Writing way back in the 16th century, Niccolo Machiavelli the famous Italian political philosopher, warned that a ruler must guard against excessive flattery and fantastic pictures from his subjects because obviously that can bring a leader to ruin.
But at the same time, if you’re too down to earth as a ruler and your subjects can tell you anything and everything, they will lose respect for you.
So when a high school student tried to talk to French President Emmanuel Macron as if the president was so down to earth and so he could address him anyhow, President Macron stood his ground and put the teenager in his proper place.
President Emmanuel Macron was attending the anniversary of a famous speech given during the Second World War by one of France’s most revered presidents – General Charles de Gaulle – who called on the country to stand up against Nazi Germany when France (and the whole world) faced a serious threat.
It was something like France’s “independence day”, so when several high school students were trying to get handshakes from the president which he didn’t mind to give, and one of them casually asked him “How’s it, Manu?”, the president stopped in his tracks to scold the boy and give him a brief lecture on proper manners. Manu is a nickname for president Macron, probably a short form of his first name Emmanuel.
President Macron replied “No, no, you call me Mr President.” He told the young ‘idiot’ that he can play the fool and act like a clown everyday but not on an important day as this one when French nationalism was in focus.
The president was about to quickly move on but he probably said something in his head like “Ah! This boy paaaa.”
So he stopped again to advise the small boy to learn hard in school because even if you want to lead a revolution, you must at least earn yourself a diploma and learn how to feed yourself before trying to change the country. Watch: