Short Views

Taking a Stand in Warsaw

With a monument to the 1944 Warsaw Uprising as his backdrop, President Trump delivered a forceful speech on the eve of the G20 Summit, sounding themes that would not be welcome by most other leaders of the world’s most economically powerful countries.  Trump identified “the fundamental question of our time” as whether “the West has the will to survive.”  The President asked, “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 also declared that

We must work together to confront forces, whether they come from inside or out, from the South or the East, that threaten over time to undermine [Western] values and to erase the bonds of culture, faith, and tradition that make us who we are.

These particular lines of Trump’s speech were cited by The Atlantic’s Peter Beinart, the New Republic’s Jeet Heer, and many other leftists as evidence of what Beinart called “racial and religious paranoia” and Heer termed “white grievance.”  Beinart objected because “The West is a racial and religious term.  To be considered Western, a country must be largely Christian (preferably Protestant or Catholic) and largely white.”  According...

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