What was truly shocking about the recent US supreme court ruling which overturned Roe v Wade and took away the control millions of American women have over their bodies, was the dreadful sense of inevitable acceptance accompanying it.
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Even as the vast majority of Americans think abortion should be legal, the same vast majority reacted with silence to a right-wing, extremist supreme court ruling which will ultimately kill and subjugate women. Roe v Wade is the new Prohibition. It will punish men and women who are actively seeking to start a family and push women with no other options into the dangerous lottery of illegal abortions – not that I need to tell you - Poland have been living that particular dystopian fantasy for some time, where only the courageous and bold womens' strike movement, outnumbered but never outgunned, have refused to go gently into the night. Recent polls in OKO Press tell us that 66% of respondents favour legal abortion in the first trimester with only one in ten backing the 2020 restrictions.

But bafflingly, we somehow allow a highly motivated minority to get their way, to shape our country along warped lines. For women of child-bearing age, the road is strewn with nasty hairpin bends and treacherous corners and when the inevitable crashes occur such as mothers dying of sepsis poisoning, surrounded by highly trained doctors reduced to the role of spectators, there is nothing to do put shrug and sigh. The subsequent media reports leave us sorrowful, but there is an overriding feeling of hollow detachment as if the outcome was always preordained, just another reminder of Poland's destiny to be crushed both within and without by the awful forearm of fate.

It shouldn't be so, not in the Poland I know, resurgent, clever, aspiring, but now this tragic fatalism has permeated other realms of our life. We are all sleep walking towards 2023, a winter of discontent, when barring a catastrophe of epic proportions, PiS will fall over the finish line and land once again onto the plush seats of power. They will of course be propped up a motley crew of self-serving minorities, led by men delirious with joy whenever the sobriquet "King-maker" is used in connection to their name. PiS's willful mismanagement of the Covid crisis, where in many instances they appeared to be aiding and abetting the virus, have not so much been brushed away, but blown away by Putin's theatre of carnage in the east. They openly cavourt with allies and puppets of the Russian despot while simultaneously sharing his hardcore beliefs and yet inexplicably they continue to ride high in opinion polls. 

I recall a facebook post by Miroslaw Neinert from those lightning-themed days of the womens' protest, his rage roaring off the screen, railing at the government-ordered beating of women, promising it would never be forgotten. Not by him, or me or those of us who care for the women in our lives. Evidently, 38% of the electorate has forgotten, those who are willing to accept that state-sponsored violence against women can come in many forms and is a small price to pay for living in a neo-conservative paradise. 38%? 

How is the electorate so forgiving to PiS? Factor in the torrent of corruption revelations and the general air of amateurism that hangs over this government like a cheap perfume, you wonder what exactly is needed to galvanize the great silent majority sick to the teeth of Jaro's poison pills? A charismatic leader? The opposition has got one and while Tusk is not perfect, he possesses what no other Polish politician has in the shape of proven European credibility.

Could it be the Poles are waiting for a "Black Swan" moment to outrage them in advance of November 2023 – grainy footage of Uncle Jaro caught in an intense and passionate union with a farmyard animal? This seems more Black Mirror than Black Swan. President Duda having to be rescued when his tongue freezes to a metal railing in the peak of winter? Or Prime Minister Morawiecki's cavalcade breaking the speed limit and nearly killing an innocent driver and then blaming the accident on the driver? Oh hold on, that already happened to another Jaro-appointed PM and nobody cared... So I ask, what do you care about? What do the Poles want? 

A set of bold ideas from the opposition would be a fine thing. A definite, muscular plan from Tusk, Barbara Nowacka and Trzaskowski that shows us they care, a combination of all that is good about the modern and the traditional.

We want the PiS experiment to end. It hasn't worked.

*** 

Every day, 400 journalists at Gazeta Wyborcza write verified, fact-checked stories about Polish politics and society, keeping a critical eye on the ruling camp’s persistent assault on democratic values and the rule of law; the growing cultural tension between religious fundamentalism and human rights; and the ongoing Russian invasion in Ukraine. Our journalists are on the front lines in 32 Polish cities, reporting from the streets, hospitals, and courtrooms about issues that move public opinion.

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    I expect exactly the same in the US... the abortion issue will fade to a low-level hum of protest rather than the catalyst of an overwhelming wave sweeping away the old order. The reason is that the Left has no clear vision of the future, whereas the Right is much clearer, "wyrazisty", with more charismatic leaders, despite it not having a good picture of the future either. The expanding war will blow away the net of cobwebs... a fight for survival concentrates the mind remarkably well.
    już oceniałe(a)ś
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    There is a hypothesis that seems to explain that - the corruption and narrow-mindedness of the governing excuses the corruption and narrow-mindedness of the governed. As long as the latter see no reason to condemn these ills in themselves, they will vote for the former, no matter how lunatic or corrupt.
    już oceniałe(a)ś
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