Thursday, July 13, 2017

What Does Trump Mean by ‘the West’? Note for a discussion, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United."

William A. Galston, Wall Street Journal

image (not from article) from

In Warsaw, he talked of culture, history and faith. But he barely mentioned democracy.

In his speech last week Donald Trump barely mentioned democracy. He spoke instead of the “will [JB - see] to defend our civilization.” Although he did not offer an explicit definition of this civilization, the basic thrust of his understanding emerged. Our civilization rests on bonds of “history, culture, and memory.” It puts “faith and family” at the center of our lives. It is best summarized in the words one million Poles chanted in response to Pope John Paul II’s Warsaw sermon in 1979: “We want God.” [JB - see also.] This is the heart of the matter, said Mr. Trump: “The people of Poland, the people of America, and the people of Europe still cry out, ‘We want God.’ [on God, see also, among many sources, including the Bible.] ”
While this may well be true for the most devoutly Catholic nation in Europe, it would come as a surprise to most other Europeans. It is an inherently—perhaps intentionally—divisive interpretation [JB emphasis] of what we allegedly share as participants in Western civilization. Freedom of religion—the right of each to worship in his own way or not at all—would have been a more accurate way of putting it. It would also have been unifying. ...

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