The Atlantic

The Falsehood at the Core of Trump's Warsaw Speech

The problem was not so much the speech as the speaker.
Source: Laszlo Balogh / Reuters

Sunday was “trivialize violence against the media” day for President Trump. Thursday was “fly to Warsaw and champion Western values day.”

As presidential speeches go, Trump’s address in Warsaw was fair. Ish. If you forget who is speaking and what that person has been saying and doing since Inauguration Day—since the opening of his campaign in 2015—and really through his career.

But if you remember those things, the speech jolted you to attention again and again.

“We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression.” This must be an example of what the grammarians should rename the “disjunctive we”: a we that does not include the speaker of the words. Rule of law? Free speech? Shortly before boarding the plane to Europe, President Trump’s

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic7 min read
What a Sanders Win in Nevada Would Really Mean
LAS VEGAS—Democrats everywhere may start asking the same volatile question after Nevada holds its presidential caucus on Saturday: Can the party deny Bernie Sanders the nomination if he arrives at the Democratic National Convention this summer with a
The Atlantic13 min read
The First Days of the Trump Regime
The president has interpreted the Republican-controlled Senate’s vote to acquit as a writ of absolute power.
The Atlantic5 min read
Single-Sex Wedding Parties Don’t Make Sense Anymore
Close, platonic, mixed-gender friendships are more common than ever. Marriage ceremonies should adapt accordingly.