In Warsaw, America’s president barely mentions democracy
Earlier American administrations defined “the West” with reference to values such as democracy, liberty and respect for human rights. Mr Trump and many of his advisers, including the speech’s authors, Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller, apparently see it as rooted in ethnicity, culture and religion.
.. When George W. Bush visited Poland for his first presidential visit, in 2001, he referred to democracy 13 times. When Barack Obama spoke in Warsaw in 2014, he mentioned democracy nine times. For Mr Trump, once sufficed.
.. Mr Trump invoked the “blood of patriots”, and the ties of family and God. The rhetoric sounded strikingly similar to that used by the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party that governs Poland, and its leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
..The crowd hurled insults at opposition politicians, booing when Lech Walesa, the anti-communist hero and a critic of the current government, left the square.
.. According to polling by Pew, just 23% have confidence in America’s president to do the right thing, down from 58% under Mr Obama.
.. At a news conference, he insisted that no one knows for sure whether Russia interfered with America’s presidential election (contradicting the conclusions of his own intelligence agencies).
.. Still, Mr Trump did unambiguously endorse NATO’s Article 5
.. But the greatest reason for Poland’s government to be delighted with Mr Trump was what he did not mention: PiS’s undermining of democratic institutions to entrench its own power. The party has stuffed the civil service and the diplomatic corps with loyalists and has weakened the independence of the judiciary. It has transformed the national broadcaster into a mouthpiece of the state. Independent journalists face new restrictions. The European Commission has warned the government that its reforms pose “a systemic risk to the rule of law.”