The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Keep an Eye on Hungary’s Election

Posted on | March 29, 2018 | 2 Comments

 

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his nationalist Fidesz party have made opposition to unrestricted immigration the centerpiece of their policy and, in the campaign leading up to the April 8 election, Fidesz has targeted the sinister influence of George Soros.

Hungary’s population of 10 million has bitter historic memories of being dominated by foreigners. Immediately following World War I, after the nation gained its independence from Austria, Hungary suffered under the Soviet-backed Communist dictatorship of the notorious Bela Kun, who was determined to liquidate all opposition. One of Kun’s Bolshevik commissars, Tibor Szamuely, declared in a speech: “We will exterminate the entire bourgeoisie if we have to!” Instead, the Bolshevik regime lasted only five months. Kun was overthrown and ended up in Russia, where he eventually was executed in Stalin’s purge. During World War II, Hungary was allied with Germany, and subsequently conquered by the Red Army, which imposed a Communist regime that remained in power until 1989.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Hungary has struggled to recover from the economic, social and political legacy of Communist rule. The resurgence of Hungarian nationalism was aggravated by the 2015 refugee crisis, when Germany declared it would welcome those fleeing the war in Syria, producing a flood of immigrants whose route northward from Turkey and the Adriatic coast led them to the Hungarian border. What solution did Orban’s government find? “Build a wall!”

This put Hungary at odds with the pro-refugee European Union policy, and Orban’s government has targeted Soros’ influence on the EU:

The ruling Fidesz party’s vice chairman said Soros was engaged in a “frontal assault” against Hungary.
“What Soros writes about immigration, in general, is a pro-immigration stance that is open about its disdain for the nation state,” Gergely Gulyas told a news conference. “Decisions made in Brussels echo that in the field of immigration policy.”
“Days before a recent immigration decision in the European Parliament Soros was meeting with the rapporteur on the subject as well as five different EU commissioners. I am not a conspiracy theorist but this holds some clues.”

 

The anti-Soros billboards in Hungary, and the rhetoric of Orban and his party, have been criticized as veiled anti-Semitism — an ironic accusation, considering that Soros has admitted being a Nazi collaborator during World War II. It is important, however, to understand the separate factors operating in Hungarian politics.

Are there anti-Semites in Hungary? No doubt. Do some of these anti-Semites support Orban? Certainly. Does this mean that Orban’s re-election is dependent on anti-Semitism? Not at all. Whatever the percentage of Hungarian voters who are anti-Semites, such a faction is not enough to swing the election, whereas opposition to a demographic inundation by Muslim immigrants is the central appeal of the Fidesz Party’s campaign. Focusing attention on Soros is a way of giving a human face to the various international forces (including the EU bureaucracy in Brussels) which are promoting an open-borders regime in Europe.

Orban and his party have effectively presented Hungary’s electorate with a choice, as Orban said in a recent visit to the city of Miskolc:

If Miskolc is not to be a place of “ghettos and no-go zones”, said Orbán on a campaign visit to the city earlier this month, it is necessary to vote for his party, Fidesz.
“There are two paths ahead for Hungary to choose from,” said Orbán. “We will either have a national government, in which case we will not become an immigrant country, or the people of George Soros form a government and Hungary will become an immigrant country.”

This rhetoric about “the people of George Soros” may be troubling, but keep in mind that Orban has rivals even further right:

Jobbik, a far-right party that has recently moved its messaging further to the centre and is placed second in most polls, is campaigning on corruption but is also attacking Orbán for being not harsh enough on migrants.

It says something about the situation that the nationalist Orban’s greatest challenge is from ultra-nationalists. Like many other former Soviet satellite states (including Poland), Hungary is shaped by bitter memories of foreign domination, and still suffers after-effects of its Communist past.  In a remarkable interview, one of Hungary’s leading Protestant clergymen, Rev. Sándor Németh, explained the crisis:

I am confident that the system change, the failure of the eastern-type of communism, brought an end to the ideological state. But Marxism is again banging on our door. Cultural Marxism has become a replacement for religion. . . . This is what today’s misleading lores are based on, from gender ideology to the policies of putting migration on a pedestal. There is alternative reality, one that is referred to as the deep state. Even today, the elite which are above the nations see this as an ideology worth following. . . .
Especially since 2015, they do not want to accept that the people have a different worldview than their own. This is why Christianity has become the most singled-out and persecuted religion today. The trend started in America. At the turn of the millennium, the liberals were afraid that the election of the younger Bush would bring a conservative wave, so they started or strengthened the militant liberal movements that we see today. Under Obama’s presidency, it could clearly be felt that the Christians were being targeted. They often sought to destroy the representatives of Christianity morally and materially. This is what ended with the Trump presidency, but in Europe, for the time being, the old winds still blow.

Read the whole thing. Rev. Németh’s analysis is perceptive, and can help American conservatives understand why this election in far-off Hungary could have consequences here. We are fighting against the agenda of Cultural Marxism, “a replacement for religion” which has become the worldview of “the elite which are above the nations.”



 

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