Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro rode a populist wave of nationalist fervor into elected office in Brazil, and thereafter appointed Ernesto Araújo to be his Foreign Minister. Araújo is a career diplomat, and the author of an erudite article, entitled simply “Trump and the West,” first published in 2017, which provides a comprehensive cultural, historical, philosophical, and political framework of the insurgent populist nationalism that is rising throughout the Western world. The elected U.S. President Donald Trump is most emblematic of this vision of the West. Araújo’s exposition is a clarion call for the men of the West to stand athwart “cultural Marxism,” and by implication liberalism and postmodernism. Ernesto Araújo astutely lauds the leadership of President Trump, whose brinksmanship aims to defend Western Christian societies from the twin perils of Islam and global cultural Marxism. Ernesto marshals a bountiful corpus of intellectual ammunition in defense of the West, and presents Donald J. Trump as the perennial statesman of our age, as he is highly attuned to the populist, nationalist spirit of the modern West.
In Araújo’s learned judgment, neither military weapons nor terrorism presents the greatest threat to the West today, rather it’s more of an issue of the ability to preserve and sustain Western culture and identity itself, as Ernesto argues that “the real huge danger is the disappearance of Western identity itself.” He sees Donald Trump as a vanguard of an intellectual-political movement that is vitally requisite to defend Western Civilization, and by clear implication, Trump is apt to possess a comparable philosophy to that articulated by Ernesto Araújo himself. “This vision of the West does not mean conflict with non-Westerners,” Araújo observes in writing of Donald J. Trump. More to the point, “the enemy of the West is not Russia or China, nor is it an enemy state, but indeed primarily an enemy within, abandoning one’s own identity; and an outside enemy, radical Islamism – which, meanwhile, plays second fiddle to the first, because Islamism only poses a threat because it finds the West spiritually weak and disconnected from itself. There is no ‘us-versus-them logic’ here, contrary to what Trump’s detractors are fond of saying. There is instead an ‘us seeking to reclaim ourselves’ logic.” To this end, Araújo appears to the heroic men of the West, and the symbolism embodied in the historical struggles of the western Greeks against the tyrannical Persians from the orient, as well as the United States and the free world standing athwart the collectivism of the Soviet Union. “Patriotism,” notes Araújo, “is therefore part of the very essence of the West. It was not the brainchild of philosophers; it was felt by men facing the risk of death. . .”
The West also needs its heroes. To Araújo, Donald J. Trump is among the heroes of our time. “The West was born at Salamis, but not only in the battle itself strictly speaking, but also, and most of all, in the literary transposition Aeschylus gave it. The West was thus born with a dimension of self-reflection. It was born not only as a fact, but as a literary work of a conscious history building – Greek tragedy is where myth merges with history.” Postmodernism in contrast attacks the notion of heroes as but another cult of Western imperial ego. Yet Araújo recognizes that heroes inspire men to lay hold of greatness, and heroes articulate and communicate ideas, and in the case of Donald J. Trump, it’s an idea of the West worth defending, which aids in the survival of the West. This noble myth is necessary and frankly truthful as it reflects the culture, history, and peoples of the West much more so than the ideological radicalism of socialists and post-modernists who seek to wipe the slate clean and start the world anew.
Click here to read an English-language translation of “Trump and the West” by Ernesto Araújo.