Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán issued an astonishing denunciation of the United States’ governing Democrats at a speech in Texas, telling American conservatives they “hate you and slander you and the America you stand for.”
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s address to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas, was made under something of a cloud, with the Hungarian leader having been under sustained attack from the establishment media for a July speech in which he said Hungarians did not wish to follow “post-Western” liberal governments’ immigration policies because they “do not want to become peoples of mixed-race.”
These comments were heavily emphasised by media outlets such as the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in their coverage of the CPAC speech — the fact that Orban subsequently clarified that the basis of his stance on immigration “is not biological… it is not a racial issue, it is a cultural issue” and that “it is beyond the pale for any political issue to be approached on a biological basis” was not reported — but he appeared to quickly win over his American audience.
“It’s fantastic to be here in Texas, the Lone Star State of the great United States of America. If I am correct, Lone Star State means that independence, freedom, and sovereignty are the dearest values in this part of America… My country, Hungary, is the Lone Star State of Europe,” he began in English, earning cheers.
He added that, as an “anti-Communist, old-fashioned freedom fighter, raised under Communist rule,” giving a speech in “the Land of the Free, where the Spirit of Liberty shines brighter than at any other place on Earth” was something he had “never dared to dream of” in his youth — but went on the excoriate the modern-day Joe Biden administration and the Democratic Party in no uncertain terms.
PM Orbán: “We are in full agreement on the issue of anti-Semitism and racism. What the Austrian Chancellor thinks, I think.” In politics “a biological approach is not possible, what is possible is a cultural approach,” he added.
— Zoltan Kovacs (@zoltanspox) July 28, 2022
Paying lip service to his government’s “respect for the government of the United States” and his team’s status as “guests” in the country, the Hungarian statesman nevertheless stressed that “there is another side of the coin” and that the Biden administration was had “put Europe and especially Brussels under ideological pressure.”
“This is not good for us. It’s bad,” he said, alleging that in previous years the administration of Biden’s former boss, Barack Obama, had gone so far as to “[try] to force us to change the Fundamental Law [constitution] of Hungary, and delete Christian and national values from it.”
“Do you get it? The leading power of the free world wanted to force us to change our constitution according to a globalist liberal concept,” he claimed, saying that, as a result of his government resisting these efforts, “we are not the favourites of the American Democrats.”
“They did not want me to be here, and they made every effort to drive a wedge between us. They hate me and slander me and my country as they hate you and slander you and the America you stand for,” he declared — an astonishing broadside, considering Hungary’s status as a NATO ally of the United States, and indicative of just how irretrievably broken the Hungarian government considers its diplomatic relationship with D.C.
Donald Trump, whom Orbán met earlier in the week, by contrast received warm words, with the Hungarian saying he was “grateful” that the former President had endorsed him during his country’s recent elections.
PM Orbán: “We were the first ones in Europe who said no to illegal migration and stopped the invasion of illegal migrants. We believe that stopping illegal immigration is necessary to protect our nation.” pic.twitter.com/HGgCe2i2uk
— Zoltan Kovacs (@zoltanspox) August 5, 2022
Orbán suggested the Biden Administration had tried to apply pressure to Hungary the same way the Obama Administration had, suggesting that his country’s opposition to a Global Minimum Tax — Hungary is a low tax economy, with a flat personal income tax of 15 per cent and a flat corporate income tax of nine per cent — was the reason D.C. recently terminated a tax treaty with Budapest.
“It was good for U.S. investors. There are 1.700 U.S. companies operating in Hungary,” he said, speculating that the move was “the revenge of the Left” for testing the Global Minimum Tax initiative and pointing out that “the U.S. Treasury somehow forgot that they have a very similar [tax] treaty with Russia. But not with Hungary anymore. Funny, isn’t it?”
He also addressed the Russian invasion of Ukraine, an issue on which his views may be less popular with some American conservatives, proclaiming “full solidarity” with the Ukrainians and noting that his country of 10 million has taken in close to one million Ukrainian refugees — but expressing disagreement with what he described as “the globalist leaders’ strategy [which] escalates and prolongs war and decreases the chance of peace.”
“Without American-Russian talks there will never be peace in Ukraine. More and more people will die and suffer, and our economies will come to the brink of collapse,” he said, adding: “I cannot tell you what to do; it is your sovereign decision. I can however tell you one thing: only strong leaders are able to make peace.”
“We in the neighbourhood of Ukraine are desperately in need of strong leaders, who are capable of negotiating a peace deal. Mayday, mayday! Please help us! We need a strong America with a strong leader,” he concluded — appearing to indicate that he does not believe the current President fits this description.
Orbán hailed the triumph over “the left at home, the international left all around, the Brussels bureaucrats, the Soros empire with all its money, the international mainstream media, and in the end, even the Ukrainian president” https://t.co/5qQQZZ5QZ7
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 4, 2022
The rest of Orbán’s speech focused on political and social issues which span the Atlantic and the lessons he believes American conservatives can learn from his country, joking in Trumpian style that Hungarian conservatives have experienced “[s]o much winning that we’re just scratching our heads.”
“Politics, my Friends, are not enough – this war is a culture war. We have to revitalise our churches, our families, our universities and our community institutions,” he said, describing his country as an “old, proud, but David-sized nation standing alone against the Woke Globalist Goliath” which would benefit greatly from “the solidarity of the American conservatives.”
On illegal immigration, he recalled how during “the great migration crisis in 2015, 400,000 illegal migrants came to our borders… almost three times as much as Genghis Khan had when he invaded Europe” — but that his government had built a wall and “managed to reduce illegal migration to zero” despite the protestations of “the eggheads of the European Union”.
He also addressed leftist ideology against the traditional family, noting that the radical left today aver that “Western families are the places where the oppression of the so-called patriarchy begins.”
“If traditional families are gone, there is nothing that can save the West from going under,” he warned, selling the audience on his government’s extensive family support policies — criticised as socialistic by some market rightists — including family tax breaks, the cancellation of student loans after the birth of a third child, and women being exempted from personal income tax for life after the birth of a fourth child.
“[I]if you are not married yet, you should immediately find a Hungarian wife!” he quipped, claiming that his policies had seen marriages double and abortions halve in a decade — “not a bad start.”
Gender ideology, particularly in schools, was also addressed, with Orbán insisting that a border wall to protect the nation and a “financial wall” to protect families must be complemented by “a legal wall around our children to protect them” from far-left indoctrination.
“They think that parents should follow the progressive way of parenting. If they refuse to do so, they should be forced by the state. We Hungarians know this old communist trick and we reject it!” he declared, insisting that “we don’t need more genders; we need more rangers. Less drag queens, and more Chuck Norris.”
“The ideological wars of the 20th century – against the totalitarian powers of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union – were terrible, but the democratic West rallied, and defeated them both. Now the West is at war with itself,” he concluded, urging pan-Western conservative unity with the rallying cry: “We have seen what future the globalist ruling class has to offer. But we have a different future in mind. The globalists can all go to Hell; I have come to Texas!”
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