President Trump’s speech to the people of Poland clearly and unapologetically stated enduring values that are the foundation of Western civilization. Unlike the previous American president, he did not apologize for American strengths that have served us well since our founding. His remarks resonated in a way that some compared to Ronald Reagan and Winston Churchill.
Among the many fine points in his speech, three in particular stood out to me.
President Trump’s Commitment To Combat Terrorism
In Poland, President Trump was explicit about the threat facing all of us from Islamist terrorists, and his vow to combat it:
We are confronted by another oppressive ideology -- one that seeks to export terrorism and extremism all around the globe. America and Europe have suffered one terror attack after another. We’re going to get it to stop. 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. We are fighting hard against radical Islamic terrorism, and we will prevail. We cannot accept those who reject our values and who use hatred to justify violence against the innocent.
It is a welcome change to know that this President is aware of the dangers posed by jihadists, and is unabashed in calling them out.
President Trump’s comments also draw a compassionate and necessary line in the sand for those who desire to enter our country, whether for refuge or for another reason – new citizens must “share our values and love our people.” This is smart, compassionate, and respectful. Why would we welcome those who “reject our values and who use hatred to justify violence against the innocent?” Yet for years this is exactly what we have done. Kudos to President Trump for having the courage to protect our country.
President Trump Recognizes the Power of the Individual
President Trump has also recognized, and is working to combat, another central threat to our future – an ever-expanding federal government.
[O]ur citizens are confronted by yet another danger -- one firmly within our control. This danger is invisible to some but familiar to the Poles: the steady creep of government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people. The West became great not because of paperwork and regulations but because people were allowed to chase their dreams and pursue their destinies.
Americans, Poles, and the nations of Europe value individual freedom and sovereignty. 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 these 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.
President Trump knows, as former President Reagan said, that “as government expands, liberty contracts.” President Trump has repeatedly demonstrated his dedication to diminishing government interference in our everyday lives, and for loosening the government’s iron grip on decisions that are better left to individuals. I applaud him for this.
President Trump Asks the Most Important Question of All
President Trump highlighted the most critical issue facing all of us when he asked whether the West has the will to survive. In his straightforward manner that many who are uncomfortable with the truth do not appreciate, he asked:
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.
Do we have the will to survive? Will we stop relying on the government to do things for us that we ought to do for ourselves? Will we stop asking for permission to exercise the rights that we already possess as beings of our Creator?
We must be vigilant about protecting our families, our loved ones, our homes, and our homeland. We have been given the rights and the capabilities to do so. Our failure to recognize this, and act accordingly, will weaken us all.