Tuesday, July 31, 2012

the Polish vote

Americans of Eastern European extraction have long been cultivated for their political support. In the 1950s and later, Congress regularly passed resolutions condemning Soviet occupation of the "Captive Nations." [I used to dismiss such acts as political theater until I had the chance to visit newly independent Lithuania and Estonia. I concluded their freedom was worth pressing for.]

So when Mitt Romney decided to include Poland on his campaign tour, I thought it made political sense. Poles are anti-Russian [as Romney certainly seems to be], strongly Catholic, and culturally conservative.

What I didn't know until I saw this piece was how much Lech Walesa has intervened in U.S. politics in recent years --not only criticizing Obama but even traveling to Illinois to campaign for a Tea Party candidate. Walesa was a hero of Solidarity and now is diminishing his stature by such blatant involvement in American politics.

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