President Trump on Thursday used a major foreign address to rail against those in his government back home, using anti-bureaucracy rhetoric as a common Western democratic rallying cry.
In a speech in Warsaw, Poland, Trump spoke of the shared values between the United States and its allies. Part of that collective identity was a mutual disdain for red tape and public servants who stand in the way of national prosperity, the president said while listing a series of threats to the Western way of life.
“Finally, on both sides of the Atlantic, our citizens are confronted by yet another danger, one firmly within our control,” Trump said. “This danger is invisible to some but familiar to the Poles: the steady creep of government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people.”
He went on to endorse what has been a defining policy of his presidency so far: deregulation.
“The West became great not because of paperwork and regulations but because people were allowed to chase their dreams and pursue their destinies,” Trump said.
Trump has signed multiple executive orders to reduce federal agencies’ regulatory authority; one requires agencies to slash or streamline two existing regulations for every new one they create, while another created task forces at each agency to identify rules to eliminate. That process is currently taking place across government.
At a speech earlier this year, White House strategist Steve Bannon made waves for promising that Trump would oversee the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” Another Trump executive order required agencies to design plans to restructure themselves so they operate more efficiently and, in the process, cut their workforces.
Trump said in Poland the world has “never known anything like our community of nations.”
“We put faith and family,” the president said, “not government and bureaucracy, at the center of our lives.”