Does Polish Polarization Mirror America’s?
Poland’s recent history could be a preview of how U.S. polarization plays out, argues Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum. For those left behind by liberal democracy, she writes, conspiracy theories can trigger a revolt against it. For the Poles, that meant unfounded scenarios explaining the 2010 airplane crash that killed their president. In America, the birther movement and supposed immigration-induced crime waves have similarly helped undermine trust in democratic institutions like courts — convincing large swaths of the electorate their lives will improve when a new order is imposed.