Today in Conservative Media: What's Wrong With Trump Defending the West? – Slate Magazine (blog)

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POLANDUSDIPLOMACYDEFENCE_2President Donald Trump stands in front of the Warsaw Uprising Monument on Krasinski Square after his speech in Warsaw on Thursday.

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Conservative media for the most part expressed praise for President Trump’s remarks in Poland on the eve of the G20 conference. The Washington Free Beacon’s Matthew Continetti praised Trump’s call to defend “Western civilization.” “These are more than remarks to the Poles,” he wrote. “They describe a world of sovereign nation-states, governed by peoples proud of their histories and confident in their futures, united in common cause against the enemies of civilization, of freedom and human dignity. And Trump presents a challenge in the form of a question: Are we still made of that stuff that populated a continent, became an industrial powerhouse, went to the moon, and defeated the Kaiser and the Führer and the Emperor and the Politburo?”


In a post calling the racist anti-immigration novel The Camp of the Saints prophetic, the American Conservative’s Rod Dreher wrote that a defense of “Western values” was worth articulating:

So, when President Trump talks about Western “values,” what does he mean? And when he speaks of protecting “our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it,” what does he believe constitutes Western civilization? Who are those who are subverting and destroying it? Islamic terrorists, yes, but anybody else on that list? I wouldn’t put them in the Top Ten for the US, to be honest, though Islamic migration and the Islamic presence in Western Europe is a much more dangerous thing.

What constitutes the West, anyway? What are we supposed to want to defend? This is a serious question, one raised implicitly by Trump’s remarks today, though I am sure he wouldn’t have much of a clue how to answer it. That doesn’t let the rest of us off the hook, though. You can say, “Ha ha, Trump! Some defender of Western civilization that barbarian is!” But you still had better be able to provide an alternative vision of what Western civilization is, and what’s worth defending.

One of the greatest threats to the West today is the nearly uncontrolled migration of Third World peoples into Europe.


In National Review, Michael Brendan Dougherty criticized the charge that Trump’s speech contained alt-right themes. “Trump said that Polish and American troops are, in Afghanistan and Iraq, combating the enemies of all civilization,” he wrote. “Is this some dramatic rhetorical turn toward the fringe right? Hardly. It’s anodyne. France’s former president, Francois Hollande, spoke about combatting terror in precisely the same terms.” The Federalist’s David Harsanyi concurred. “Some reactions to celebrations of European culture can be attributed to the moral relativism practiced by people so consumed with identity politics they can’t even concede that some long-dead white guys might have had some good ideas about civilization,” he wrote. “Much of it, one hopes, is just hypersensitivity to Donald Trump.”

At RedState, Susan Wright took aim at Trump’s response during a press conference with the Polish president to a question about Russian interference in the 2016 election:

… Trump continued his attacks on the media, bragged about the money he made for NBC (Why??), and absolutely deflected on a question about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Yes, Russia interfered, but only three agencies said so. There are probably other countries involved (He didn’t name any), and why didn’t Obama do anything about it, since he knew in August?

The correct answer would be for Trump to say, “All signs point to Russian interference, and that is troubling.”


In other news:

Conservatives highlighted a speech given by Women’s March organizer Linda Sarsour at the Islamic Society of North American Convention, during which she called resistance to Trump “a form of jihad.” “[W]e are struggling against tyrants and rulers not only abroad in the Middle East or the other side of the world but here in the United States of America, where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House.”

“ISNA itself has a long history of ties to Islamic extremism,” the Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro wrote. Jordan Schachtel of Conservative Review pointed out that Sarsour started her speech by thanking Siraj Wajjah, whom Schachtel called “an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.” “Linda Sarsour has ties to the terrorist group, Hamas,” Gateway Pundit’s Cristina Laila claimed, “and is a Sharia law advocate who pushes to replace our Constitution with laws from a medieval death cult.”