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Not too long ago, former French President Hollande quipped to the Polish Prime Minister: “You might have the ideals, but we have the money.” President Trump has just quipped back: “No François, I have the money.”

Trump in EuropeWe could be excused for thinking our ancestors of two generations ago were philosopher-kings. From FDR through Ronald Reagan, the media narrative usually consisted of words, sometimes mixed with sound and pictures, but mostly words. Words about things related to war and economy. Nowadays, it is difficult to distinguish the political “journalism” that reported on President Trump’s visit to Brussels from the fashion journalists reporting on women’s dresses at the Cannes film festival.

Thus Americans are treated to videos and images of the President pushing Prime Ministers while everyone else (except of course the President of Poland—the press doesn’t like him either) is shown to be dignified and oh, so European. The press, of course, believes “European” is a synonym for French. The cosmopolitan Mr. and Mrs. Trump know better.

There is of course a strain of European culture that places form over content and aesthetics over philosophy. This strain of European thought is sometimes referred to as France. Yet even in this category, President Trump has Western Europe beat.

Unlike the leaders of countries like France and the Netherlands, Donald Trump brought something to Europe that Westerner Europeans have not seen in a long time: a beautiful, intelligent woman, a truly European woman, a wife, mother and embodiment of the potential success awaiting legal immigrants who work hard. The First Lady represents the typical Slavic grace and beauty of Eastern European women, and she has put her charm in the service of the United States.

Yet President Trump, being a businessman, clearly does not like to waste time, and thus while his wife ruled the arena of form, the President went straight to the content. He talked about money. Western European politicians don’t like talking about money. It reminds them of a related subject: responsibility.

Didn’t the President get the memo? Europe is busy inviting every last Muslim on the planet to please come and register for welfare in Paris. The French people recently elected a President who promised just this. Until now, there was only one barrier to this vision: Poland. The pesky Poles, with their strange ideas of Christ, self-government, and Europe defined as Christendom, continue to refuse to open their country to mass, uncontrolled Muslim migration. Western Europeans were not too bothered by this. They have long practice in ignoring, dismissing, or blowing up Poland.

However, President Trump is another thing. His NATO talk called not only for Western Europeans to pay their fair share for current defense, but to reimburse the United States for decades of American-funded defense. This is a true nightmare to the Western European elite. How will they finance their plans to accommodate even more Islamic radicals in Europe if they have to suddenly start paying for their own defense? Europe’s President Tusk tried to lighten the mood by telling the President that “they call this Tusk Tower” in reference to the little building they were in. The President was not impressed by an unelected bureaucrat who never built anything, trying to compare himself to one of the greatest real-estate developers in the world. When Mr. Tusk tried to lecture the President that he should pursue “Western values” instead of “national interest,” President Trump refrained from pointing out that a respect for national interests is inherent in “Western values.” The President treats Arab kings with billions of dollars, Israelis with nuclear weapons, and authentic spiritual leaders like the Pope with respect; unelected and pompous European administrators receive quite different treatment and rightly so.

To make matters even worse for the Western Europeans, neither Donald Trump nor Poland is going anywhere soon. Not too long ago, the former French President Hollande quipped to the Polish Prime Minister: “you might have the ideals, but we have the money.” Donald Trump has just quipped back: “No François, I  have the money.”

The United States is no more leaving NATO than Poland is leaving Europe. If anything, it is France and Germany that appear to misunderstand both the idea of collective defense and of European union. The mainstream journalists share this misunderstanding—thus their misrepresentation of the President’s very successful visit.

Western Europeans are not accustomed to Polish people thinking themselves true Europeans nor to Americans requesting payment rather than financing Islamic radicalization and gay pride, both of which seem to form the core of Western European identity now. While Poles can still be ignored due to their weakness, President Trump cannot. It will take time for the message to sink in that business as usual is over. With any luck, this will happen in Western Europe sometime before it votes to become an Islamic caliphate.

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6 replies to this post
  1. Mister Rieth,

    With all due respect.

    Your previous essays, from a few years back, were insightful and a delight to read. Frankly, I am become concerned about your perspective-shift since the ascension of Trump.

    Caesarism of the Right is no less obnoxious than Caesarism of he Left. And paeans to Developer Trump are no less cringeworthy than paeans to Great Stalin.

    Of all the peoples on Earth, one from Poland should understand better than the rest of us, what happens when a Strong Man begins tromping across the face of the planet. Because Trump is “our” Strong Man does not make him any better than Sulla or Marius or… name your poison.

  2. President Trump evokes strong emotions. My last article on The Imaginative Conservative which focused on the President (titled “What are the Ramifications of the Syria Strike?”) began with the unequivocal words

    “President Trump is wrong”

    And the whole article is an argument against the President’s actions in Syria. It is mostly followed by commentators expressing their disagreement with me and support for the President.

    If anything, this should demonstrate that I am not generally engaged in writing paeans.

    However, I did both endorse and vote for President Trump and support him. I love him as Romans loved Caesar and so hate him for firing Flynn and bombing Syria. I fully admit he is the first statesman of my lifetime who has broken through and struck a chord in my heart. And it is a good feeling to from time to time become sentimental about democratic leaders. I also am truly in awe of the First Lady.

    As an aside, I also supported Mark Antony over Brutus (in the context of Shakespeare’s play) and do not think Caesar was necessarily bad: he represnted the Populists against the Nobles. Cato and Brutus were honorable men, but Mark Antony and Caesar before him felt the pulse of a noble city. On my literature blog I have an analysis of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar called In Defense of Mark Antony, if you are interested.

    Regarding Poland, Donald Trump is loved in Poland and his Presidency may be all that stands between Poland’s survival and the menaces that gather on the horizons.

    Poland is today threatened by Germany.

    In fact, after Chancellor Merkel’s Beer Tent speech I felt for the first time in my life that perhaps German reunification was a mistake.

    This is a subject that deserves a longer piece and longer explanation, but under President Trump America is standing up to a very dangerous power in Europe – a power which has shown its true colors now.

    The majority of Poles – I am convinced – love President Trump and chear him on.

    I am certainly not above criticizing him, nor do I think I am always right – but just as the press and everyone else are dissapointed in President Trump , I am dissapointed in Germany.

    Never did I imagine that on Memorial Day in 2017 we would hear a German Chancellor threaten the United States and use the language of German imperialism professing to speak for all of Europe when she has no popular mandate to do so.

    I struggle between my desire to be broad minded and the duty to not pretend to be pure by remaining aloof.

    I have decided after a lifetime of seeing my preferred candidates not even make it out of the primaries (this goes for Democrats and Republicans), then for God’s sake the one time that the fellow I actually liked not only gets the nomination but wins the Presisency then this demands that I support him, and to the extent I can – help him.

    If this makes me more partisan now than in the past it is because I finally have someone who I can be partisan for.

    I have my own beliefs and principles and my own sense of when compromise is called for, when principle must not bend.

    I hope that readers, whether they agree or disagree with me about Trump, will grant me that I am never mindless in praise or attack.

  3. Mister Rieth,

    I am flattered by the length of your response to my brief quibble and truly appreciate the thoughtfulness with which you formulated your (rebuttal? apologia?). And I value your thoughts on Shakespeare’s version of Julius Caesar. (In reality, Marc Antony was a brutal thug who had Cicero murdered, and was far too sensual to govern wisely, finger on the pulse or no. It fell to Octavian to better the conditions of Rome, but even that led to Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero. Not a very good track record.) Once the Republic was murdered, and it was killed as much by the Conspirators as by Caesar, there was no going back.
    Allow me to state my own silly notions on this topic.

    It has been noted that Conservatives are divided on Trump about the fracture point of whether a catastrophic event was/is upon us or not. Those who believe Hilary Clinton was the ultimate disaster, from which there was to be no recovery, usually were, and are, fervent Trump supporters. Others who are less apocalyptic in thinking, believe that the corruption of a Clinton II administration would self-defeat all of its plans, are more free to indulge in their rejection of what they perceive as an ignorant Mafiosi thug. Against all reason, I believe in the System which we have, and that no man (or woman) is the indispensable Man of the Hour, not is his steed a White Horse.

    I do not perceive Donald Trump as having any agenda beyond personal and familial aggrandizement and vainglory, and any triumphs he achieves are less due to intelligence and imagination than to luck and the temporary influence of more lucid and knowledgeable advisers.

    With all that, he IS my President, just as Barack Obama was my President, George Bush was my President, and Bill Clinton was my President. What a sorry bunch.

    Both major American political parties have ceased to serve the public interest. The Republican Party has become hives of moral pygmies inhabiting political niches, oscillating between the Big Business Forever Gang and the Invade-and-Destroy Brigade. The Democratic Party, no less corrupt, seems to be entrenching itself in the Land of Grievance, and appears to be doing its best to effectively disenfranchise anyone not controlled by the Elites. In actuality, the two are becoming indistinguishable, varying only in “who’s on first” at any given moment.

    I had thought that perhaps the accession of Trump would at least serve to break up the corruption, however it seems to be so ingrained in American politics, not even a wrecking ball in the Oval Office can do more than briefly perturb the mandarins.

    It is regrettable the XXth Century became the Century of Ideology, producing wars which were no more in effect than feuding religious sects bearing political banners instead of crosses. Politics, properly construed, is more about garbage collection and potholes than what people think about abstractions. Alas, we have all become religious fanatics. God save the United States, God save the world. We may (may) be on that broad road paved with Good Intentions. Or not.

    If we are to be saved (?) — a religious idea, not a political one — it will be by means of the checks and balances ingrained in our form of government, however damaged they may have been by the last several Imperial executives, and not by a Leader. It is not (yet) Armageddon.

    (I shall look for your literature blog, it sounds interesting.)

  4. Call me Naïve: Unused power is lost power. Too much attention spent on the person instead of the message seems to weaken the exercise of power. Chaos reigns. Or, does it? The Western European leaders have a lot of explaining to do by putting the interests of invading peoples ahead of the native populations. It seems they are willing to use any issue to maintain their positions of power. Along comes a previously non-elected person who does not look through rose colored glasses or through the lenses tinted by diplomatic niceties, political correctness or media subterfuge and most revealingly appoints people who understand power. Europe has warred between themselves for most of the last 2000 years and seem to be resolved to cultural suicide. The folks, who are always those who pay the ultimate price for top-down blundering, need to be woke up by someone, and it might as well be the most powerful person in the world. Our bully pulpit kitchen cabinet, those tens of thousands of patriotic citizens, whether they admit it or not, is fundamentally motivated by those spiritual forces contained in our law and it is those spiritual forces that have allowed our nation to rise to its position of prominence. Serious times demand serious plain spoken leaders, leaders who look em in the eye and don’t blink. Trump may be the man for the times. The Presidency is a tough apprentice program. Time will tell if Trump is fired or revered.

  5. Love this article, and after first laughing at the big, orange guy in the Republican field, I quickly came to his side after he continued to courageously speak for millions of Americans who had been drowned out by the P.C. crowd and corrupt media. I don’t know how David Naas can possibly say that Trump was attempting to stroke his own ego by conducting the type campaign he did. A stroked ego? The man has been vilified as I’ve never seen it done to a candidate/public official in my lifetime.

  6. Thank you Barbara. It is always good to hear from another Trump supporter. We need to be loud and unapologetic. The media are trying to shame us into abandoning him – I think we must stick with him. What is truly terrible is that they are vilifying us as well – by association. It doesn’t matter if you’re a good person, an educated person – if you support Trump, the media tell us, you must be a fool, or worse. We should not let them tar us with this brush.

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