PARIS—The little girl in the designer parka walking with her parents toward the Arc de Triomphe was indignant Sunday morning. She looked at the burned-out cars on the Avenue Kléber and the spider-web patterns of half-shattered glass on the windows of shops, hotels and offices in their affluent neighborhood. “C’est la catastrophe!” she shouted—“It’s a catastrophe!”—with all the conviction of the child in the fairy tale who announced to the world that the emperor had no clothes.

The third weekend of nationwide protests and the second Saturday of increasingly violent confrontations with police have indeed startled the nation, but they may be even more shocking to a global audience for whom French President Emmanuel Macron has become an icon of reason and prudence in opposition to Donald Trump’s global politics of belligerency and emotion.

When Macron was heard over an open mic at the G20 confronting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, allegedly the mastermind of Washington Post contributor Jamel Khashoggi’s grisly murder, he was given kudos in the press for warning MBS, “You never listen to me.”

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Author: By christopher.dickey@thedailybeast.com (Christopher Dickey) Erin Zaleski