Mainstream media broadcasters at Sky News have suggested President Trump’s declaration that the U.S. and Poland “put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the centre of our lives” will have been badly received in France and Germany.
In a revealing discussion with Times correspondent Michael Binyon, Sky anchor Colin Brazier said there were “elements of [President Trump’s] speech which conjured up memories of Samuel P. Huntington and ‘The Clash of Civilisations’” – a reference to the late American political scientist who warned that Islamic extremism would replace Communism as the greatest threat to the West following the end of the Cold War.
“Absolutely, yes,” concurred Binyon. “President Trump made it very clear that the continent of Europe faced threats from the east and the south, and by that he almost certainly meant Islamist extremism, and he very much underlined the common values – the cultural, religious and social values – that bind Europe together, suggesting that Europe is part of this Western idea, and that this idea and this tradition is under threat from the east.”
— Sarah H. Sanders (@SHSanders45) July 6, 2017
“Well, [the] threat from within was [President Trump’s] key point,” noted Brazier. “He seemed to feel that if the West decided to prevail against its enemies it could do, but he was doubtful about whether it had the coherence and the cohesion to do that.”
President Trump had told listeners in the Polish capital that, “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive.”
He asked, “Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost?
“Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders?
“Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilisation in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?”
— Jack Montgomery ن (@JackBMontgomery) July 6, 2017
Binyon said he thought it was “quite wise of [President Trump] to be doubtful because he’s going to find out in a day or so just how divided the West is … there are certainly big disagreements between America on the one hand, and Germany, France and other leading European nations”.
In an unintentionally revealing aside, the Sky anchor replied by saying that President Trump’s speech described “a particular depiction of a type of Western civilisation”.
“I mean, if you’re sitting in France or the chancelleries of Berlin, you like the stuff about the art and the history and the lore, [but] you might like rather less some of the ideas of Godliness, family, etc.”
Brazier’s remarks were incredibly telling with respect to the condition of Western European politics in general and Western European conservatism in particular, considering Angela Merkel’s party – the Christian Democrats – are an at least nominally faith-based, “centre-right” outfit.
Brazier even speculated that President’s Trump’s emphasis on “the war on terror, Godliness, family [and] social conservatism” may have been designed to appeal to an audience in Putin’s Russia, giving some indication of just how alien mainstream media commentators now consider such values in Britain and Western Europe.