CPAC Hungary should be a wake-up call for all Americans

Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images The Conservative Political Action Committee wrapped up a two-day event Friday night in Hungary, one tha...


Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images

The Conservative Political Action Committee wrapped up a two-day event Friday night in Hungary, one that should concern all Americans about the prospect of rising illiberalism within the conservative movement.

The fact that CPAC Hungary even happened should have made headlines in America. Not only because Hungary is a country that is increasingly moving away from democracy and back towards authoritarianism, but because the event included video messages from the two leading figures of the Republican Party: donald trump and Tucker-Carlson.

Not to mention the fact that CPAC Hungary took place in the shadow of Orban-ally by Vladimir Putin brutal invasion of Ukraine.

Yes Joe Biden and Rachel Maddow decided to address a gathering of left-wing Americans in Cuba, which of course they would never do, the event would undoubtedly dominate the news for weeks.

Although Fox News didn’t mention the event once, it did get airtime on MSNBC and CNN with hosts like Brian Stelter, Jim Acosta, and Nicole Wallace deploring the adherence of conservative activists to Victor Orban and warning that the American right plans to adopt the authoritarian leader’s policies as a model for establishing one-party rule in the United States

“Many non-Hungarian journalists wanted to cover this conference, but media like Vice, AP, Vox and rolling stone have been diverted. Some media like CBS were able to attend, but there was an interesting media blockade at CPAC Hungary,” Stelter noted on his Sunday show.

Orban, who gave the keynote address at CPAC Hungary on Thursday, has stifled press freedom during his 12 years in office. Orban was re-elected for a fourth consecutive term in April, making him the EU’s longest-serving leader, and the candidate he defeated, who was backed by all of the country’s opposition parties, stood complained during the campaign that he was authorized only 5 minutes on public television to plead his case against Orban.

Orban spoke openly about the importance of controlling the media while addressing CPAC and encouraged the Americans and right-wing European leaders in attendance to follow his lead.

“Have your own media. This is the only way to underline the madness of the progressive left,” Orban told his audience. “We have to take over the institutions in Washington and Brussels. We need to find allies in each other and coordinate our troop movements,” he added.

Orban’s comments, coupled with his nationwide crackdown on critics, should serve as a warning to all Americans that CPAC is straying from the First Amendment and serves little purpose for public debate or press freedom. .

Orban then praised Tucker Carlson of Fox News, who has already broadcast his show from Budapest, and who introduced Orban with a short 38 second video message to the conference.

“Of course the GOP has its media allies, but they can’t compete with the mainstream liberal media. My friend, Tucker Carlson is the only one putting himself forward”, Orban added. “His show is the most popular. What does it mean? That means shows like his should be on the air day and night. Or as you say 24/7.

These comments were among Orban’s most tame of the week.

Orban was sworn in days before addressing the conference and echoed the controversial replacement theory linked to deadly mass shootings across the United States – from El Paso to Pittsburgh and most recently in Buffalo. Orban claimed that liberal Europeans are pushing a “suicide attempt” by implementing “Europe’s great program of population replacement”.

Orban went on to say that the left is working to “replace missing European Christian children with migrants.”

“Echoing another popular theme from the American right, he argued that another form of cultural suicide was ‘gender madness,’ a reference to the spread of LGBTQ+ rights in the West,” reported the Guardian last week.

Attacking the LGBTQ+ community in Hungary has been a key part of Orban’s rise to power and his Christian nationalist politics.

Freedom House, which downgraded Hungary under Orban’s rule from a “free” to “partly free” democracy, notes that Orban has “enacted anti-immigrant and anti-LGBT+ policies, as well as laws that impede the operations of opposition groups, journalists, universities, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that criticize the ruling party.

liberty house Explain further details of Hungary’s anti-LGBTQ policies, which bear a striking resemblance to recent legislation passed by the government. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) in Florida:

A month of June [2021] The law banned discussion of gender and sexual diversity in schools, media, advertising, and other public places. The legislation, which confuses pedophilia with homosexuality and expressions of gender identity, was challenged by European Commission infringement proceedings in July.

“The government has also launched a referendum on further limiting LGBT+ representation in education, scheduled for 2022,” the organization notes, foreshadowing the next step in Orban’s program to expel LGBTQ teachers from the education system.

Orban further consolidated his power in Hungary through a complex system of distributing favors and government funds to party loyalists and he “appointed loyalists to formerly independent institutions such as the media regulator and extended his influence over courts, media, education and cultural spheres at home while maintaining close ties with Russia and China abroad,” Explain Bloomberg’s Simon Zoltan and Marton Kasnyik.

With his fourth term secured, Orban is now embarked on an “agenda to override the checks and balances of liberal democracy and take full control of a country,” Simon and Kasnyik add. Orban, like Putin and many authoritarian leaders before him, is now likely to stay in power indefinitely and will use illiberal means to both enforce his vision of Christian nationalism and stay in power at all costs.

The idea that the conservative movement, which was once buoyed by an absolutist belief in law and order, upholding the Constitution, limited government and individual freedoms, would now embrace a leader like Orban is both shocking and a realignment. deeply rooted in American politics.

Matt Schlappthe head of the American Conservative Union, which broadcasts CPAC, said steve bannon back in February, something that becomes increasingly clear each time CPAC meets: “We are no longer conservatives.

While CPAC Hungary has also made the headlines for hosting a rabid anti-Semite, other prominent right-wing European leaders addressed the conference, including the former leader of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage, Herbert Kicklleader of the Austrian Freedom Party, and Santiago Abascalthe president of the Spanish Vox party.

For its next stop, CPAC will travel to Brazil in mid-June, where the group will be up close with another rising boss: Jair Bolsonaro.

This is an opinion piece. The opinions expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author.



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