Forgive my gloating, but it’s working out just as I said all along: Trump is on track to go down in history as one of our greatest Presidents.
President Trump’s speech in Warsaw was a remarkable statement from a western leader in the 21st century – which is why the enforcers of our public discourse have gone bananas over it and denounced it as “blood and soil” “nativism” (The New Republic), “racial and religious paranoia” (The Atlantic), and “tinpot dictator sh*t” (some comedian having a meltdown on Twitter). Much of the speech was just the usual boosterish boilerplate that one foreign leader sloughs off while visiting the capital of another. But that wasn’t what caused the mass pearl-clutching. This was the offending passage:
There is nothing like our community of nations. The world has never known anything like our community of nations.
We write symphonies. We pursue innovation. We celebrate our ancient heroes, embrace our timeless traditions and customs, and always seek to explore and discover brand-new frontiers.
We reward brilliance. We strive for excellence, and cherish inspiring works of art that honor God. We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression.
We empower women as pillars of our society and of our success. We put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the center of our lives. And we debate everything. We challenge everything. We seek to know everything so that we can better know ourselves.
And above all, we value the dignity of every human life, protect the rights of every person, and share the hope of every soul to live in freedom. That is who we are. Those are the priceless ties that bind us together as nations, as allies, and as a civilization.
I’m not certain we do put “faith and family” ahead of “government and bureaucracy”, not in Germany or even Ireland, but we did once upon a time. Nor am I sure we still “write symphonies”, or at any rate good ones. But Trump’s right: “The world has never known anything like our community of nations” – and great symphonies are a part of that. I’m not sure what’s “nativist” or “racial” about such a statement of the obvious, but I note it’s confirmed by the traffic, which is all one way: There are plenty of Somalis who’ve moved to Minnesota, but you can count on one hand Minnesotans who’ve moved to Somalia. As an old-school imperialist, I make exceptions for sundry places from Barbados to Singapore, which I regard as part of the community of the greater west, and for India, which is somewhat more ambiguously so, but let’s face it, 90 per cent of everything in the country that works derives from England.
As Steyn says, our beloved God-Emperor knocked it right out of the damned park with this one. But there’s a caveat:
As I said, a remarkable speech. Of course, at the press conference afterwards, the A-list hacks, like CNN’s drama queen Jim Acosta, were all obsessed with the “Russia investigation”, but in fairness The New York Times at least reported the story under the headline “Trump, in Poland, Asks if West Has the ‘Will to Survive'”.
That’s the question – the one that matters. Angela Merkel won’t ask it, nor M Macron or Mrs May or M Trudeau. But Donald Trump did – and then answered it…
I am nowhere near as confident of that answer. But he raised the question at a time when no other western leader will. It is a measure of our decay and decadence that the question is necessary, but in an age of cultural relativism a statement of the obvious is daring and courageous: Ours is the civilization that built the modern world – as even the west’s cultural relativists implicitly accept, if only because they have no desire to emigrate and try to make a living as a cultural relativist in Yemen or Niger. We built it, and, if we do not maintain it, and defend it, then, as Donald Trump says, it will never come again.
Even as purblind and prissy a NeverTrumpTard as Rod Dreher perceives it, if only through a glass, darkly:
I’m sorry, duckies, but how is this all that controversial? An American president, standing in the capital of a nation that suffered in the last century the domination of two tyrannies — Nazi and Communist — that tried to eradicate its culture, a nation whose Catholic faith kept its spirit alive and led to its rebirth — proclaims that there are things unique and valuable about Western civilization, and that we should remember those things, affirm them, and defend them.
The shocking thing here is that this is controversial at all. It shows how decadent we have become.
“We”? Say rather: Western “liberals.” They, not we, are the ones who, brainwashed from childhood to hold Western Civ in contempt, can’t seem to comprehend that the Western values they despise and denigrate are the foundation upon which their privileged lives depend. Without the protection of the defensive wall built around them by Western culture behind which they cower, bluster, and threaten, they would find their lives to be very nasty, very brutish, and very short indeed.
Yes, that last would be an adaptation of a quote from another one of those Western thinkers they so abhor, hilariously enough.
At any rate, as Steyn says, those values are NOT universal. Nor are they eternal or somehow magically immutable; they’re transferable down the generations only for so long as we will them to be. Without continuous vigorous defense, they will assuredly be destroyed and lost. Make no mistake: “defense” means against enemies both external AND internal—”enemies foreign and domestic,” as some other great Western thinkers now despised by those domestic enemies once said.