US Voters: Future of West in Doubt

by Stephen Wynne  •  •  July 13, 2017   

New study reveals widespread concern about survival of Western civilization

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DETROIT ( - According to a new Rasmussen survey, a majority of U.S. voters now doubts the the endurability of the West.

Taken on July 6 and 9, the national telephone and online poll found that 63 percent of "Likely Voters" think President Trump is a more aggressive promoter of American interests abroad than his predecessors.

But a minority — 42 percent — agree with Trump's declaration that "the West will never, ever be broken. Our values will prevail. Our people will thrive. And our civilization will triumph."

The president's assertion came during his July 6 visit to Poland, one of America's staunchest allies, and Europe's most strongly Catholic nation.

In an address to the Polish people from Warsaw's Krasiński Square, Trump characterized the West as a product of faith and culture.Hearkening back to Pope St. John Paul II's 1979 visit to Poland during its communist era, he recalled the pontiff's open-air Mass, when "a million Polish men, women, and children suddenly raised their voices in a single prayer ... 'We Want God.'"

Pope John Paul II in Poland in 1979

Tying that moment to the present, Trump noted, "Their message is as true today as ever. The people of Poland, the people of America, and the people of Europe still cry out 'We want God.'"

In a key moment of his speech, the president praised the Poles for re-asserting "their identity as a nation devoted to God," for "with that powerful declaration of who you are, you came to understand what to do and how to live."

There is strength, he said, in an identity, a culture, built on faith. Poland's strength reinforces the strength of Europe, and "a strong Europe is a blessing to the West and to the world."

Trump stressed the commonality of American and European ideals, the basis of which are Judeo-Christian, and specifically, Catholic.

But, as the Rasmussen survey reflects, Americans' confidence in the West has been shaken.

The nations of Europe are stripping their institutions and identities of their Judeo-Christian character. Decades of contraception and abortion have led to graying, declining populations. Millions of Muslim migrants are flooding across most regions. Economic crisis has paralyzed the continent's southern periphery. In the United States and Canada, religious adherence is declining, while contraception, abortion, same-sex marriage and transgenderism are being more widely accepted.

Trump outlined several challenges facing the West: Islamist terrorism, resurgent Russian aggression and encroaching bureaucracy.

He affirmed his resolution that these threats will be defeated, not through strength of weapons, but through strength of will:

The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? ... Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it? ... Our own fight for the West does not begin on the battlefield — it begins with our minds, our wills, and our souls.

Rasmussen — which came closer to predicting the outcome of the 2016 election than any other major polling service — has shown that a minority of Americans believe the West has the will to survive. For now, the president's questions remain open.


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