Trump is visiting Poland today which means I have to institute a Polish media blackout because the whole sorry spectacle is too painful/boring to pay attention to. Poland is, of course, historically one of the more…. fervent pro-American countries though figuring out exactly why is a mystery. Many Polish people like the idea of a special relationship wth the US as a counterweight against threats from Germany or Russia though the US has never really done much to justify that idea.
Polish people have always loved America… and America could always care less. That about sums it up.
The ruling party is treating his visit as some kind of partisan triumph and the opposition is making noises about Trump visiting the country, not thegovernment and clearly wants some face time too. I’m half envisioning it being historical but not in a way that Poland wants. I could totally imagine him using the opportunity to say that if Russia invades Poland the US sends its sympathies (and nothing else). I don’t think he’d do that but I wouldn’t be surprised.
Will Trump disappoint Poland? My opinion: Highly likely!
Post communist Poland absolutely loved George Bush I because the country broke free of the Soviet gravity well under his watch and he somehow got the credit… People were stunned and disoriented that he lost in 1992 but by 1995 or so had come around and decided they liked Clinton after all and the media treated his impeachment as an attempted coup (that is exactly how it was referred to time and time again in the mainstream media). Polish people never did warm up to either W or Obama for different reasons; W was too uncouth and dumb (in a way that doesn’t play in Poland) and Obama clearly uninterested in Europe. Also, in the years immediately after Poland joined the EU, and the UK opened up its labor market, interest in the US evaporated almost over night and it took about five or six years for it to start to reappear.
The media and most people I know were stunned that Trump won (though I’d said that it was very possible often enough that some people thought I had some special insight or something). Now that he’s actually going to visit Poland (as his first European visit?) people are trying to make Trump seem significant in ways he just isn’t.
I’ll pass on paying attention to the visit in real time – if anything interesting or important happens I can watch the reruns.