By Quin Hillyer at The Washington Examiner;

President Trump actually made an excellent speech in Warsaw. The Left, predictably, is awash with claims that the speech was a dog whistle to Trump’s “white nationalist supporters.”

The Left is bonkers. Or benighted. Or both.

Trump’s speech was a Reaganesque (written by former Reagan speechwriter Tony Dolan) paean to Polish courage and to the shared values of “the West” – “a fellowship that exists only among people who have fought and bled and died for freedom.” He praised the “strong alliance of free nations in the West that defied tyranny.”

To the Atlantic’s Peter Beinart, usually among the saner writers among the Left’s intelligentsia, the speech was full (as the headline put it) of “racial and religious paranoia.” He claims, against all history, that this non-geographic use of the term “the West” is not ideological or economic, but instead “racial and religious…. To be considered Western, a country must be largely Christian (preferably Protestant or Catholic) and largely white.”

Beinart is spectacularly wrong. He and his ilk are the paranoid ones

Beinart is spectacularly wrong. He and his ilk are the paranoid ones. “The West,” so called because of the European East-West divide against Soviet Communism in which Western Europe was backed by the even further geographically western United States, has long stood for all freedom-loving nations which, as Trump explicitly said, were and are opposed to tyranny.

Sure, before the Cold War, the term was used to distinguish “Western Civilization” from the civilizations of the Orient (Japan, China, etc.).

Yet the term is clearly meant here as homage not to a race but to a civic culture of small-r republicanism backed by the protection of human rights, guaranteed by the neutrally enforced, predictable rule of law.

In this sense, Japan and Taiwan and increasingly even India are seen as part of “The West” in terms of civic culture if not other parts of culture, in a way that Russia, for example, never yet has. Race has nothing to do with it.

(I heard Margaret Thatcher down here in southern Alabama, just weeks before her series of small strokes ended her public speaking career, spend an entire speech on the idea that the future of freedom and of “The West” would depend “on the alliance of English-speaking peoples.” Among those “peoples” she repeatedly included in her remarks were those of India.)….

[The full column is at this link.]

 

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