On Thursday, the Republicans began their annual CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) meeting … in the nation of Hungary, not here in the U.S. Not even in a democratic nation, but in one ruled by an authoritarian, Viktor Orbán. One might ask why they would go to the extra trouble, extra expense, and spend the extra time holding their meetings more than 4,000 miles away. And I might answer that it is their goal to model the United States on Orbán’s example, to establish the same sort of country that Hungary is today. Need proof?
The unconscionable Matt Schlapp, the head of the American Conservative Union and organizer of CPAC, told NPR this week that he was bringing his event to Hungary because it “represents Christian conservative values” and American conservatives want to replicate this in the U.S. by learning from the country’s ultra-right-wing authoritarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán.
The conference’s program shows exactly what topics are important to the Trump wing of the Republican Party, with sessions entitled: “Western civilization under attack,” “In God we trust,” “The father is a man, the mother is a woman,” and “Culture wars in the media.” Joining Schlapp and the rest of the KKK Republicans will be the truly nasty Candace Owens and her current hubby, Parler CEO George Farmer. Oh, and guess who else will be making an appearance via video message? The ignoble Tucker Carlson of Fox ‘News’ and Mark Meadows, former chief of staff for the twice-impeached former guy. What a lineup, eh? So much filth all in one place! They may have to burn the building just to get rid of the stench.
But the ‘star’ of the show is Orbán himself, the main reason the convention is being held in Hungary to begin with. In his opening remarks on Thursday, he said …
- “We need to take back the institutions in Washington and Brussels. We need to find friends, and we need to find allies. We need to coordinate the movement of our troops, because we have a big challenge ahead of us.”
- “Have your own media. It’s the only way to point out the insanity of the progressive left. The problem is that the western media is adjusted to the leftist viewpoint. Those who taught reporters in universities already had progressive leftist principles. 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 who puts himself out there. His show is the most popular. What does it mean? It means programs like his should be broadcasted day and night. Or as you say 24/7.”
The press at CPAC is mostly home-grown, from state-run Hungarian media. Independent European and U.S. outlets were largely denied access, and CBS News was one of a small number allowed access to the conference. Journalists from international media outlets, including the New Yorker, Vox Media, Vice News, Rolling Stone, and the Associated Press, were denied access to the event despite months of requests.
Are you starting to feel the chills going up your spine yet? I do.
Let me tell you just a bit about Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. He is a white supremacist authoritarian. He’s restricted Muslim immigration and LGBTQ rights while building a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The former guy was a big fan of Orbán, saying …
“Viktor Orbán has done a tremendous job in so many different ways — highly respected, respected all over Europe — probably, like me, a little bit controversial, but that’s OK.”
I rarely repeat the words of the former guy, for in my book he is completely irrelevant, but I do so this time to give you an idea of the sort of person Orbán is … and believe me, he is not a good person and he is definitely NOT highly respected throughout Europe.
All of the international democracy rating agencies agree that Hungary is no longer a democracy. During his 12 years in power, Orbán has chipped away at the foundations of Hungarian democracy. It has been replaced with an authoritarian regime that wields a cynical interpretation of the law as a weapon; the country is governed by rules like the border journalism permits, regulations that can seem reasonable on their face but actually serve to undermine essential democratic freedoms.
Elections there are free, in the sense that the vote counts aren’t nakedly rigged. But they are unfair: The government controls the airwaves and media companies to such a degree that the opposition can’t get their message out.
Viktor Orbán is an autocrat, he does not govern but he rules … and yes there is a difference, a BIG difference. Orbán is, by any reasonable definition, a fascist, although some would argue he is merely a ‘soft fascist’. Fascism … it’s a scary word, isn’t it? The former guy made no attempt to hide the fact that he wanted to rule rather than govern, and he chipped away at the restraints that kept him, to an extent at least, from doing so. He plotted not one, but three attempts to overthrow the will of the people in the 2020 election, to install himself as an unelected autocrat for … how long? 4 years? 6 years? A lifetime?
The fact that CPAC chose to hold their annual convention in Hungary and more to the point to have Orbán as their main speaker should tell you all you need to know about the course being plotted by Republicans aka conservatives for the United States. It’s an ugly picture my friends. I’m not a scaremonger or a conspiracy theorist, but the Republican Party has been overtaken by a wanna-be dictator and they are falling all over themselves trying to lick his boots, to please him. What does that say for the future of this nation?