Putinist puppet Donald Trump had this to say in Poland:
“The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive,” he said. “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 civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?”
He also threw a salvo at Russia to prove that he's no puppet:
Mr Trump also urged Russia to "join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and in defence of civilisation itself".
Of course, as the New York Times article makes clear, this is merely a pro forma exercise in a country which fears the Russian bear, as he went on to make clear about Russian interference in the November elections:
But he also said he was still not entirely convinced that Russia was solely responsible for interference in the 2016 election, breaking with American intelligence agencies that have agreed that the efforts emanated from Moscow and were directed by Mr. Putin.
“I think it was Russia, and it could have been other people in other countries,” Mr. Trump said when asked for a yes-or-no answer to the question about Russian meddling. “Nobody really knows for sure.”
But let's get back to the meat of his speech: what he sees as the decline and fall of the West.
This is more in line with his "American carnage" theme from his inauguration speech. The West is on the ropes. It's a paper tiger. It can no longer defend itself against the virile forces of Islam. It has to match fire with fire.
Of course, there is no "American carnage". Before he took over, the US was at its strongest since before the end of the Cold War. Under Barack Obama it had regained respect and admiration around the world. That respect promised to continue under Hillary Clinton, until Vladimir Putin unleashed his bots to cinch the election for Donald Trump.
Now, six months into his regime, there is American carnage. The US is a laughingstock. After the North Korean ICBM test, Russia and China warned the US in no uncertain terms that regime change would not be tolerated. The EU and Japan just concluded a free trade deal, something which is escaping deal-maker Trump.
And about the decline of the West? Emmanuel Macron in France and Angela Merkel in Germany are proving that the West is up to the task. The forces of reaction are abating. Western liberalism and freedom are making a comeback.
The West had become more than a wistful remembrance of past glories. The West dominates the world because of its vitality, its openness, its freedom. The West has evolved from a collection of colonial powers oppressing native populations to an idea which captivates the world. That includes the United States, even in its parlous condition under Trump.
The only people who think the West faces imminent demise are people like Trump and Steve Bannon. Their idea of the West harkens back to when Western armies and navies spread over the globe, establishing colonial empires, keeping populations under military subjugation. That's the idea of the West for which they long. It is, fortunately, an idea whose time has come and gone.
What threatens the West is the demographic problem: Simply put, not enough babies are being born. This is natural: As women are better educated and enter the workforce, family size drops. Unless little Republics of Gilead pop up, this trend won't be reversed.
In the US, that problem has always been solved by immigration. The anti-immigration forces in the US aren't stepping up to the plate and reversing white demographic decline. And they won't; children are expensive, and the modern economy doesn't encourage large families. So, in spite of Trump's fulminations, immigration will continue, changing the face of the United States.
Now, Western Europe faces the same conundrum. Countries like the UK, France, and Germany have had a stop/start affair with immigration. Immigrants in Europe are far less integrated into the wider culture than they are in the US. That is the task which faces Europe: welcoming immigration, but fully integrating them into the fabric of Western culture, so that it doesn't repeat the mistakes of, say, the French, with suburbs filled with disaffected 2nd and 3rd generation children of immigrants. Unless Europe solves that issue, it will face ongoing problems as it tries to stem population decline.
Despite what the fearmongers say, the West isn't in decline. It has, if anything, won. Western culture is the world benchmark, led by the US. The West will only decline and fall if it listens to the alarmists braying about fire where there isn't even smoke.