The virtual reality of Polish media has been constantly celebrating the suffering of migrants for years on the border with Belarus. Everyone can see what it looks like everyday. The death of one unfortunate man from the Middle East, who died of cold in the forest, somewhere near Bobrowniki or Białowieża, sells better than the death of three hundred unlucky people who suffocated at the same time due to COVID. Their sufferings are a private misfortune, and they have simply worn out. As a result, they generate smaller media reach. Not like a dying immigrant, preferably a mother with a child.
Their stories immediately cause a resonance from the large group of people who play the role of authorities in the liberal media. In the case of simple celebrities, it manifests itself as scam on social networks, which instantly catches up with all the mass media, because it brings the highest click or viewership. People who derive their income from sources other than selling their privacy, resonate no less emotionally, but without profanity. In any case, the content of the message is very simple – we have to help migrants.
A constant stream of demands on the authorities flows through the liberal media
Unfortunately, in real life, good intentions (it is not accidental that it has been known for centuries that this is paved hell) have consequences. Real help is admitting migrants to Poland and taking care of them, as well as allowing them to stay here if the neighboring countries (which turns out to be very likely) close their borders immediately. Any other kind of “helping” is like giving aspirin to a suffocating respirator – it might not hurt, but it definitely won’t help. Meanwhile the Government of the United Right He absolutely does not intend to let migrants in. Thus fueling the emotions of people who undoubtedly belong to the intellectual and creative elite. As a result, the liberal media is flooded with a constant stream of demands against the authorities and claims against the state services that they are carrying out the rulers’ orders. It is impossible to count how many dogs have been hanged in the last months of the Border Guard, police and army. Probably slowly more than these quadrupeds live in the Third Republic of Poland. The moment when the Belarusian services selected militia from among the migrants, armed them with stones and stun grenades, and then pushed them to storm, only silenced it a bit.
These few months of efforts to sensitize ordinary Poles to the suffering of visitors from the Middle East, showed in this matter only a deep impregnation of the content flowing through the mainstream media. In our society, if a message has aroused distrust, it generally does not have the strength to change it. They are a good example here vaccination against coronavirus. Out of all the content that is provided by the government TVP and TVN, the only one is identical – thanks to the vaccine you can save your own life and protect your loved ones. Despite this, almost half of the adult population of Poles stated that they would not get vaccinated, and that’s it. The overwhelming majority of the media persuade or ask them to get vaccinated. And they won’t get vaccinated anyway. What about such an issue as the border crisis, when there is no uniform message. Here, the impregnation of selected content from liberal media turns out to be massive.
The opposition between the hammer and the anvil
This is where the feedback begins, which causes the opposition (excluding Confederation) to find itself between a rock and a hard place.
When in 2015 Civic Platform and PSL they lost the elections, the most valuable political capital left for them was the media, which was hostile to Law and Justice, and the intellectual and cultural elite. During the first years it seemed that this capital was so valuable that it must inevitably bring the opposition back to power. The rule of the United Right appeared as a kind of aberration, doomed to inevitably pass away. Such a diagnosis could turn out to be close to the truth, were it not for the fact that the whole world suddenly began to change terribly for us. While we are still living with the illusions that quiet times will soon return, unfortunately they are completely irrational. The pandemic, the US entry into an open conflict with China, the UK’s departure from the EU, climate change and a host of other events have upset the current state of global equilibrium. Finding a new one always takes a long time, and in the meantime there is a rash of conflicts, crises and threats. The transfer of migrants from the Middle East to the Polish border by the Lukashenka regime is still only a foretaste of what may still await us. However, it was enough to influence the attitude of society.
The feeling of security turns out to be more and more important. In the face of everyday problems brought by: epidemics, rising prices, collapse of health care, etc., it becomes a very desirable good. Its substitute is provided by the state services: the army, the police, and the Border Guard. Provided that they can prove their effectiveness. So far, they have been proving it on the border with Belarus. The feeling of greater security also builds the feeling of being a community of solidarity. Such a community craves reasons to be proud of something. For example, the fact that Poland was able to stand up to the tyrant who shook all of Belarus and did not succumb to his blackmail.
The elite and liberal media run counter to social needs
The elites and the liberal media are precisely against these social needs. In relation to the border crisis, they demand that citizens accept the risk and sacrifice their sense of security on the altar of the lofty ideals of humanitarianism. Admitting a few thousand Muslim migrants from the Middle East raises great concerns, but even more certain that then Lukashenko will deliver another group and another one to the border. What is worse, the demands of the elites are accompanied by hysterical attacks on the uniformed services that they are brutal, they are pushing the newcomers back to Belarus, and they are following the orders of the government. This is clearly associated with demanding non-obeying orders. That is, in the sense of a citizen hungry for security, to stop defending the border and to let the threat into the country. Even so, the worst impression is when paying more attention to the suffering of migrants than the Polish policemen who were hit with stones by them.
Thus, in front of the public, in the liberal media, the elite puts the good of “strangers” above that of “their own”. For the opposition parties (except the Confederation) it is like a kiss of death. The liberal-left media bubble may enjoy its moral superiority and humanitarianism as much as it wants, but it is not its votes that will determine the election results in two years’ time.
Opposition leaders struggle terribly
On top of that, the European Union and NATO stood jointly and severally on the side of the government 3rd Republic of Poland and with what methods the Polish services use to guard the border. A different Western politician praises this defense, not rebukes it. For none of them will put the interests of the most pro-European part of society in Poland above the sense of security of citizens in their own country. And here the paradoxes accumulate. Until recently, the most valuable political capital of the opposition parties has become for them a stone hanging around their necks and pulling towards the bottom of the survey. Leaders: Platforms, PSL, Poland 2050 for they cannot afford to succumb to the constant pressure of the media and demand the same. If that happened, neither of these parties would attract new voters and could lose many of the existing ones. So they struggle terribly, trying to combine the call to help migrants with the commitment to keep the border tight. Or they just disappear and wait silently until the nightmare ends (although in the case of Donald Tusk, who is clearly aware of the paradox, on Friday he decided to return to the stage and face it).
In quiet times, the tactic of dodging or waiting would have a good chance of succeeding. The United Right is degenerating and corrupting more and more. Her government hangs with a minimal majority in parliament. Poland drifts alone in the European Union, unable to end any of the conflicts for its own benefit. The internal reforms introduced mainly generate chaos. And President Kaczyński, who tries to manage it all, adds crises, which the government subordinated to him heroically overcomes. There is an epidemic, prices are rising, and winter is coming. In a word, the opposition should win the next elections in the reins. It’s just that in a shaky world, even if the crisis on the Belarusian border comes to an end, more will be lined up. At the same time, one can even be sure that if moral dilemmas (or rather emerge) arise with the new crisis, the elite and the liberal media will again demand sacrifices from Poles. So that they would be even better than Christ, and in the name of saving the world, they themselves nailed to the cross. Ordinary citizens know very well that it hurts and is a death threat, they won’t want to do it again. The opposition, however, as usual, will be between the hammer and the anvil. Thus, a definite break out of this repetitive oppression becomes a key issue for her. Especially that, contrary to the dreams of the elite of society, it cannot be exchanged for any other.