The other day, a friend of mine employed as a management consultant in the nonprofit sector for more than a dozen years told me about a disturbing experience he had at work. Following the events of the past spring and summer, the company adopted a new statement of defining principles, one of which being: “We are social justice activists.”
As a result, at a recent Zoom staff meeting, a woman in a supervisory position asked each of the participants how they had in the past week worked with a client to bring about “systemic change.”
When the question was addressed to my friend, he politely said, “I’m not a social justice advocate or activist.”
My friend’s work is well-respected within the firm. He has not lost his job, but he is no longer invited to attend the Zoom meetings.
My friend, like me, happens to be Polish-American. He has relatives raised in the Polish People’s Republic who told him what it was like when students were trained to actively support the class struggle and demonstrate solidarity with workers in other countries.
It’s all so perplexing to him. He wonders how in one lifetime we’ve gone from critical thinking to critical race theory, from “God Bless America” to “Defund the police,” from E pluribus unum to diversity über alles?
The smiling façade of Democratic Party totalitarianism, Joe Biden himself, provided a serviceable answer to that question. In an interview with the editorial board of the New York Times conducted on December 16, 2019 and published on January 17, Biden described the “progress” of the Democratic Party this way:
Well, look what’s happened. Look what started to seep in, beginning and probably even with candidates during our administration. We stopped showing up at the Polish-American club. We stopped showing up, and we all went to you, the really smart people. We had a new kind of coalition we were putting together. College-educated women and college men and boom, boom, boom and so on.
“The smart people . . .” The arrogance implicit in that statement defines the Democratic Party and the creeping progressivism of the classroom and the boardroom.
Well, we Polish-Americans might have a few things to teach Biden and the “really smart people.” Ten million Polish-American voters substantially helped President Trump win the White House in 2016.
Polish-Americans make up approximately 10 percent of the population of critical states, including Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. They vote in rates larger than their numbers, accounting for almost 15 percent of the total vote in those states.
President Trump flipped the three normally blue states in 2016, winning all of them by less than 1 percent of the vote. He won an estimated 70 to 75 percent of the Polish-American vote in 2016. Without those votes, he would not have won the three battleground states crucial to his election.
Polish-American voters have every reason to vote in even greater numbers and percentages for President Trump in 2020 than we did in 2016. We know something about real oppression, for one thing.
Long before Poland was absorbed into the Communist bloc, before the Holocaust and the Warsaw ghetto, when, up through the World War I, the nation was dismembered and divided among the Austro-Hungarian, German, and Russian empires, in many instances Polish people were not allowed to assemble, bear arms, publish newspapers, or educate their children in their own schools and in their own language. They were often denied employment and subject to conscription for virtual slave labor.
That’s genuine oppression, not wearing a sombrero on Halloween or watching “Gone With The Wind.”
We know that when President Trump spoke in Warsaw in July 2017 about summoning “the courage and will to defend our civilization,” his remarks were far more meaningful than the carping of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Jerry Nadler.
We know it’s not the “system” that needs to change, it’s people.
People who are so obsessed with their own virtue they lose their common sense and common touch.
Overly emotional people who oversimplify complex issues and have never been taught self-control or right from wrong are omnipresent in our politics.
People who are so vain as to mistake their own good fortune for genius.
People who imagine the jargon of the obtuse professor is superior to the wisdom of James Madison and the humility of the working stiff.
Yes, we Polish-Americans and other Americans the Democratic Party no longer condescends to speak to may have a lesson to teach “the really smart people.”
Perhaps as soon as November 3.