The vitality of 'the West'
Since President Trump's inauguration, there has been nonstop questioning about America's "commitment to the West" and to "Western values." But what does all of this mean? Certainly, our nation shares with its European allies commitments to the rule of law and, above all else, protection of the individual as the foremost unit in the political realm.
But do we?
For years, it has been increasingly clear that Europe is attempting, through "ever closer union," to create a gigantic "United States of Europe." By virtue of her nation's economic might, Chancellor Angela Merkel has become the de facto European head of state, ushering in a uniquely German view of the world. For atonement for her nation's past, she has welcomed in millions of refugees either uninterested in or incapable of assimilating into their host country societies. Within the last few months, we witnessed a British court (the country from which came the Magna Carta) tell two loving parents they did not possess a right to attempt to save their child's life. But the right of any Syrian who seeks refuge in Europe must not be challenged – indeed, it must be codified in European common law. Germany is so fearful of Russia and Russian aggression that it recently closed a deal to become more dependent on Russian energy. Examples abound of downright questionable decision-making as well as confused morality.
What we are presently witnessing, ironically enough, are the excesses of success of the democratic project. So triumphant was America's reconstruction of postwar Europe, along with the installation of American military might, that European societies are able to focus on boutique interests, such as concern for refugees, unlimited "rights" to abortion, ever growing expansion of the welfare state, and "green" technologies.
What kind of a message does it send to a small nation such as Montenegro when Germany endeavors to give Russia a significant share of its business in the energy sector? Or when France continues to seek out business ventures in Iran, a nation where gays are ritually beheaded? It is quite clear that a moral rot permeates the European continent, and that rot has been enabled by America's unwavering commitment to NATO.
The president is quite correct to call out NATO for its obligation deficit; going back to George H.W. Bush, every single American president has spoken of the need for NATO nations to contribute their "fair share" to the common defense of Europe. It remains a rather simple axiom, but how can a West Virginia coal-miner care more about German security than a German auto worker? Since when did highlighting simple arithmetic, as well as pointing to the hypocrisy of the decisions of a nation such as Germany, rise to the level of "undermining the West"?
It is abundantly clear that this president does want the West to survive, and more than that, to thrive – so much so that he is willing to play the role of the doctor who delivers the bitter medicine and thus guarantees future health. There's one catch: the medicine works only on a patient who possesses an unwavering desire to live.