If Poland was voting, Obama would probably win
July 30th, 2012
01:22 PM ET

If Poland was voting, Obama would probably win

By Andrzej Jonas, Special to CNN

Andrzej Jonas is editor-in-chief of The Warsaw Voice. This is the second in a new series looking at how the world sees the U.S. election, and what the Obama presidency has meant for ties with other countries. The views expressed are the author's own.

If people in Poland could vote for U.S. president, Barack Obama would probably get at least half the vote. While that’s probably much less than in the liberal countries of Western Europe, where Obama could by some estimates count on nearly 80 percent support, it’s still a substantial figure considering Polish President Bronisław Maria Komorowski only had the backing of just over half of his countrymen in the last election.

Of course, my compatriots aren’t necessarily experts on U.S. politics, but then neither are many voters in America. People there, as is the case almost everywhere, are often guided by superficial impressions and assessments. But whatever their views on Obama vs. Romney, one thing is clear – Poles are no longer head over heels in love with America the way they were back in communist days, when the U.S. was seen as the epitome of success and freedom.

Why? For a start, we’ve discovered the bittersweet taste of freedom. Second, being closer to America has meant we’ve seen some of its faults up close – and the myth has been replaced by reality. We were euphoric over Poland’s entry into NATO in 1999. But it quickly became clear that Article 5 of the NATO pact, which states that member states will help one another in the event of an armed attack on another, is more than anything about saying the right words. There would be a long, winding and bumpy political road to actual deeds.

The participation of Polish troops in the operation in Iraq ended with the same kind of disappointment as elsewhere, and hopes that Poland would be able to take part in rebuilding Iraq’s economy have never materialized.

Afghanistan is another example of dashed hopes, while the proposed missile shield – our big hope for prestigious and practical improvement in Poland’s security – has turned out to be a political trick. The offset agreement accompanying the purchase of F-16 jets by the Polish armed forces has, at least in the minds of the Polish people, barely contributed anything to bringing Poland closer to U.S. technology and the prized American market. Even the mundane issue of U.S. visas – which Polish citizens, unlike most other EU nations, must have in order to enter – hasn’t moved forward.

There’s no real benefit to looking at why this state of affairs exists – it just does. But if we wanted to find a reason why we need look no further than the global financial crisis and the collapse of Lehman Brothers. These developments changed U.S. priorities – and Barack Obama allowed this change. His attitude to gays in the military or his U.S. health care plans are of little interest to Poles – they are unmoved and uninterested in such issues. The problem is that even when Poland has featured, it has been for the wrong reasons, such as when President Obama referred to “Polish death camps” instead of “Nazi death camps in Poland.”

And Mitt Romney? He knows nothing about us, and we know nothing about him. After he leaves Poland, we will remain indifferent to how much tax he pays and how he has amassed his fortune. We wouldn’t really care if the vice presidency went to Sarah Palin or Condoleezza Rice. The reality is that Romney will largely remain an unknown for Poles unless he wins in November.

Poland’s main opposition party, the conservative Law and Justice (PiS), is pinning the blame for most things on Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his Civic Platform (PO). But Law and Justice also seems eager to put Barack Obama in the dock next to Polish politicians – holding him in part responsible for all the things that Poland was hoping to secure, but which were never delivered. PiS portrays itself as the Polish Republican party and enjoys the support of a significant segment of the Polish American community (which, though largely resident in Chicago, isn’t particularly fond of Barack Obama). All this means that the ruling Civic Platform, if only because it differs with PiS on so many issues, would vote for Obama today.

But setting aside such preferences, there are also Poland’s national interests at stake, and these interests would be best served by a strong U.S. president who can steer his country onto a path of sustained growth and strengthen U.S. leadership around the world. The fact is that there’s no better way of ensuring global security. The problem is that it will be long after November before Americans, Poles or anyone else will know whether the next president – Obama or Romney – has been successful on this front.

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Topics: 2012 Election • Europe

soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Johnquepublique

    Guess this sorta' reaffirms the stereotype of the Polish people...

    July 31, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    • Agnieszka

      reaffirms???? Really???Look who you guys are gonna choose on Nov 8th!!! Because that's almost a given. So if that reaffirms stereotype about us, what does that make you???? (Let me know if you want me to telll you, OK?)

      July 31, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  2. Mary Davis

    Obama has disgraced America at least 70% of the time..................by opening his mouth. He's always blurting
    out things that are better left unsaid.. Sorry folks! Obama did say he was going to visit all 57 states that make up
    the United States. And, it was Obama who said the private sector is doing fine. It seems he does not take the time
    necessary to think things through before blurting them out for the people to hear. Obama disgraced Poland and its
    people. Obama owes Poland a sincere heart-felt apology. The only thing Obama has done is try to strip the American
    people of all their freedoms. The only things he has ever promoted was socialism and communism. America has had
    enough of Barack Hussein Obama. The last four years have been a devastating blow to the American economy. We,
    the American people, have had enough of Obama.........................enough to last us a lifetime! Poland is full of good
    hard-working people. I, apologize to all the Polish people. Mary Davis apologizes to each of you! I have polish friends
    and I know them to be amazing people. Have a nice day to all and GOD BLESS US ALL!

    July 31, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  3. Jan

    This articvle is alot of Obama politics.
    People in Poland think that obama is a joke and so was his bought and paid for eleection by George Saros.

    The Polish peole would never vote for him..

    Andrzej Jonas was pro Obama 4 years ago and here he is again.. more mis information.

    July 31, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  4. Janek

    Currently most of the LG televisions are built in Poland.
    HP builds it's printers in Poland.
    Samsung build telephones in Poland.
    Toyota makes car parts in Poland.
    and the list goes on..

    Poland started the colapse of th eSoviet Union without any help form it;s fellow countires.
    and now Poland has one of th elowest unemployment rates in Euriope.

    Poland did this without loans from China (maybe the US can learn something).

    Poland creates jobs it does not ship them overseas.

    July 31, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  5. outawork

    Hey Poland, we're done with Obama and you're welcome to him.

    July 31, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Reply
    • Agnieszka

      we have a lot of out own 'mistakes' we don't know how to get rid of...

      July 31, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  6. south4evr

    If the Poles voted for the U.S. president, nobody would win because they are not qualified to vote in U.S. elections. Who came up with the dumb idea to write this article anyway? DUH?!!??!

    July 31, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Reply
    • Voiceinthedesert/Troubledgoodangel

      Which Poles are you talking about. The millions of Polish-Americans, many of whom I know, myself included, are qualified to vote. The problem is not that we cannot vote. The problem is that we are stuck between a pro-abortion candidate and a non-Catholic [Mormon] candidate! Those who allowed this to happen, owe the Nation an apology!

      August 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  7. DaveYoung

    If it was dark outside, half of Poland would also try to fly into the sun. Vote for Romney if you want to save America from communism and collapse,

    July 31, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  8. memphispiano

    What another piece of crap propaganda on this website. I don't care if the author is Polish...Andrzej Jonas. He is first and foremost a Democrat and Obama supporter. I challenge CNN to have a scientific poll taken and you will find Obama would lose. The main reason Poland is not as pro-America has been Obama's treatment of them. Forget the opinion Andrzej, let's do a real poll!

    July 31, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  9. cyg

    Romney is an adequate liar, he may have pulled off the snow job. To go to a Union country and claim to be pro-union when you obviously are anything but – hopefully the Poles send us lots of letters asking. We'll tell them.

    July 31, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  10. no choice

    Theres no difference between democraps and repubelicans anymore. Both support the exact same policies, the same agends, and are rich beyond belief..... on our tax dollars. Both stood in lockstep to bail out bankers with out tax money, in the biggest HEIST in history. They support more wars for Israel, and less everything for the United states.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Reply
    • Andrey

      Spot on! Two left hands of American Establishment, which one to choose.... Like it makes any difference!

      July 31, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Reply
    • Jaybird

      How true your statement above rings, no choice. The Military Industrial Complex now owns both political parties and runs almost everything in Washington D.C. these days!!!

      July 31, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Reply
  11. taz111111111

    So Jonas thinks Obama knows so much about Poland while Romney doesn't. Amazing.

    July 31, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Reply
  12. madgame

    CNN has such a hard-on for Obama. They just grasping at straws publishing up-beat news articles to try and sway your vote. Personally, I'd like to see Obama just plain quit. Don't be a CNN lemming.

    August 1, 2012 at 12:50 am | Reply
  13. Andrez Wajda

    Any Pole who is for OBAMA is a DUMB POLLACK... and I say that as a proud American of Polish descent whose family members have died in the Nazi concentration Camp in Auschwitz, in the Polish Underground, in the Polish Home Army, in the Soviet camps in Siberia and Nazi prisons in Germany. Andrzej Jonas could just be a fool an puppet, but in truth he is not.. he is a calculated self motivated man who will sell out his country for personal fame and fortune. OBAMA is wholly ignorant of the facts. And quite frankly capable and willing to sell out Poland and the entire region back to Russian domination. Poles need to be vocal, seek out the Andrzej Jonas' and know THEY are the danger to a free and independent Poland.

    August 1, 2012 at 1:16 am | Reply
    • Mario

      You're one dumb POLLACK for making this comment. Poles are 0.0000000000000000000001% of America's population and their vote doesn't make a difference. Got it!

      August 2, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  14. mike

    YES!!!! Because Barack is Irish........er African.....er ..um...YES!!. Sadly, neoLibs have taken over parts of that world and do not remember, do chose to ignore the history of demonc slavery to a centralized power....

    August 1, 2012 at 6:21 am | Reply
  15. Voiceinthedesert/Troubledgoodangel

    Oddly, Andrzej Jonas is probably right. If voters in Poland had a say, President Obama would win. Moreover, if Polonia in the U.S. had a say, again, mr. Obama would win. Why this is so? Poland today, and Polonia, are dominated by the leftists and feminists, and in that order! This, to me, spells doom for the efforts to return morality and common sense to both Poland and the U.S.! Does Mitt Romney get this? I doubt. Not if his advisors are Mormons!

    August 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  16. rightospeak

    You know as much about politics as you do about Polish freedoms. Polish people are free to be brainwashed daily- that is about it.In the past it was from the East, now it is from the West. The Polish press is in the hands of Globalists like Michnik. If you ever watched the series "Rancho" the brainwashing is clear as a bell. "People who want Poland for Poles are depicted as Skinheads". Anything that is not a part of Globalist Agenda is portrayed as old thinking,wrong.People repeat like parrots English words like.sorry,super till it got into the daily Polish. Since the Poles are exposed to so many lies , how would they know Obama or Romney and that they both represent the rich 1% and no change will come from any voting. Both Romney and Obama represent the Big Money Combine which cares only about profits and cares little about people.

    August 2, 2012 at 1:26 am | Reply
    • J. Foster Dulles

      Well said, rightospeak. How so very true that is!!!

      August 2, 2012 at 8:03 am | Reply
  17. Jack Bissette

    I love it when screaming Liberal's log on w/ some creative "blog name" (right czerpack)...... and spout how "Pol's" are raciest.....what a bunch of bull squeeze. Poland is a very conservative nation... and yes Mr Reagan had a lot to do w/ that. Pol's have a lot of experience w/ "fascism"...... which is essentially ... Liberalism. Yeah... they'll vote for Obumer...stop spinning the fact's. Poland is rather new to the democracy gig...... however......ever been to Britain....it's more rough looking than Poland. Britain is about far to the left as you can go..... oh yeah.... they'll doing real well huh. Not. Even Merkel of Germany has told Obumer to his face.....that he is destroying America. Many European leader's have. So much for the Holly Wood "swagger". They laugh at the fool. Even socialistic Europe told Obumer...no we can't spend any more.... we don't have the money....we're cutting programs. Poland has been a great ally.....and I believe it's because they knew what it was like to live under tyranny. That's why a lot of eastern European nation's gave troop's to fight in the War on Terrorism...or as Obumer would call it..."man made disaster"...what a moron. Poland and other's jumped at the chance to liberate 35 million people.

    August 2, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Reply
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