‘We write symphonies,” President Donald J. Trump told a crowd of some 15,000 Poles in Warsaw on Thursday. “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,” Trump continued in his remarks in Krasiński Square. “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.”
Trump’s moving and stirring words offered the most full-throated presidential defense of Western civilization in decades. He provided a stark contrast between the creativity, humanity, and mercy of the West and the barbarism of the cave-dwelling, knuckle-dragging, head-chopping savages whom America faces in its war against ISIS, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and other purveyors of militant Islam.
President Trump also provided a rallying cry for Western Europe to boost its faith in itself so that it can confront radical Islamic terrorists, the less violent — but highly dangerous — agents of sharia, and even refugees who degrade women, often with force.
“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?” Trump wondered. “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?”
Trump’s comments recalled those of Ronald Reagan and even John F. Kennedy. To those unclear of what was at stake in the Cold War, JFK said, “Let them come to Berlin.” Similarly, to those who forget the “critical importance” of “strong families and strong values,” Trump said: “Let them come to Poland. And let them come here, to Warsaw.”
Trump’s address generated raves on either side of the Atlantic.
‐“I thought the speech was historic yesterday,” said former House speaker Newt Gingrich. As the author of Understanding Trump told Fox and Friends this morning. “Here is an American president defending Western civilization by name, defending it both against Islamic terrorism and against the kind of secular bureaucratic tyranny that wants to kill the young baby, Charlie Gard, in Great Britain because the state has decided he’s not worth living. What Trump did yesterday was center our fight for the survival of our civilization as well as any president in history. It’s a remarkably important speech.”
• “Trump’s speech was phenomenal,” says Matthew Tyrmand, a Manhattan-based Breitbart contributor and frequent visitor to Poland, from whence came his father, a noted anti-Communist writer and dissident. “It was quite possibly the best speech ever given by a world leader in Central Europe — a region that naturally lends itself to high-minded themes and gravitas, given its very tough history of witnessing oppression over and over throughout the ages.”
President Trump also provided a rallying cry for Western Europe to boost its faith in itself so that it can confront radical Islamic terrorists, the less violent — but highly dangerous — agents of sharia.
Tyrmand adds: “The president hit multiple important notes in his address, including guaranteeing America’s commitment to NATO and its integral Article 5 clause (‘an attack on one member is an attack on all’) and a dramatic upholding of Western civilization’s highest values, conservative values, of faith, sovereignty, liberty, and cultural absolutism — that there is a lofty and a sublime, and not everything is relative.”
‐“I thought it was his strongest speech to date, and a truly important occasion,” Douglas Murray tells me. The London-based author of The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam continues: “After years of apology tours from U.S. presidents and other world leaders, here was the leader of the free world reminding the West of what is great about ourselves and giving an unapologetic defense of that greatness. It also reminded the West, at a crucial juncture, not only of what we have fought for in the past but how important it is that each generation protects and passes on what we have been lucky enough to inherit.”
Despite this bullish appraisal, Murray sees Trump’s observations having a divergent influence on the hearts and minds of Europeans.
“The speech will have a greater impact in Eastern Europe than in Western Europe,” Murray predicts. The associate editor of The Spectator adds: “In Western Europe, more attention was paid to a stupid meme about the Polish first lady not shaking the president’s hand than to the serious and deep content of the speech. Western Europe is giggling its way to the grave, where Eastern Europe remembers the dangers that such levity and ignorance can lead to.”
As it turns out, Mrs. Agata Kornhauser-Duda did shake President Trump’s hand just seconds after initially missing it, as she first reached for the hand of America’s first lady, Melania Trump. This widely reported “story” is fake news over molecular trivia.
‐“Sweden has drifted slowly into the abyss of factionalism and animosity, spearheaded by that ideological Trojan horse called multiculturalism,” said Professor Göran Adamson, a Växjö-born sociologist and author of the forthcoming Masochist Nationalism: Multicultural Self-hatred and the Enchantment with the Exotic. “That’s whyPresident Trump’s speech to the Polish people was important. Multiculturalism is but another name for civilizational self-harassment. Even in an open and tolerant society, there are values, and the time has come to defend these values against those who do not respect the rules of the house.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s speech must have given Democrats fits. Trump stuck a pitchfork in the Left’s relentless, evidence-free narrative that he colluded with Russia to win the White House. If Trump captured the Oval Office by agreeing to be Vladimir Putin’s puppet, he is one rotten marionette.
“We urge Russia to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere, and its support for hostile regimes — including Syria and Iran,” Trump declared. Instead, he invited Putin’s nation to “join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and in defense of civilization itself.”
On his brief visit to Warsaw, Trump gave Poland access to the same U.S. Patriot defensive missile shield of which Obama deprived them. Trump also encouraged Eastern Europe to stop buying Russian natural gas and, instead, purchase that fuel from the U.S.A.
Fox News Channel’s Charles Krauthammer last night called this “the most anti-Russian speech since Ronald Reagan.”
President Trump is making life very difficult for Vladimir Putin, which reduces the Democrats’ “Russia! Russia! Russia” storyline to sheer comedy.
While the Left practices slapstick, Trump’s soaring rhetoric should inspire billions around the world who search for their spot on the spectrum between tyranny and liberty.
“Our citizens did not win freedom together, did not survive horrors together, did not face down evil together, only to lose our freedom to a lack of pride and confidence in our values,” Trump said. “We did not and we will not. We will never back down.”
As for those who aim to undermine free men and women, Trump offered these reassuring words of warning:
“Our adversaries, however, are doomed because we will never forget who we are. And if we don’t forget who are, we just can’t be beaten.”