There are few things more uncomfortable than watching a stand-up comedian bomb, unless it’s reading “East meets West, or the other way,” Cynthia Dill’s belly-flopper column in the July 9 Maine Sunday Telegram.

Reacting to Donald Trump’s historic speech in Poland, the most powerful defense of Western civilization by an American president in decades, Ms. Dill opted for small ball, asking, “What is the West?” and offering up such intellectual gems as “How is it that an Eastern European country like Poland is the West? … If the West is so good, why does Earth rotate eastward? … Is the Islamic State the East? Or is it North Korea? When Sarah Palin sees Russia from her house in Alaska, she is looking west. It’s complicated!”

The pickle Ms. Dill found herself in was that Trump appeared the statesman, whereas she’d expected – perhaps hoped – he would fail. Trying to be clever, cutesy and cool, she came off as silly, sophomoric and shrill.

But not Kathleen Parker, whose July 11 Press Herald column – “Did the American media hope that Trump would fail abroad?” – answered that question in the affirmative and concluded thus:

“Some watched Trump’s Poland speech and found it tedious and meaningless. Others heard him say: ‘The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? … I declare today for the world to hear the West will never, ever be broken, our values will prevail, our people will thrive, and our civilization will triumph.’ These were powerful, important words, let the record show.”

Powerful, important words, indeed. If I were Cynthia Dill, I’d be embarrassed by the comparison to Kathleen Parker.

And so should the Telegram.

Charles Todorich

South Portland