“The future of the liberal democratic West depends on the non-liberal-democratic institutions from which we derive our values: family and faith. We can have the largest economies and the most lethal weapons (...), but if we do not have strong families and strong values, then we will be weak and we will not survive. Nor will we survive if we neglect the non-liberal-democratic institutions that enforce liberal-democratic values: the military and police”.
President Trump delivered one of the most important speeches of his Presidency on Thursday. It was as clear a statement we've heard of Trump's nation-state populism. This philosophy is both enduring and undefined. Its most important concept is the people: citizens of the folk community, “membership in which crosses ethnic, racial and sectarian lines”. Together, the people constitute the nation. Borders define the nation's physical extent, but not its nature. Indeed, the nation may exist independent of statehood or political sovereignty. Poland and the USA are among the "free nations" that make up the "civilization" of "the West." And the West is unified, not only by "bonds of culture, faith, and tradition" and "history, culture, and memory," but also by shared values: "Individual freedom and sovereignty", innovation, creativity, and exploration, meritocracy, "the rule of law," the "right to free speech and free expression", female empowerment and "faith and family." And, "above all, we value the dignity of every human life, protect the rights of every person, and share the hope of every soul to live in freedom". Western civilization faces threats. Foremost among them, the the "oppressive ideology" of radical Islam, Trump said, "seeks to export terrorism and extremism all around the globe". There are also "powers that seek to test our will, undermine our confidence, and challenge our interests" --namely Russia but also, farther away, China and North Korea--. Finally, there is "the steady creep of Government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people" and overrides their sovereignty. What matters more, Trump said, is national spirit. "More horrifying than a defeat of arms is a collapse of the human spirit".