This column by ACRU General Counsel Ken Klukowski was published July 6, 2017 by Breitbart.
President Donald Trump in Poland on Thursday declared the paramount importance of defending our values, protecting our borders, building strong families, and preserving Western civilization. It was a speech that could have been given by President Ronald Reagan, reminiscent of Reagan’s historic “Tear Down This Wall” speech.
Addressing cheering throngs in the capital city of Warsaw, President Trump gave a serious speech about the serious threats facing the West as a whole: the United States, Poland, and more broadly the dozens of nations in Europe and North and South America that share a democratic form of government and typically hold to a Judeo-Christian moral philosophy.
His 35-minute speech covered a broad range of issues, praising Poland for its many accomplishments, pledging U.S. support for its ongoing endeavors, and thanking Poland for being one of the few NATO members that makes its full financial contributions to the alliance.
But then President Trump took a deeply philosophical turn, surveying the dangers to peace and stability facing not just the United States and Poland but scores of other nations across the globe.
“The fundamental question of our time is: whether the West has the will to survive,” he declared poignantly.
“Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost?,” the president continued. “Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?”
President Trump then cited the family unit and the values instilled in those family homes as the key for Western civilization: “We can have the largest economies and the most lethal weapons anywhere on Earth, but if we do not have strong families and strong values, then we will be weak, and we will not survive.”
It is possible that the president is setting forth the elements of the Trump Doctrine in foreign policy, one predicated upon American exceptionalism. Specifically, one that embraces that America’s greatness comes from America’s goodness—a goodness primarily derived from faith and family.
Far from isolationist, the Trump Doctrine seems to include that America can play a leading role in the world without subordinating the safety, prosperity, or happiness of American citizens to those of other countries.
Shortly after the speech, White House aide Sebastian Gorka appeared on Fox News, sounding a similar theme of how American exceptionalism can coexist with international engagement.
“President Trump is president of this country, not president of the world,” Gorka began. But then he explained that the president’s agenda does not require withdrawing inside our own borders.
“‘America First’ does not mean ‘America Alone,’” Gorka declared.