Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars Document
Trump has Putin Over a Barrel
Yesterday, Donald Trump Struck a Righteous Blow against Universalism
It’s a false ideology, a burden and a cancer on our body politic. It defies reality.
Before I address the text of Donald Trump’s speech yesterday in Poland, it’s worth pulling up two quotes from our two previous presidents. These quotes, I think, encapsulate the difference between the ideas Trump articulated yesterday and the core ideas of many of his liberal critics. First, let’s go with Barack Obama, in a speech to the British Parliament on May 25, 2011: For both of our nations, living up to the ideals enshrined in [our] founding documents has always been a work in progress. The path has never been perfect. But through the struggles of slaves and immigrants, women and ethnic minorities, former colonies and persecuted religions, we have learned better than most that the longing for freedom and human dignity is not English or American or Western — it is universal, and it beats in every heart. Next, let’s step into the wayback machine to George W. Bush’s first State of the Union address following the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom: We also hear doubts that democracy is a realistic goal for the greater Middle East, where freedom is rare. Yet it is mistaken and condescending to assume that whole cultures and great religions are incompatible with liberty and self-government. I believe that God has planted in every human heart the desire to live in freedom. And even when that desire is crushed by tyranny for decades, it will rise again. These statements are remarkably similar, perfectly encapsulate a universalist view of human nature and human freedom, and are totally and completely wrong. Our previous presidents — and, indeed, much of the intellectual establishment left and right — have sold the American people a false bill of goods about human nature, their own history, and the role of culture in the inculcation of our civilizational values. Trump, by contrast, located the values that other presidents have deemed universal squarely within a Western context, and he specifically rejected a universalism and moral equivalence, declaring that “there is nothing like our community of nations. The world has never known anything like our community of nations.” He continued with a series of key questions: We have to remember that our defense is not just a commitment of money, it is a commitment of will. Because as the Polish experience reminds us, the defense of the West ultimately rests not only on means but also on the will of its people to prevail and be successful and get what you have to have. The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it? The response from thinkers on the left was swift and outraged. Sarah Wildman at Vox compared it to an “alt-right manifesto.” Slate’s Jamelle Bouie was blunt. The speech was dog-whistle racism:
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