Richard Cohen: On his trip abroad, Trump left America's values behind – New York News




Somewhere over the Atlantic, as Air Force One was hurtling toward Poland, President Trump opened the door and threw out America’s values. In Warsaw, he delivered a speech a parakeet could have swiftly mastered — “That’s trouble, that’s tough,” he called the 1939 dual invasion of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union. He then moved on to Hamburg to issue his first presidential pardon, this one to Vladimir Putin for interfering in the election, and finally departed Europe having left America’s moral and political leadership behind. Maybe he’ll send for it.

The Wall Street Journal called the president’s Warsaw address “Trump’s Defining Speech” because of its “affirmative defense of the Western tradition.” Like much of the conservative press, the Journal cited his statement that “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive.” But the speech was neither defining nor persuasive. Instead, it was Trump once again mounting an imaginary horse and sallying forth to slay the Muslim hordes. This time he conflated Warsaw 2017 with Vienna 1529, when the advancing Muslim Ottomans were turned back. The question is not whether the West has the will to survive but whether it has the wit to deal with Trump.

As Trump was speaking in Warsaw, Mosul in Iraq was being liberated from Islamic State control. It is probably true that the terrorist movement will resurface somewhere else, but for the moment Baghdad is safe — Warsaw and Mar-a-Lago, too. The West whose steadfastness Trump questions has done just fine against an…

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