In what can only be described as an incredibly on-the-nose real life metaphor, the oak sapling that President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron planted together last year as a symbol of the strong relationship between the two respective countries has died.
Macron presented it to Trump during a trip to Washington D.C and there was some amount of fanfare around the planting at the time, with Macron himself tweeting out a video of the ceremony. It was a clear attempt for the two leaders to come together despite the massive differences between their demeanors and political beliefs.
The Guardian reports that the tree — which came from the location of a WWI battle in France where American soldiers died fighting the Germans — was uprooted immediately after the event and placed in a special quarantine used when there is a risk of spreading diseases and invasive organisms from foreign countries. The mandatory quarantine was supposed to be only temporary and the sapling was supposed to be replanted later.
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Instead, the tree somehow died in quarantine and was never given a chance to take root again. The Guardian doesn’t specify whether it happened due to negligence or if it was an unavoidable death, but given the repeated demonstrations of incompetence from this administration one can’t rule out the former entirely.
Given that Trump is singlehandedly working to undermine all of our longest established alliances, shred our global reputation, and destroy all of the goodwill built up over the centuries by his predecessors, it seems apropos that the tree he planted as a symbol of diplomacy should die. When one considers how disastrous his environmental policy has been, the symbolism only deepens further.
It’s been said before but rarely so literally: everything Trump touches dies.
100 years ago, American soldiers fought in France, in Belleau to defend our freedom. This oak tree (my gift to @realDonaldTrump) will be a reminder at the White House of these ties that bind us. pic.twitter.com/AUdVncaKRN
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 24, 2018