Thursday, April 25, 2024

Who should defend democracy?

January 11, 2024 – Protest in Warsaw on January 11, 2023, in defense of media pluralism, democracy and the rule of law

At a recent Law and Justice demonstration in Warsaw, former Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki turned to the West for help, pointing out the Tusk government’s violations of democratic principles.


Paweł Lisicki

The idea has been floated that President Andrzej Duda should send letters addressed to various Western politicians, including United States President Joe Biden, to tell them about the latest violations of democratic principles in Poland. I find this astonishing.

I’ll leave aside the key issue of whether this kind of action – telling the world about the injustices that are taking place in Poland – is at all appropriate. Isn’t this a show of helplessness and weakness? Doesn’t addressing world public opinion in this way contradict the earlier attitude of Law and Justice (PiS) politicians, who, when in power, criticized their opposition for airing Polish disputes?

First and foremost, however, it is the choice to send those grievances to President Biden that is peculiar for several other reasons.

All indications are that Washington has bet on Donald Tusk’s Civic Platform (PO), even though PiS politicians, with a stubbornness worthy of a better cause, have been unwilling to accept this fact. It is no coincidence that it was Warsaw’s PO mayor, Rafał Trzaskowski, who was anointed a few months ago by Mark Brzezinski, the US ambassador to Warsaw, as the leader of the liberal camp and Poland’s politician of the future.

The USA, Poland’s biggest love

This same ambassador, by the way, expressed public support on January 10 for the changes that Donald Tusk’s Justice Minister, Adam Bodnar, is bringing to the Polish judiciary.

During yesterday’s meeting with Justice Minister Adam Bodnar, I had the opportunity to congratulate him on his recent appointment. The United States and Poland share a commitment to the rule of law and the independence of the courts, which requires constant determination and renewal,” Ambassador Brzezinski wrote.

This was just after Bodnar had proposed limiting the rights of judges who had been appointed by the country’s judicial council, the KRS, after its 2017 reform, whom he refers to as “neo-judges.” This was also after Bodnar had supported Culture Minister Sienkiewicz’s forceful takeover of the public media.

In short, the US Democrats are ideologically much closer to Donald Tusk’s current ruling centrist-liberal coalition than to PiS. They viewed Poland’s previous right-wing government as a necessary evil. In their eyes, PO politicians are advocates of the common cause of globalism. Globalism is the collective name for other specific Western ideologies: immigrationism, climatism, abortionism, and genderism.

It is Donald Tusk’s ministers who are to be the Polish instrument of the great world revolution that the Democrats in power in the White House dream of.

The Polish Right still fails to grasp what the “democratic values” that Washington promotes today consist of, i.e. the rights of the LGBT movement and of universal access to abortion. Similarly, the Polish Right – and by the Right I have in mind the Law and Justice party – is unable to see the world’s primary dividing line, with forces supporting globalism on one side and the defenders of national sovereignty on the other.

Rape with consent

Things look different in the eyes of Western politicians (including in the United States): Those who do not want a revolution in morality cannot, by definition, be democrats and cannot count on their political support.

The hope that President Biden will defend democracy in Poland is all the more bizarre given that the incumbent White House resident himself has big problems with democracy at home.

Biden has unequivocally shown the ways in which he thinks political opponents should be treated. He publicly proclaims that the election of Donald Trump as US president would mark the end of American democracy. He is accused by the opposition of using the FBI and other intelligence agencies against Trump and his supporters. The Biden-supporting Democrats consider Trump to be a dictator and state that his election should be stopped by all available means.

In fact, in America Trump plays a role very similar to that of PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński in Poland. In this situation, how can President Biden be counted on to defend the Polish Right against the liberal “democrats”? Why would the Americans do this?

Their geopolitical interests can be served just as well by PO politicians. This is perfectly illustrated by the issue of the war in Ukraine: recent statements made by ministers of the present ruling coalition about financial and military support for Kyiv, the threat of the Russian empire’s expansion, and the need to rely on the US do not differ from what PiS had been preaching.

For the West, upon which PiS is calling for help, the main threat is what the liberals call “right-wing populism” – i.e. the desire to defend national sovereignty, resist open-borders policies and mass immigration, and preserve the nation’s traditional cultural and religious identity.

Poland allowed to violate rule of law if ruled by pro-EU liberals

Many supporters of the Polish Right still believe in “our common Western values,” as for example freedom of speech, the rule of law, and respect for human dignity. This belief, however, merely shows naivety. In the West, protests by Law and Justice politicians will simply be seen as a sign that the coalition of Polish “democrats” is doing its job well, since it has gotten under the skin of the “right-wing populists.”

This article was first published in Polish as the editor-in-chief’s column in the Do Rzeczy weekly.