Trump Defends the West

A president who defends the West. What a pleasure. Here is Bruce Thornton writing at FrontPage Mag:

While critics display their embarrassing ignorance of history.

President Trump’s ringing defense of Western civilization during his speech in Poland was a welcome answer to the phony cultural relativism, fashionable self-loathing, and smug hypocrisy of leftist Westerners who bash the West but wouldn’t live anywhere else. So it’s no surprise that the progressive establishment bashed the speech as “racial and religious paranoia,” as one screed in the Atlantic was titled.

That headline, and the essays’ claim that “the West is a racial and religious term” and a dog-whistle for alt-right racists, bespeak a profound ignorance about what defines the West. The core ideas of the West began in the city states of ancient Greece, then for centuries were further elaborated by the Romans before Christianity existed. Most important of these ideas was the notion of citizenship, the belief that the laws and customs comprising the political order were a collective possession of free and equal citizens, not of a king or elite defined by birth and lording over subjects. Power no longer belonged to men, to be used to further their personal status or wealth or ambitions. Power became abstract, embodied in the laws, offices, and electoral procedures used by citizens to make the decisions about who should use power, and for what power should be used.

The principle that power resides in laws, not men, was the foundation stone of our own Constitution and every subsequent political order that vests power in free citizens. And this order exists to ensure and protect political freedom and equality, ideas likewise born in ancient Greece and found only in the West or its imitators.

Thus the other uniquely Western goods that Trump touched on came into existence to protect that unprecedented invention of citizenship and consensual rule. Free speech, for example, the ability of citizens to discuss and deliberate openly without fear of retribution, arose among the ancient Greeks, who had two words for free speech. Search the ancient empires contemporary with the Greeks and you will not find anywhere the ideas of free speech, or constitutional government, or politics, or citizenship, or words expressing each. You will find only power: rule by coercion and force.

Read more: FrontPage Mag

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