The Atlantic

Defending Liberal Democracy Is Not the Same as Defending 'the West'

If “Western” is synonymous with “democratic” or “free,” then you don’t need the term at all.
Source: Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

The most telling feature of Daniel Foster’s response to my article on Donald Trump’s Warsaw speech is that, while he dislikes my definition of “the West,” he never offers one of his own. I argued that, in the United States today, the best predictor of whether a country is considered “Western” is whether it is primarily white and primarily Christian. (With Protestant and Catholic countries considered more Western than Orthodox ones, and Israel tossed in to buttress the “Judeo” part of “Judeo-Christian.”) I noted that non-white or non-Christian countries aren’t generally considered Western even when they are further west geographically than Christian, white ones (Morocco v. Poland, Haiti v. France, Egypt v. Australia

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