This article was published online by the Magyar Nemzet on 8 January 2022.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, or rather his brand of conservative politics has not only become a point of comparison in the European Union, but in the United States as well. This is evidenced by first, the fact that Donald Trump, one of the strongest members of the Republican party to date, endorsed PM Orbán in the coming election. Moreover, the former President of the US reached quite an audience with his announcement: all left-liberal American portals felt the need to comment on Trump’s announcement, of course, according to their own standards.
Donald Trump provided the entirety of the American left-liberal public sphere with enough content for a week by expressing his “complete support” for Orbán’s reelection. The former US President wrote in his statement:
Viktor Orbán of Hungary truly loves his country and wants safety for his people.
And that was more than enough for Trump’s statement – posted on Twitter through his Save America organization as he no longer has an account – to be analyzed by every American press outlet, contextualized according to the left-liberal mainstream ‘s taste. For example, The New York Times wrote in connection with this: “Mr. Orban faces new elections this spring against a formally united but extremely diverse set of opposition parties.” The authors of the liberal paper (one of whom was, incidentally, a journalist for 444.hu) added:
“…he has become a model for the politics of identity and religion, not just in its E.U. ally, Poland, but in the United States, as well.”
The American Politico agreed with this statement in their evaluation as well. They did not forget to point out to their readers that Tucker Carlson, the famed Fox News host, attended the MCC Fest in Hungary at the invitation of the Mathias Corvinus Collegium; Carlson even broadcast his primetime show while he was in Budapest. The liberal paper wrote:
Despite Orbán’s undermining of democratic institutions, prominent far-right figures in the United States have increasingly championed his leadership.
Aside from the mainstream media, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders also felt inclined to comment and drew the following comparison between former President Trump and PM Orbán:
Trump wants to do here what Orban has done in Hungary
“weaken democratic institutions, curb press freedom, and rewrite election laws to entrench his own party’s power. The threat to our democracy could not be clearer, and we must act boldly to protect it.”
The social democratic politician coincides with a recent opinion piece by a popular journalist in The Washington Post which also featured the Trump endorsement of PM Orbán; moreover, with the aim of justifying the ongoing efforts of the more extreme wing of the Democrats to reduce the possibilities of filibustering. Chuck Schumer, the democratic senate majority leader, wanted to take advantage of the anniversary of the Capitol siege to give new impetus to efforts to prevent minority Republicans from protesting. Jennifer Rubin, a journalist for The Washignton Post, agrees: ”The timing of the filibuster fight is also auspicious — Schumer could not have anticipated this one — given that Trump just endorsed Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban.”
How exquisitely appropriate that the wannabe authoritarian would hold up as his model the dictator who deployed a web of lies, nationalistic fervor and xenophobia to deform his country’s democracy and essentially establish one-man rule.
– wrote the publicist in reference to Viktor Orbán.
Zoltán Kovács, Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Relations of Hungary, replied to the article in a series of tweets. He began by quoting her article: “on Trump’s endorsement of PM Orbán in @washingtonpost: “Imagine a major political party’s leader in the 1930s endorsing one of the European fascist dictators menacing Europe.” You can’t be serious.”
the former president of the US has endorsed one of America’s staunchest allies, a PM who has won 2/3 majority 3x and enjoys broad popular support at home.
But there were plenty who welcomed the former President’s gesture towards Viktor Orbán. Republican Representative Paul Gosar wrote on Twitter: “Orban has done so much for Hungary and sets an example for world leaders on how to prioritize your own people.”
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and the conservative policy that he represents has long been a point of reference in the European Union. The fact that three major presidential candidates for the upcoming French elections visited Hungary this past year exemplifies this. And it is not the first time this has happened with French domestic politics: we reported in 2019 that before the European Parliamentary elections, Viktor Orbán was again a hot topic of debate – two leading French MEP candidates collided on the issue. In the campaigns leading up to the German elections of last fall, the values represented by the Hungarian government were again a pivotal subject. But even the Bulgarian election campaigns couldn’t go without mentioning the Hungarian Prime Minister.