Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner To Plan A New World Order?

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The dictator of Hungary is quite the fan of the GOP frontrunner. And quite the fan of his minions as well. Viktor Orban, who will be the guest of Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago on Friday, is so in favor of Mike Johnson and the other toadies stonewalling Ukraine aid. Vladimir Putin basically has one ally in the world and that is Orban and Orban is now coming to Florida to chum it up with Trump, who he says is the “sensible choice” for Americans to restore to the White House in November. If by sensible you mean, antithetical to democracy and lethal to the world order, then yes, by that definition, Trump is the right choice. Reuters:

The right-wing Orban, who has regularly been at loggerheads with the EU over his anti-immigration campaigns and moves to put the judiciary, NGOs, and media under more state control, has been described by Trump as a “great leader”.

Orban’s conservative family policies have also earned praise among populist figures in the United States, and Hungary has hosted meetings of CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, in the past years.
CPAC, if this is news to you, has been in Hungary twice and will meet there for the third time in April. People like Tucker Carlson go to Hungarian CPAC meetings.
“It is not gambling but actually betting on the only sensible chance, that we in Hungary bet on the return of President Trump,” Orban told an economic forum on Monday.
“The only chance of the world for a relatively fast peace deal is political change in the United States, and this is linked to who is the president.”
That is absolutely the case. With Trump back in the White House you will see a very fast resolution to the war in Ukraine. Trump will simply hand it to Putin and crow about how he’s brought peace to the world and ended another endless war. I know his idiotic dogma so well I could write his speeches for him. Any of us could. Consistency is Trump’s bellwether characteristic.
And if I were in Poland, I would start getting very nervous. The Poles remember all too well the last time a dictator marched across their border and Trump has come right out and said that Putin can do “whatever the hell” he wants.
We have two madmen in that part of the world, Putin being one and Orban being the other. They both crave the annexation of neighboring countries into their own.  Orban has suggested that a significant amount of territory belonging to Hungary’s neighbors to the east—Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine—should be considered Hungarian.

Órban’s rhetoric—and Hungary’s rapidly backsliding democracy—should serve as a wake-up call to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Today, the alliance faces a growing and pernicious threat: the rise of illiberal nationalism within its ranks. This internal threat is one that an alliance built on cooperation of individual nation-states and premised on states working together is ill-suited to address. For instance, NATO has been encouraging member states to devote more resources to national defense.

However, this begs the question of whether the alliance should encourage an autocratic Hungary to massively increase its defense spending when it could use its military capabilities to threaten its neighbors. With Turkey stoking tension with Greece in the eastern Mediterranean, leading to fears of conflict between two NATO members, the internal threat of nationalism to NATO’s cohesion is clear. It is time for the NATO alliance to get serious about the threat posed by rising nationalism and democratic backsliding among its member states.

The fact that Orban recently dragged his heels on the approval of Sweden into NATO tells you all you need to know. It follows his pattern of a descent into authoritarianism.

Over the past decade, the Órban regime has relentlessly attacked Hungarian democracy. Today, Freedom House maintains that, given the government’s tight control over the media and independent institutions, Hungary can no longer be considered a democracy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Órban has taken on emergency powers that allow him to rule by decree, further consolidating his power over the government. This descent into authoritarianism has also gone hand in hand with the regime’s efforts to inflame Hungarian nationalism and provoke confrontation with Hungary’s neighbors.

Órban has followed a tactic employed by Russia, wherein President Vladimir Putin issued passports to Russian populations outside of their borders. In 2011, Órban similarly expanded Hungary’s citizenship laws, issuing passports to ethnic Hungarians in surrounding countries. And while Órban has made it exceedingly difficult for Hungarians who have moved abroad to vote, Hungarian minorities in surrounding countries have become a major base of support for the Órban government. […]

Órban is not just stirring the nationalist pot. Hungary’s movement away from democracy and embrace of autocratic illiberalism has helped the country foster closer relationships with Russia and China. Russian intelligence has greatly expanded its presence in the country, allegedly using Hungary as a back door to the European Union. Meanwhile, China has built up its economic and political connections to Budapest, with a major Belt and Road Initiative project linking the Hungarian capital to Belgrade. Ultimately, these sorts of actions benefit all involved parties: Hungary builds economic and political ties with Russia and China, while Russia and China get the opportunity to not only build ties with a fellow illiberal regime but also potentially undermine the cohesion of the EU and NATO.

Additionally, both Russia and China provide a revanchist model for Hungary to follow. Russia seized Crimea, invaded eastern Ukraine, and continues to dispute regions of Georgia under the guise of protecting ethnic Russian populations. China, for its part, has built islands in the South China Sea, claiming a loose historical connection. What once may have been viewed as an international taboo—seizing territory—has clearly been broken. However outlandish Hungary’s territorial claims, similar actions undertaken by the Órban regime may gain backing from Moscow or Beijing or both.

And this is who is showing up at Mar-a-Lago 1. After Super Tuesday, when Trump will presumably be the formal GOP nominee  and 2. After new leadership is installed at the RNC — where Trump will presumably be in charge of their coffers. Although that’s not carved in stone yet. Let’s wait and see what happens with that.

Viktor Orban is visiting Trump, in my opinion, to give him a tutorial in Authoritarianism 101 and to make him feel like a big shot and world leader. Trump is a useful idiot and Orban is making no bones about enlisting his services.

Why is this not being treated like a 5-alarm fire? Are we so apathetic? Are we too dense to see the obvious? Or, are we prepared to serve democracy to Orban and Putin on a silver platter? No wonder our allies in the world, Europe particularly, are looking at us side-eyed and making contingency plans.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Isn’t this what the Rethugs tend to do? Nixon and Vietnam. Reagan and Iran. Trump and Russia. They will cheat and lie and turn their backs on America for power. We have some of the worst citizens in the World because they carry around imaginary chips on their shoulders. I don’t blame Democrats for not being good mesengers or for not campaigning more in this state or that state. I blame people that are just not good citizens.

  2. If I were the head of NATO (whatever the equivalent is of the UN Secretary-General as well as the military head of NATO), I’d give Orban an ultimatum: Support your NATO allies or get the hell out of the organization. You don’t have to sever political ties with any country, but a NATO member’s primary responsibility is to his NATO allies.
    And the European Union should do the same. Start off by refusing to seat any Hungarians to the European Parliament as long as Budapest continues to seek to destabilize neighboring countries by “adopting” Hungarian ethnic minorities in those neighboring countries. (At the same time, if I were the head of state/government in a country with Hungarian minorities who are accepting Hungarian passports, I’d give them an ultimatum as well: Refuse those passports issued by Budapest or move your f#cking asses to Hungary and let your hero, Orban, take care of you and your social needs. Oh, and you don’t get to take anything with you except the clothes on your backs. Your banking accounts will be frozen and your homes will be confiscated.)

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. In fact, it's the only thing that ever has. — Margaret Mead

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. In fact, it's the only thing that ever has.

— Margaret Mead