Lech Walesa went too far. Inviting the Republican candidate for the president of the USA to Gdansk was a political manifestation after when the ex-President of Poland “couldn’t” meet with Barack Obama during his visit in Warsaw. Walesa is very often affronted by small people and gets outraged. He usually has reasons to do that. However, these people quite often remain blind to affronts which they did themselves. It was like this in the case of Walesa and Obama.
Now it’s evident that it wasn’t pure chance. The ex-leader of “Solidarnosc” sympathizes in the current electoral campaign in the USA with a candidate Mitt Romney. He has the right to it, however, as a known and serious person from outside the USA, he should refrain from the open involvement in the form of the loud invitation to Gdansk almost in the peak of the campaign struggle. It’s not a good habit when important political figures from foreign countries interfere in electoral campaigns. This year, for example Angela Merkel tried to do it in France, but she thought it over very quickly. How would we react in Poland if shortly before presidential or parliamentary election e.g. ex-Prime Minister Thatcher invited to London Jaroslaw Kaczynski, whose party is in a political union with the Tories on the European plane? What would be the reactions if Donald Tusk’s campaign was supported by e.g. Helmut Kohl? It’s not difficult to imagine it.
Walesa has a good knowledge about global politics, but he is not necessarily close to internal problems of the USA such as unemployment, the bankruptcy of public institutions or the reform of the National Health Service. I’ll hazard a guess that he has little knowledge about these issues although they are crucial for the majority of the American citizens in these elections. Romney’s choice will make the situation of many people worse and that’s why they prefer Obama. Walesa, helping Romney from the outside, harms these people, even if unintentionally. It’s not fair.
Another matter is the issue of image. After dreadful experiences of Poland entering the “coalition” supporting the disgraceful Iraqi war by the ex-Republican administration in Washington, a very important though unofficial voice of Poland, legendary Walesa, supports politically a Republican again. This time it’s bad for our country by the Potomac River, because the ex-President of Poland puts a bet on the wrong horse at the races. Romney will probably lose these elections, and in the second term Obama will have a new reason to harbour resentment towards our country. Maybe the support of the federal government for the project of legislation leading to the abolition of visas for the Poles going to the USA will cool behind the scenes. So if in 2017 we still have to queue to the American Embassy to get visas, one of the people to whom we should be “grateful” for it will be actually Lech Walesa.
Translation: Agnieszka Łysanowicz