President Donald Trump gave a magnificent speech in Warsaw last week. It was a stirring, down to Earth, and deeply human speech filled with praise for the people and spirit of Poland – and Western civilization as a whole.
It reminds us what we like about our new populist president – that he does not trade in effecting dour, political, monotone authoritativeness. Rather, he is human, he is honest. Sometimes he is rough around the edges, sometimes he is aggressive or awkward. But we are all rough around the edges and awkward. The difference that is some people do not try to hide their true selves, and Donald Trump is one of those people.
Before his speech began, the entire crowd chanted his name and ‘USA’ alternatively. It was strange and heartening. The idea that a group of people could be nationalistic and enthusiastically chant the name of another country strikes a blow to the idea that patriotism is inherently antagonistic towards other nationalities.
President Trump spoke of the strength, resilience, and spirit of the people of Poland. He spoke of their determination to survive coming under attack by the Germans and the Russians simultaneously. He spoke of their will to survive under overwhelming odds at a time when few people of the world had anything to give in support.
“The Poles have not only greatly enriched this region, but Polish-Americans have also greatly enriched the United States, and I was truly proud to have their support in the 2016 election.”
Trump’s praise for Poland’s significant place in history, its many important contributors to regional and world culture, its role in World War 2 was also enlightening. Seldom do we get a history lesson from our leaders when they speak. Ordinarily, we hear excuses for mistakes made, promises of investigations, platitudes, and other nonsense done in the kind of managerial speak that we all must endure too often at work, from local authorities, and from our leaders.
“For two centuries, Poland suffered constant and brutal attacks. But while Poland could be invaded and occupied, and its borders even erased from the map, it could never be erased from history or from your hearts. In those dark days, you have lost your land but you never lost your pride,” Trump said.
“So it is with true admiration that I can say today, that from the farms and villages of your countryside to the cathedrals and squares of your great cities, Poland lives, Poland prospers, and Poland prevails.”
There was an electricity in the air between our president and the audience. Trump’s way of showing his admiration for the courage and dutifulness of ordinary people shined on an entire nation.
It was different from his inauguration speech in that Trump lavished his admiration on a people who are not Americans. Trump’s promise of America First, is not forgotten, however. Rather, his speech in Warsaw sent the message that while America may be his first priority, his heart and plans are big enough to take other noble peoples into account.
“The triumph of the Polish spirit over centuries of hardship gives us all hope for a future in which good conquers evil, and peace achieves victory over war,” the president added.
Sadly, Trump’s opponents had little of anything good so say about his fine address to a fine people. Trump’s message of congratulations for Poland’s having had the strength to remain an enduring part of western society, his promise to honor Poland by doing his part to protect western culture and values brought him condemnation from talking heads in the media and his political opponents.
It would seem that according to them, promoting a civilization’s right to protect itself is somehow dishonorable, bigoted, cruel, and uncharitable. These are the same people who would allow hordes of unvetted refugees to flood into our country with no concern for the citizens, people of modest means already striving to make ends meet. These are the people who tell us that the cultures that are attacking us have a place among us.
They are the proponents of self-destruction, the lap dogs of globalism, the beneficiaries of authoritarian interests.
Perhaps the best thing to come out of Trump’s address in Poland was a signal to pull the country further into the western fold – and away from Russian influence. It’s true that the president campaigned on the idea that a warmer relationship with the Kremlin would make America’s foreign policy objectives easier, but make no mistake: Putin is a political rival for every western power, and Trump appears to be the only person capable of countering his aggression.
~ Conservative Zone