July 6th, 2017

Trump’s Warsaw speech: welcome to Western Civ

First let’s look at the transcript of the speech (sorry it’s a link to CNN, but they’re the ones providing it right now, so they’re definitely good for something).

And here’s the way the leftist press (the Guardian, in this case) is covering it [emphasis mine]:

At the start of a four-day trip to Europe, the US president gave a highly nationalist address in Warsaw suggesting that a lack of collective resolve could doom an alliance that had endured through the cold war.

How can a highly nationalist speech emphasize collective resolve? Is that not a contradiction? Isn’t a nationalist speech one that talks about how great a certain nation is, and would preclude “collective” action rather than prescribe it?

But the words “nationalist” and “nationalistic” has to come to be a code word to the left meaning bigoted and racist, jingoistic and backward. I wrote about that idea in this post of mine, where I traced the origins of the idea to post-WWI feeling in Western Europe.

What’s more, what nation is Trump being nationalist about? A casual reader might think it’s the US. But, reading the speech, I can only conclude it’s Poland:

Poland is the geographic heart of Europe, but more importantly, in the Polish people, we see the soul of Europe. Your nation is great because your spirit is great and your spirit is strong.

For two centuries, Poland suffered constant and brutal attacks. But while Poland could be invaded and occupied, and its borders even erased from the map, it could never be erased from history or from your hearts. In those dark days, you have lost your land but you never lost your pride.

So it is with true admiration that I can say today, that from the farms and villages of your countryside to the cathedrals and squares of your great cities, Poland lives, Poland prospers, and Poland prevails.

…You are the proud nation of Copernicus — think of that — Chopin, Saint John Paul II. Poland is a land of great heroes. And you are a people who know the true value of what you defend.

(Chopin, by the way, identified as Polish and considered himself a Polish patriot, but he was actually half-French and spent much of his life in exile from Poland.)

But back to the Guardian:

In a nod to the conservative values [Trump] shares with Poland’s controversial ruling Law and Justice party, Trump also called on the west to defend its traditions…

According to Polish press reports, Trump was enticed to Warsaw by promises of a rapturous reception. The Polish government, which paid for supporters to be bussed in from provincial areas, appeared to have delivered, as the president was greeted by a boisterous, highly partisan, crowd in Krasinski Square, one of Warsaw’s smaller public spaces.

So defending on our traditions in the West—ones we should be justly proud of, such as liberty and democracy—is now controversial and conservative. And the crowd was fake. Got it.

From Trump’s speech:

For America’s part, we have never given up on freedom and independence as the right and destiny of the Polish people, and we never, ever will.

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…

And so I am here today not just to visit an old ally, but to hold it up as an example for others who seek freedom and who wish to summon the courage and the will to defend our civilization.

Trump followed this by a stirring recitation of some of the woes Poland faced in the 20th Century and particularly during WWII, and its bravery against two oppressors, the Nazis and the Soviets, as well as its devotion to religion (particularly, the Pope’s visit in 1979, which helped sparked the drive to freedom from the Soviets).

Trump then segues to:

…another oppressive ideology — one that seeks to export terrorism and extremism all around the globe…

During a historic gathering in Saudi Arabia, I called on the leaders of more than 50 Muslim nations to join together to drive out this menace which threatens all of humanity. We must stand united against these shared enemies to strip them of their territory and their funding, and their networks, and any form of ideological support that they may have. 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 of any kind.

Hard to argue with that. But it can be done, as Vox’s Sarah Wildman demonstrates in a piece entitled “Trump’s speech in Poland sounded like an alt-right manifesto.” Here’s what she writes:

…[Trump’s speech]…often resorted torhetorical conceits typically used by the European and American alt-right…

In his address, Trump cast the West, including the United States and Europe, on the side of “civilization.” With an undercurrent of bellicosity, he spoke of protecting borders, casting himself as a defender not just of territory but of Western “values.” And, using the phrase he had avoided on his trip to Saudi Arabia, he insisted that in the fight against “radical Islamic terrorism,” the West “will prevail.”…

That battle, the president seemed to say, is ongoing.

And is Wildman saying that the battle is not ongoing, and that to suggest it is in fact ongoing is tantamount to issuing “an alt-right manifesto”? I guess that’s what it’s come to for the anti-Trump press.

Trump also chided Russia, something the MSM articles I read seem to have had some difficulty fully crediting him for, because it doesn’t fit the press narrative. But this is what he said:

We urge Russia to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere, and its support for hostile regimes — including Syria and Iran — and to instead join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and in defense of civilization itself.

Trump also spoke against government bureaucracy, talked about funding NATO, and the history of the Warsaw Uprising. But it was this part of the speech that may have angered the left the most, because of its unapologetic celebration of Western culture (not nationalism, but culturism, if there is such a word):

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.

Western civilization is what he’s talking about. And those things are indeed things to celebrate and to preserve. If we don’t acknowledge them, how can we defend them?

Just a few short decades ago, when I was growing up, it was standard practice for both parties to talk this way. Now this practice has been taken over almost solely by the right, and sites like Vox (which is not even hard-left, but just garden-variety liberal/left) label it as “alt-right” rhetoric rather than mainstream thought.

And they wonder why they’ve been losing elections lately.

37 Responses to “Trump’s Warsaw speech: welcome to Western Civ”

  1. Dave Says:

    Now I understand why people gravitate to Trump. Trump’s brand is optimistic while the left’s brand is pessimistic. Trump’s brand makes you feel proud of yourself while the left’s brand makes you either feel sorry or feel guilty for yourself. It is a sad state of living living in a leftist society where you can only view yourself in two ways, a sinner or a victim.

  2. Cornhead Says:

    I loved the speech. One of Trump’s best. He is rising to the job. And, yes, smashing the fake media is part of the job.

    Every day with Trump as POTUS, I contrast his presidency with that of Obama’s. Today I am thinking about the Iran deal. And I learned today that Bill Clinton gave the Norks billions and they used the money to build nukes and missles.

    The Dems – either on purpose or unwittingly – have funded our enemies and undermined our culture.

    There will be no doubt in 50 years that the failure of Obama in Syria and the subsequent invasion by Muslims of Europe will be seen as one of the worst events in Western civilization.

    Trump, “Do we have the will to save Western civilization?” (Paraphrased.) Me: The United States, yes. But Europe is lost.

  3. Cornhead Says:

    And in case there is any doubt, the enemy of Western civilization is Islamicism. No free speech in Islamic countries. Women treated like dirt. Rotten music. No inventions. No tech. No pharma. No biotech. No democracy. No achievements. Just oil and terror.

  4. neo-neocon Says:

    Cornhead:

    Fabulous food. My favorite food in the world, actually.

    There’s a beautiful art and architecture tradition, too. And definitely some cultural achievements from medieval times.

    Look, we can be honest about what’s going on in that neck of the woods today without totally trashing the entire cultural history of the area. There were some major achievements during what’s known as the Golden Age. Those achievements were not as great as often claimed—for example, Islamic culture did not invent algebra—but there were significant contributions to many fields. They also co-existed with plenty of negatives, but they existed and they were real.

  5. ConceptJunkie Says:

    Most of the things I don’t like about Trump are things he shared with Obama, like his narcissism, and his constant need to insult people (although he insults individuals, whereas Obama generally just insulted voters).

    But there’s one huge difference that Trump has demonstrated time and again in the past 6 months: his ability to rise to the occasion and grow into the job. He’s got a long way to go in some respects, but he can do Presidential. Obama didn’t sound any different in the beginning than in the end… whiny, petulant and scolding all the way through. He never sounded Presidential to me. He had a good voice, but was a terrible orator, and could never sound inspiring unless he was talking about the only thing in the world that inspired him, himself.

    Trump’s comments about Poland are very inspiring, and remind me again why I think Poland is one of the best countries in Europe.

  6. Cornhead Says:

    Trump, “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?”

    Neo: I will concede on some of the food (tabolah) and some buildings, but what have they done lately and in the aggregate on the things that count, like democracy? See, Charles Murray’s “Human Achievement.”

  7. neo-neocon Says:

    Cornhead:

    I’m not defending what they’ve done lately, which is just about 100% awful. Nor am I defending everything (or even most things) they did in the past. But you wrote “no achievements.” I was merely pointing out some achievements. I don’t think it serves anyone to overstate a case.

    And by the way, tabouli is fine, but their culinary achievements are FAR greater than that. I’ve got a ton of Middle Eastern cookbooks, and I adore Middle Eastern food in general.

  8. arfldgr Says:

    Neo: How can a highly nationalist speech emphasize collective resolve? Is that not a contradiction? Isn’t a nationalist speech one that talks about how great a certain nation is, and would preclude “collective” action rather than prescribe it?

    no.

    because you forget Weltanschauung

    been watching you guys even argue against understanding it.

    your trying to model the others by thinking of yourself in that position but your not there, they are, and their Weltanschauung is what is driving the thing you see, just as feminist Weltanschauung drivs that and all that and if you dont freaking study the points their worlds revolve around your just playing bs games in an armchair

    to a normal person, hitler was a nationalist, right?
    but that would depend on definition, right?

    now, you dont study soviet stuff, and so you have no mind of the Weltanschauung of that.. and HOW IT LOOKS AT THER WORLD DIFFERENTLY THAN YOU

    to a globalist, communist, no borders, one worlder, anti nationalst, etc..

    ALL patriotism is nationalism..
    why?
    because like trotsjy said, your a racist if you want your nationa nd dont want to give up your culture for the new world.. as communists were INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISTS… and the germans were local National socialists..

    hitler did not want to take over the whole world
    STALIN did and hitler would control his corner
    as with tojo and others… Stalin and russia would be the worlds supreme soviet dictating policy the way brussels dows from the home of MARX.

    the Weltanschauung of the communist is that all love of any border is nationalism… and they want homogenization.. ergo diversity… if you mix all the colors in the pain store you dont get diversity, you get homogeneity and soviet gray or german steel gray (all ideals of those nations… iron curtains, man of steel, etc).. heck they even brougt physics into it as steel is the most stable atomic everything below wants to become it, everything aboev wants to fall apart to it (not quite, but then it was good for them)

    you will NEVER understand them thorugh your own Weltanschauung as yours is not broken like theirs.

    but there are some Weltanschauung that DO provide knowlege instead of lacking it, and those are the more paranoid the less trusting.. the victims of such with experience.

    what we CAN’T seem to do is teach others
    they seem to HAVE to live through hell to believe
    hell makes a believer out of all of us
    as there are no atheists in fox holes

  9. arfldgr Says:

    the other thing they do is write for the future record
    and or
    write for those who wont read the speech and accept hearsay as valid

    the first one you will see in ten years when they go back and start using the inane thing they said in a speech and claim that was the truth, why else would it be in a speech?

    at the timeyou dont get it
    in tenyears its a reference
    in twenty it becoems the actual history

    ha!!! you have no idea of these processes.
    they dont teach the victims as then they wont be victims, instead they rely on the victims indredulity and ego to protect their game from anyone who may wrn them or try to explain to them.

    just as the ladies have canned answrs that negate things they do too.. and you dont even realize that tehse are parroted caned answers that kick in social subroutines.

    when a person you are only aquainted with asks you in passing how you doing. do they really want to knoe? thats a social script… but you dont know it really is until you bump into an autistic who then beliees that is truthful and acts on it.

    same with, you hate women
    same with, thats so old why you thinking of it
    same with, the world has changed
    same with……

    maybe reading HOW they do things is better than WHAT they do..

    otherwise your kind of like a ignorant jane goodall watching chimps and getting it all wrong cause you have no context to put the behaviors and things into other than your own…

  10. neo-neocon Says:

    artfldgr:

    Actually, I understand that to them all patriotism is nationalism, and bad (unless the patriotism is about a leftist country, then it’s okay). My question was rhetorical and ironic—I was pointing out the logical contradiction, but I’m aware of their answer.

  11. n.n Says:

    Recognition of individual dignity and intrinsic value, both articles of faith or axiomatic principles, are the Left’s idea of an “alt-right manifesto”. The separation of logical domains (i.e. science, philosophy, fantasy, and faith), where science is characterized by accuracy inversely proportional to the product of time and space (or just space) offsets from an established frame of reference, is the Left’s idea of an “alt-right manifesto”.

    Liberalism is a divergent ideology. Progressivism is [unqualified] monotonic change. Progressive liberalism is a degenerative ideology.

    Principles matter. A reconciliation of moral, natural, and personal imperatives matters.

  12. n.n Says:

    Ironically, patriotism is nationalism is community oriented.

    Fortunately, their belief in a twilight faith, establishment of a Pro-Choice quasi-religious/moral/legal philosophy, and deference to mortal gods, is sufficient to calm the cognitive dissonance. Yet, the tell-tale hearts beat ever louder. A dysfunctional convergence is not only imminent, but, if history is to be our guide, inevitable, and renewable.

    That said, let’s see if Americans, or anyone else, can successfully, sustainably reconcile moral, natural, and personal imperatives. The Chinese, to their credit, have made great strides since they denied their Pro-Choice quasi-religion (e.g. one-child vs selective-child). Not to mention avoiding indulgence in social justice adventures (e.g. elective wars, catastrophic anthropogenic immigration reform/refugee crises).

  13. vanderleun Says:

    “…. And by the way, tabouli is fine,”

    Nope. Tabouli is just a way of using up parsley.

  14. neo-neocon Says:

    vanderleun:

    You show your lack of taste—literally.

    I bet you like mayo on baloney, too.

    A day without tabouli is like a day without sunshine.

  15. ConceptJunkie Says:

    Neo: I’m totally with you on Middle Eastern food. It’s wonderful. I first really discovered it when a friend took me to a Lebanese food festival in Richmond, VA almost 30 years ago and I’ve been a huge fan ever since.

    Here’s another interesting tidbit. I used work developing software for a traffic engineer who literally worked all over the world: Europe, Africa, Asia (the Middle East and Far East), South America and I asked him what country’s food was most faithfully represented by restaurants in the U.S., and his reply was “Pakistan”. He suggested that maybe it had to do with the halal rules, which are pretty strict in some ways.

    There used to be an Afghan deli not too far from where I lived that I used to enjoy. One evening I took one of my kids there for dinner and while we were eating the various family members who worked at the place came out to have dinner as well and they shared a rice-based dish with us. I don’t remember what it was, but it was really yummy, and I really enjoyed the idea of the extended family all enjoying dinner in their restaurant and sharing some of their goodies with customers.

    Islam is the problem, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of good things about the culture of places that are Islamic.

  16. Cap'n Rusty Says:

    In the past several years, I’ve read and learned a lot more about Poland and its people. I think Trump’s speech spoke to the Polish people, much as his inauguration speech spoke to the American people. It is remarkable that a NYC billionaire can have such a close connection to the hearts and minds of ordinary folks. The sanctimonious and condescending elites hate him for that.

  17. J.J. Says:

    Dave: “Now I understand why people gravitate to Trump. Trump’s brand is optimistic while the left’s brand is pessimistic. Trump’s brand makes you feel proud of yourself while the left’s brand makes you either feel sorry or feel guilty for yourself. It is a sad state of living living in a leftist society where you can only view yourself in two ways, a sinner or a victim.”

    Just so! I sometimes shop in our local co-op grocery, which is faithfully patronized by large numbers of lefties. They all dress a certain way (Goodwill casual), ride bicycles (no fossil fuels for them), and have frowns on their faces. A more unhappy bunch I have never seen. If you make eye contact with them and smile, they scowl even more. It seems that they cannot stand anyone being happy.

    Of course they hate Trump. He’s just too optimistic and believes in the values of Western Civ, which they have been taught to despise.

  18. Dave Says:

    are the immigrants who refuse to assimilate and continue practice their costumes nationalist of their respective culture and racist. so basically diversity is just a bunch of nationalists from different cultures living together.

  19. Dave Says:

    Democrats hate borders but don’t seem to mind when immigrants setting up these nation within nation called no go zones with borders. leftism is a joke because its ideology lacks consistency.

  20. Dave Says:

    Americans waving American flags in America Soil is nationalism, it is racism, what do liberals call Hispanics waving Mexican flags in America soil then?

  21. parker Says:

    The main enemies of Western Civilization are inside the gates. Never forget that.

  22. Dave Says:

    JJ

    you can’t be too happy people when you believe a hitler is in office waiting to make America all white, you can’t be happy when you believe either you have to live like a caveman or the world population will be wipe out in less than 100 years. You can’t be happy people when you are 50, children less, all relatives slowly dying, and no children visiting on holidays to look forward to. you can’t be happy people when you are artificial people who are obsessed about your look and you are aging. I have never met a happy liberal, liberal life is a life with no future, you believe in no afterlife, you believe in humanity will be wipe out in no time, and you believe in flesh enjoyments that will not be enjoyable after age 50

  23. Dave Says:

    Preaching leftist bullsh*t in the comfort of a capitalist paradise, stop being a wannabe liberal in capitalism, go be a real liberal in a socialist country, try North Korea, or Venezuela

  24. Dave Says:

    Russia allegedly intervened with our election, by exposing democrats lies, fixing elections to favor Hillary, and colluding with msm to cheat in the debates

  25. John Guilfoyle Says:

    vanderleun Says:
    July 6th, 2017 at 5:33 pm
    “…. And by the way, tabouli is fine,”

    Nope. Tabouli is just a way of using up parsley.

    Now…I’ll disagree with that statement…but I’ll concede it’s darn funny. Thank you.

  26. vanderleun Says:

    neo sez: “I bet you like mayo on baloney, too.”

    I say, “Baloney!”

    Every WASP knows that mayo on baloney is anathema and an insult again a Protestant God.

    Mayo can be used on a ham and cheese sandwich with God’s blessing. Never baloney. Baloney only takes mustard. (Maybe a slice of red onion too.)

    Neo probably even thinks that mayo can be used on a corned beef sandwich.

  27. vanderleun Says:

    And while we are on the subject, please remember that without tabouli nobody could ever appear in public with that big green thing between their front teeth.

  28. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Indeed, inside the gates.

  29. huxley Says:

    Some years ago I was looking for Arab contributions to the world. Tough going.

    One ray of sunshine is that we get Sorbet/Sherbet from the Arabic, “sharbat,” which was a mashed fruit drink.

    Apparently centuries later Americans added milk fat to get the current frozen desert we pronounce “sherbert.”

  30. Esther Says:

    Is mayo on corned beef really an abomination?

    Sure, if you put it that way. Ack.

    But, consider that corned beef, sauerkraut, and melted Swiss on rye with Russian dressing –which is just mayo gussied up with ketchup– is how to make a delicious Reuben sandwich.

    Russian dressing is not Russian though.

  31. ConceptJunkie Says:

    For the record, tabouli is wonderful, and I’ve made it on several occasions. The only reason I don’t make it more often is that it’s very labor-intensive. I discovered that the parsley stems are very tough, so you really only want the leaves, which means recruiting one or more of my grumbling kids, if they’re around, to meticulously cut the leaves off a couple of bunches of parsley with a pair of scissors.

    I found that there are all sorts of neat things you can add like diced tomato, onions, diced peppers or garbonzos that you might not normally see in tabouli. I like to season it with some lemon juice, a bit of dill and a bit of mint and I end up with a very tasty salad that eats like a meal.

    So don’t be bad-mouthing tabouli.

  32. Brian E Says:

    “…As I stand here today before this incredible crowd, this faithful nation, we can still hear those voices that echo through history. Their message is as true today as ever. The people of Poland, the people of America, and the people of Europe still cry out “We want God.” “ – President Trump
    I pray that will be true, but at this point, don’t see it. Old Europe seems doomed. New Europe, I think, still remembers the sting of the Ottoman invasions and will resist a stealth Muslim invasion. Rumsfeld’s use of the Old/New characterization was the first time I’d heard it. Did he coin the usage?
    Great speech. Subtle, or not so subtle jabs at Old Europe and I think a deserved recognition of what Poland has endured in the last 500 years.
    This comment by President Trump caught my eye, and you would think put to rest the Russian collusion meme, since the reference is obviously directed toward Russia.
    “And we are committed to securing your access to alternate sources of energy, so Poland and its neighbors are never again held hostage to a single supplier of energy.” – President Trump
    Something that occurred just prior to President Trump’s speech was his attendance at the Three Seas Initiative Summit. Not much attention has been paid to this, and whether or not it gains traction apparently remains questionable, but Trump attending this meeting, along with his pledge to strengthen economic ties with New Europe, along with the offer to sell Patriot missle systems to Poland appears to be an interesting strategy to stave off Russian adventurism and possibly signal to Old Europe the need to up their defensive initiate or recognize that Old Europe strategically is becoming irrelevant.
    Would Old Europe really come to the defense of Poland? Or do they still consider Poland and the other Central European countries buffers?
    “SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence announced that “this visit deserves to be closely monitored for it will reveal more about the Trump Administration’s foreign policy agenda than his previous actions.” The opinion piece considered Trump’s presence at the Three Seas Initiative Summit especially meaningful since Poland’s current political elite is advancing the idea of Intermarium, a Polish-dominated confederation that would include the Baltic States, Ukraine, and possibly also the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia. It is supposed to serve “as a ‘cordon sanitaire’ against Russia and a counterweight to the power of Germany and the European Union.”
    http://hungarianspectrum.org/2017/06/29/the-three-seas-initiative-and-donald-trump/
    Interesting editorial with lots of intrigue. Some things in Euope never change.
    But if this is a serious move by the Trump administration, as a casual observer, this appears to be a clever move.

  33. Sarah Rolph Says:

    It really cheered me up to hear that Trump stuck up for Western Civilization, so I read the transcript of the speech and I thought it was excellent. Very encouraging.

    I didn’t expect the media to give him much credit for it, but I was surprised at the all-out attacks.

    There’s one at the Atlantic that’s really over the top. I saw this because Niall Ferguson tweeted it; he called it a “willful misreading,” which I think is a good term:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/07/trump-speech-poland/532866/

  34. Somebody Says:

    I was curious what the actual at-right had to say about the speech, since I figured it was written by them (Bannon and/or Miller).

    I found a couple good ones at mpcdot:

    “It’s good thing that these fools are branding Trump’s speech as alt-right, as most low-info people just can’t find anything objectionable in it. They’ll wind up mainstreaming the “alt-right” in the same way cuck’s mainstreamed open Socialists like Bernie Sanders over the idiotic screaming about socialism whenever any new regulation or government program was proposed.”

    And:

    “Trump’s Poland speech just finished, HOLY f**kING NIGGERTITS! … This is easily the most provocative speech he has ever given, especially the last five minutes, unlike certain MPC posters I’ve always refrained from sensation and hyperbole when it comes to Trump but the enemies of the people are going to have a f**king stroke when they wake up in a couple of hours, this is likely to be 2017’s defining moment.”

    I know that the consensus here is that Trump is a…normal? mainstream? innocuous? republican president who has been embraced by an extremist fringe. I strongly suspect you folks have that backwards.

  35. Somebody Says:

    In case anyone was curious, here are the parts of Trump’s speech that are bothering people who are paying attention:

    “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?”

    Given that Islamic terrorism is a deadly but hardly existential threat, Trump’s emphasis on this question of will-to-survival sounds like it comes straight from Bannon, who had argued that the West is experiencing a crisis of faith that somehow leaves us vulnerable to a pathetic band of extremists that loses every fight it picks. And it conjures one of Umberto Eco’s criteria of fascism:

    “For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle. Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare.”

    Trump then had this to say:

    “Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?” Trump also said: “We must work together to confront forces, whether they come from inside or out.”

    Who are these enemies from within who would subvert our civilization? Eco wrote: “Thus at the root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia. But the plot must also come from the inside.”

    Further, Trump said:

    “We must work together to confront forces, whether they come from inside or out, from the South or the East.”

    The south and east, presumably, are Hispanic and Muslim immigrants (our south and Europe’s south and east). At this point in the speech, he’s already hit on jihadi terrorism, and is referring to other threats–if he’s not talking about the ethnic/racial/religious categories he repeatedly and explicitly described as threats to be excluded during his campaign, then who is he talking about?

    Eco wrote: “Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks for consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.”

    Trump defines western civilization almost exclusively in terms of collective inheritance: “bonds of culture, faith and tradition that make us who we are.” You might think that a commitment to liberal democracy, which enabled the borders of the west to expand and encompass new members that lacked the same cultural patrimony–like the states of Southern Europe that lived under right wing military dictatorships after WWII or the countries of the former eastern bloc–is the key defining trait, but for Trump it’s things like faith and tradition.

    Eco wrote:

    “To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country. This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies.”

    Further,

    “The first feature of Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition…To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country.”

    Trump’ speech fairly innocuous only if you’re unfamiliar with the terminology and philosophy of the alt-right, Bannon being the most prominent member.

  36. Brian E Says:

    Americans, Poles and nations of Europe value freedom and sovereignty. We must work together to confront forces, whether they come inside or out, from the south or the east, that threaten over time to undermine these values and to erase the bonds of culture, faith and tradition that make us who we are.

    Somebody, your assertion that President Trump was referring to Hispanic and Muslim immigrants makes no sense in the context of his statement. He’s not referring to immigrants here. It’s state and non-state forces working to undermine and threaten our civilization. That would be Russia to the east and Islamic Terrorism to the South.

    We cannot accept those who reject our values and who use hatred to justify violence against the innocent.

    Today, the West is also confronted by the powers that seek to test our will, undermine our confidence and challenge our interests.

    To meet new forms of aggression, including propaganda, financial crimes and cyber warfare, we must adapt our alliance to compete effectively in new ways and on all new battlefields.

    We urge Russia to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere and its support for hostile regimes, including Syria and Iran, and to instead join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and in defense of civilization itself.

    Pretty much defines the threats from the east and the south.

    As to the alt-right, I think you’re listening for the secret code words, when there really isn’t anything there. Their were parts of the speech they would agree with and welcome, but there was much there that they reject.

    You’re sounding a bit paranoid.

    You don’t think that the cornerstone of Western civilization is the family and faith? There is nothing particularly new about his statement to that effect.

    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 of any kind.

    That seems pretty welcoming and not controversial.

  37. Brian E Says:

    Here’s an interesting take by a never-Trumper, Rich Lowry.
    It was unabashedly nationalist. Not in a bumptious way, but one that acknowledged the importance of “free, sovereign and independent nations.” Trump used Poland’s story to augment the theme. He talked of a Polish nation that is “more than one thousand years old,” that endured despite its borders being wiped out for a century, that withstood a communist assault on its freedom, its faith and its very identify.
    It emphasized the importance of culture. Trump called Poland a “faithful nation.” He talked of that hinge point of history in 1979 when Pope John Paul II preached a sermon in Warsaw and a crowd of a million chanted, “We want God.” He said that large economies and fearsome weapons aren’t enough for our survival; we need “strong families and strong values,” and “bonds of history, culture and memory.”
    It argued that we must demonstrate civilizational self-confidence, the will to defend our values.
    Finally, it unapologetically invoked “the West,” which, Trump noted, writes symphonies, rewards brilliance, values freedom and human dignity, and has created a truly great community of nations.
    All of this strikes the ears of Trump’s progressive critics the wrong way. They believe that nations are best constrained by multinational or supranational institutions like the EU. They think that all the nonmaterial things that lend our lives meaning — God, family, national loyalty — are atavistic, overrated or best not spoken of too much. They find the idea that the West might be beset by a crisis of confidence ridiculous (having apparently missed the past 10 years of European misgovernment, when the common currency has caused economic misery, a destabilizing wave of refugees has arrived on the continent, and indigenous terror attacks have rocked France and Britain). Finally, amazingly enough, they find the West itself an offensive and exclusionary concept.

    http://www.newsmax.com/RichLowry/trump-values-west-speech/2017/07/07/id/800483/

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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