In view of the weakness of the political elites in Poland and in the world, we must promote and educate new adepts of the Polish elites. Geopoliticians such as Jacek Bartosiak and Leszek Sykulski talk about it. Editor Rafał Ziemkiewicz echoes them. Similar situation can be observed in the Polish diaspora all over the world. There is a shortage of people who could contribute to creating a new policy for the Polish diaspora in the United States.
My duty as a journalist is to report on what is happening around me. And things are not going well. The greatest deficit in the Polish community in America is a complete lack of leadership at the national level. The activity of the Polish community is limited to traditional balls, taking selfies, and getting excited about new gadgets. Polish diaspora policy boils down to the usual efforts at merely persisting and making sure that no one comes up with anything new and does not force those merely enduring to get to real work.
The pandemic put the Polish community to sleep, just as it put the rest of American society and the American elites to sleep. After the last elections, people are so polarized that it is difficult to find someone with whom you can find a common language, even within your close neighborhood.
But it's time to wake up. The time of organic work has come again — training the leaders and future politicians of America, of Polish origin. The Polish diaspora in America must re-introduce their representatives to the US Congress and the Senate. It must have governors, state officials, city presidents, and other important representatives in US government agencies.
It is also a fact that American Poles work in the lower echelons of the American administration, but to advance, they have no political springboard to help promote them. The Polish diaspora should, above all, create a sensible political program that would allow it to influence American domestic and foreign policy.
For any significant changes to occur in the world of the Polish diaspora, a profound generational change is also needed. It's time to stop blocking the young. There is no clear vision or program in the Polish diaspora organizations about what will happen with them and with the Polish diaspora in 10 years. Young people are not recruited for fear of the changes that would ensue, and there is nothing in the programs of these organizations that could attract them to these organizations. The policy of endurance turns into the slow assimilation of the Polish diaspora.
A similar situation prevails in Canada and other strategically important countries for Poland, such as Germany, France, Great Britain and the Benelux. Each leader has their own priorities, which are steered more or less discreetly by individual political factions, often of the very same party in Poland. At present, with Poland under pressure from the United States, Germany, the European Union, Israel, and Russia, we are left alone.
It would be important to create professional pro-Polish lobbying in countries of strategic importance for Poland, and to invest in the collapsing Polish media. The network of Polish media and strategically connected organizations in countries important to Poland is an essential step that nobody talks about. Let me remind you that, since 2016, the little Hungary has been investing in its diaspora in the USA and training young staff through Washington foundations on both sides of the political divide.
Time to get to work. Eloquent lectures by professors will not replace specific tools such as think-tanks and professional English-language media.
This article was originally published in «Tygodnik Solidarność» (Solidarity Weekly).
Translated from Polish by Andrew Woźniewicz.