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At conference of world leaders, McCain blasts Trump"s worldview

2017.02.18 11:50

Without ever mentioning President Trump by name, Sen. John McCain used a speech in Germany on Friday as an international platform in an apparent blast at his fellow Republican’s policies and worldview.

Speaking at the 2017 Munich Security Conference, McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, warned the world leaders against isolationism. The so-called “think-tank” conference has met for the past five decades, drawing leaders for debate on international security challenges.

“My friends: In the four decades I have attended this conference, I cannot recall a year where its purpose was more necessary or more important," he said.

“The next panel asks us to consider whether the West will survive. In recent years, this question would invite accusations of hyperbole and alarmism. Not this year. If ever there were a time to treat this question with a deadly seriousness, it is now. "

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Trump, who rallied voters during the 2016 campaign with his America-first approach, has criticized NATO, calling it “obsolete” in a January interview with the U.K. news site The Times. Trump’s comments have alarmed European leaders and NATO ally countries.

McCain’s public bickering with Trump has heightened in recent weeks. At the summit, he called on world leaders to take seriously his fears over the president’s policies. According to a transcript posted on McCains website, the senator went on to target Trump’s signature enforcement orders and world view.

“What would von Kleist’s generation (the founders of the Munich conference) say if they saw our world today? I fear that much about it would be all-too-familiar to them, and they would be alarmed by it.

“They would be alarmed by an increasing turn away from universal values and toward old ties of blood, and race, and sectarianism.

“They would be alarmed by the hardening resentment we see toward immigrants, and refugees, and minority groups, especially Muslims.

“They would be alarmed by the growing inability, and even unwillingness, to separate truth from lies.

“They would be alarmed that more and more of our fellow citizens seem to be flirting with authoritarianism and romanticizing it as our moral equivalent.”

McCain finished his remarks on an optimistic note, calling on ally countries to join him in denouncing “adversaries” who aim to create divide.

“Make no mistake, my friends: These are dangerous times, but you should not count America out, and we should not count each other out," he said. "We must be prudent, but we cannot wring our hands and wallow in self-doubt. We must appreciate the limits of our power, but we cannot allow ourselves to question the rightness and goodness of the West. We must understand and learn from our mistakes, but we cannot be paralyzed by fear. We cannot give up on ourselves and on each other. That is the definition of decadence. And that is how world orders really do decline and fall.

“This is exactly what our adversaries want. This is their goal. They have no meaningful allies, so they seek to sow dissent among us and divide us from each other. They know that their power and influence are inferior to ours, so they seek to subvert us, and erode our resolve to resist, and terrorize us into passivity. They know they have little to offer the world beyond selfishness and fear, so they seek to undermine our confidence in ourselves and our belief in our own values," he said.

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