Western Civilization vs the Progressive Democrats 2017. @danhenninger @wsjopinion

C

07-14-2017

(Photo: English: William Pitt the Younger addressing the House of Commons

Nederlands: het Lagerhuis

Date 1793

Medium engraving)

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Western Civilization vs the Progressive Democrats 2017. @danhenninger @wsjopinion

In fact, that Warsaw speech on Western Civ was really about the current edition of the Democratic Party and its two-term leader, Barack Obama. Mr. Trump momentarily suppressed the urge to call out his opposition, so allow me.

The Trump “base” knew the 2016 presidential election—the contest between Mr. Obama’s successor and whoever would run against her—wasn’t just another election. It was a crucial event, deciding whether America would go on in the Western tradition as it had developed in the U.S. or continue its steady drift away from those ideas.

Progressives have an interest in ridiculing the Trump speech as a stalking horse for the heretofore obscure and microscopic alt-right because it deflects from their own political values—on view and in power the past eight years.

If there is one controlling Western idea developed across centuries in Europe, including by resort to war, it is that the individual person deserves formalized protection from the weight of arbitrary political authority, whether kings, clergy or dictators.

Bernard Bailyn, the great historian of the pre-revolution politics of the U.S. colonies, showed through a deep reading of colonial pamphleteering that the early Americans were ardently resentful of distant, central authority.

The Founders were obsessed with this idea—and for that see Jefferson’s “He has” bill of particulars against King George in the Declaration of Independence. They designed a government explicitly to protect smaller units—individuals, local governments—from being overwhelmed by too-powerful political authority.

The American left has never been altogether comfortable with the U.S.’s decentralized, “difficult” political system. Once it identifies a universal political good, it is impatient to put it in place. One of the first American ideas resisted by the left was federalism: The states, they believe, can’t be trusted to do the right thing.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-teaches-western-civ-1499898949

Jul 15, 05:01 AM
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