Trump Defends The West
President Trump delivered an incredibly powerful speech this morning in Warsaw's Krasinski Square. It was a speech that Ronald Reagan would have loved.
Bill Kristol, who has been relentless in his criticism of the Trump/Pence Administration, tweeted this: "Trump's speech in Warsaw was an appropriate, even eloquent, speech worthy of a president speaking for America. #CreditWhereCreditIsDue"
The American left and the media keep insisting that Trump is a national embarrassment, that America's influence around the world is waning. As I noted yesterday, pro-Western fighters in Syria are cheering President Trump. Today the pro-Western crowd in Warsaw repeatedly chanted, "USA! USA!" and "Donald Trump! Donald Trump!"
During Obama's presidency, we got one lecture after another about the virtues of Islamic culture and one apology after another for America's "arrogance."
Today President Trump unapologetically defended Western Civilization. He called on Russia to end its support for tyrannical regimes, and he vowed to defeat radical Islam.
Below are excerpts of the president's remarks. You can watch his address here.
"Our two countries share a special bond forged by unique histories and national characters. It's a fellowship that exists only among people who have fought and bled and died for freedom. . .
"Just steps from the White House, we've raised statues of men with names like Pulaski and Kosciuszko. The same is true in Warsaw, where street signs carry the name of George Washington, and a monument stands to one of the world's greatest heroes, Ronald Reagan. . .
"And when . . . on June 2nd, 1979 . . . one million Poles gathered around Victory Square for their very first mass with their Polish Pope . . . every communist in Warsaw must have known that their oppressive system would soon come crashing down.
"They must have known it at the exact moment during Pope John Paul II's sermon when a million Polish men, women, and children suddenly raised their voices in a single prayer. A million Polish people did not ask for wealth. They did not ask for privilege. Instead, one million Poles sang three simple words: 'We Want God.' . . .
"This continent no longer confronts the specter of communism. But today . . . there are dire threats to our security and to our way of life. . . We are confronted by another oppressive ideology -- one that seeks to export terrorism and extremism all around the globe. . .
"While we will always welcome new citizens who share our values and love our people, our borders will always be closed to terrorism and extremism. . . We cannot accept those who reject our values and who use hatred to justify violence. . .
"We must work together to confront forces . . . that threaten over time to undermine [our] values and to erase the bonds of culture, faith and tradition that make us who we are. If left unchecked, these forces will undermine our courage, sap our spirit, and weaken our will to defend ourselves and our societies. . .
"The world has never known anything like our community of nations. We write symphonies. . . 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 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. . .
"Our citizens did not win freedom together . . . did not face down evil together, only to lose our freedom to a lack of pride and confidence in our values. We did not and we will not. We will never back down. As long as we know our history, we will know how to build our future. . .
"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?
"We can have the largest economies and the most lethal weapons anywhere on Earth, but if we do not have strong families and strong values, then we will be weak and we will not survive. . .
"Our own fight for the West does not begin on the battlefield -- it begins with our minds, our wills, and our souls. . . Our freedom, our civilization, and our survival depend on these bonds of history, culture, and memory. . .
"I declare today for the world to hear that the West will never, ever be broken. Our values will prevail. Our people will thrive. And our civilization will triumph. So, together, let us all fight like the Poles -- for family, for freedom, for country, and for God."
Speaking Of History. . .
In a recent report, I suggested that we should be more deliberate about teaching our children and grandchildren about our Constitution and the great privilege of being an American. So I appreciated President Trump's remarks today about knowing our history.
But we clearly have a lot of work to do.
I have been concerned for years that too many Americans are unfamiliar with our nation's founding documents and principles. Unfortunately, that ignorance was on full display after many Twitter users were left confused by National Public Radio's July 4th tweets of the Declaration of Independence.
I don't expect everyone to know every word of the 1,458 word document. But we should all be familiar with the second paragraph, which declares that our liberties come from God, not government.
I was also disturbed by a poll this week which reported that nearly a quarter of Americans could not name the country from which we declared our independence, while nearly one-third could not name the year we declared our independence.
The left has made idols of "diversity" and "multiculturalism," but all cultures are not equal. Islamism has no tolerance for equality or diversity. President Trump is right to defend America's borders as well as America's values from those who seek to subvert and destroy them.