological concept of tribe. We generate the identification by sending a message of the type 'I am part of your group, so we can work together'"The head of state was not exactly on his first try: on July 4, he had visited the Le Terrible submarine, on Long Island (Finistère), wearing the French Navy.

The previous de Gaulle

 This effort is nevertheless extremely rare. In the memory of a soldier, it was at least fifty years since a President of the Republic had not worn a military uniform to meet the army. "As far as I know, getting dressed as a soldier to meet the army is pretty new. It must be said that the previous presidents, whether Giscard, Mitterrand, Chirac or even the last two, had all done their military service. They did not have much to prove at that level", Explains Michel Goya, former advisor to the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, now essayist and animator of the specialized blog The path of the sword. A head of state dressed as a soldier during his term of office, this hardly refers to General de Gaulle, tireless porter of the cap. On April 23, 1961, the first president of the Fifth Republic even appeared in uniform of general on the television to pronounce his famous speech on the "quarteron of retired generals", in the aftermath of the putsch of Algiers.

Emmanuel Macron in the footsteps of General de Gaulle? Not quite. Unlike the Amiens, the man from Colombey-les-deux-Eglises was a regular soldier, who regularly wore the kepi and the tunic. So when he appeared in uniform, no one thought of making it an event. This nuance makes all the difference according to Caroline Baly: "A sartorial attention is successful when it is subtle, that it is a variation of the usual dress. Otherwise, we fall into disguise. We end up saying that it is not natural, so not sincere“.

In the case of the current President, the many reactions to his accoutrement clearly suggest that he has done a little too much. However, Caroline Baly considers that the blow of communication is successful: "We noticed his attention, so the message is positive. It is always better to make an effort, even a little left, than not to do“.

"The budget is the real proof of love"

Michel Goya confirms ... but only halfway. If he appreciated Emmanuel Macron's communication efforts towards the army - the rise of the Champs-Elysées in command car the day of his investiture, the visit to wounded soldiers at the Percy Hospital or his outfit this Thursday, so the essential is in his sense elsewhere. "Wearing the Air Force outfit is cool, it's fun, but it's superficial. The important thing is the budget, that's the real proof of love. On this side, there is a real feeling of betrayal in front of the unfulfilled promises of the President ". During his presidential campaign, the former minister of the economy had assured that the defense budget would be sanctuarized. It was not the case. Our military-historian-blogger squeaks: "We are still attacking the army because we do not have trade unions, so we do not have a media strike force. And then, the proportion of wages in our budget is less important than in other ministries. It is easier to cut credits for equipment“.

This ex-colonel of the navy troops notes above all that despite his attentions, the head of state has failed to consider the army by humiliating his highest-ranking, before putting a layer ... in a sports broadcast: "He humbled the general in front of the military community (July 13, when he declares "I am your leader", Ed.) while it was not necessary. What I see is that on the one hand he is attached to the symbols, on the other, he does not notice that evoking the situation of General de Villiers at the Vélo Club, it is a little humiliating". Between Emmanuel Macron and the army, the love story begins decidedly badly


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