If it were only his hands in question, good manners would compel good Americans to refrain from snide jokes about size and President Trump. It’s a sensitive subject. Size and what things look like are the standards of measurement used by the White House, and that makes the agenda look very simple: Take any given topic and make it big and beautiful.

The big and beautiful philosophy of President Trump against the reality of an iconic American institution shriveling before our very eyes is cause for consternation. “Honey, I shrunk the presidency” is no Disney film script. The White House is getting smaller because its current occupant too often acts like a very small man, as he did by pulling out of the Paris Accord.

The Paris Accord is not a “very bad deal,” nor is it an enforceable obligation or stranglehold of red tape and regulation on businesses – in fact, it’s the opposite. The Paris Accord is what good globalism looks like – a success because it reduces to writing the voluntary commitment by most of the world to work together and solve a scientifically recognized problem in a fair and responsible way. It’s a set of voluntary goals under which the United States has extensive latitude to self-regulate to suit the needs of our growing economy.

The Paris Accord allows for a self-defined balance between competing American values of free enterprise and worker rights and in no way impedes on our sovereignty while respecting the sovereignty of others. Pulling off an international agreement in the contemporary political climate is no easy task, and the Paris Accord an obvious success story of the Obama administration but that’s not the only reason Donald Trump pulled out. The name of it bugs him. Paris Accord sounds like Emmanuel Macron, the dashing 39-year-old who wore his best alpha-male suit to a recent meeting with President Trump in Europe.

Macron approached his first handshake well prepared. He had been warned. President Trump gained a reputation abroad for making bold non-verbal statements (“Trumpshake”) upon introduction, a good thing to know if you are a slender 5-foot-9 Frenchman confronting the tank-like president of the free world, who stands 6 feet 2 inches. Trump is known for his aggressive expression of dominance on the first handshake, although he is not completely predictable.

There are patterns and favorites, like the signature iron grip while pulling his perplexed male opponents toward him and downward like a German shepherd puppy in training. On the other hand, it’s no surprise that Donald Trump ignored the hand of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Oval Office or that he took visiting Britain Prime Minister Theresa May’s hand like a gentleman.” You don’t need to be a rocket scientist or a child psychologist to see what’s going on here.

“Each man gripped each other’s right hand so firmly that their knuckles turned white and their jaws seemed to clench as they sat down for a face-to-face meeting,” Reuters reported of the handshake between American and French presidents who share red, white and blue flags with their red faces, white knuckles and blue suits.

Smallish but spry, Macron grinned and gripped and pumped his fist with vigor and without submission on the world stage to the embarrassment of Trump – reason alone for him to back the world’s biggest economy out of the Paris Accord. On top of that, Emmanuel Macron is married to a woman of a certain age, 24 years his senior, smacking of weird social mores that threaten the American president’s paternalistic pecking order.

Exit from the Paris Accord is foolish. It’s already credited for encouraging China and India, two of the world’s biggest polluters, to substantially and expeditiously reduce carbon emissions. The Paris Accord has fostered innovative business models, which explains why CEOs from companies like Tesla, Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and numerous others support it. The memorialized pledge of governments to strive for policies aimed at reducing carbon emissions, along with making strategic investments, has created the atmosphere for energy needs to be met by markets. Hundreds of thousands of new jobs are associated with clean energy technology, innovation and production. President Trump can demonstrate no real harm to the country for agreeing to work on the issue of climate change, a small but important point.

There is no evidence the Paris Accord is a bad deal, or bad policy. It’s the politics of it that bugs Trump. For the moment, the French are leading the resistance. Macron won the French presidency by campaigning against Trumpism.

“My handshake with him, it wasn’t innocent,” Macron told the Journal du Dimanche in an interview published May 28 about his handshake contest with Trump. “It’s not the alpha and the omega of politics, but a moment of truth.”

Shortly after Trump tweeted, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” Macron replied, “We all share the same responsibility: make our planet great again.”


When the U.S. formally withdraws from the Paris Accord, it will join only two other nations that do not belong: Syria and Nicaragua. We will take this step largely because inside the White House, the battle between the insider camps that influence President Trump was lost by the pro-Paris Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. Anti-Paris white nationalist Steve Bannon and his Oval Office gang convinced Mr. Trump to bid Paris adieu.

Assistance, not just resistance, is America’s call to arms, mes amis. Li’l Macron the evil globalist is the enemy du jour, but there are bigger issues, too, that will divide the insiders.

For better or worse, America elected the big and beautiful Trump family to be president. It was a package deal. While the man at the center is forever busy with small things, let us not forget some in his family are working on the big stuff. We can help the country by helping them.

Cynthia Dill is a civil rights lawyer and former state senator. She can be contacted at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @dillesquire