Fox News host Tucker Carlson visited Hungary last week and aired a number of episodes of his show from that central European country. Throughout, he made many favorable comments about how things were run there. Later, when he sat down for an interview with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Orban appeared to be an articulate and entirely reasonable man.
This sent most of the rest of the American media into conniptions. Why? Because the American ruling class — of which the chattering classes in the media form an integral part — has decreed that Vitor Orban is a “fascist,” that he is “far-right” and therefore must not be given non-adversarial coverage by any media outlet.
But virtually no such criticisms are true. At best, they are based on extremely vague and broad generalizations and half-truths that serve more to confuse and misdirect than to inform.
So, what is the truth about right-wing politics in Hungary? As you might have guessed, things are far more complex than the simplistic picture served up by the many hacks in the American mainstream media.
A Balanced Picture of the Hungarian Right
Viktor Orban, as Hungarian Prime Minister, currently stands as the leader of a Hungarian political party called Fidesz. American media outlets have mindlessly repeated the claim that Fidesz is some kind of fascistic and authoritarian party without bothering to learn a single thing about Hungarian political history.
The truth is that Fidesz is a rather moderate right-wing party. After losing the elections back in 2003, Fidesz was forced to regroup and reevaluate its positions. In the meantime, a more radical right-wing party called Jobbik was on the ascendancy.
As concerns over immigration and the migrant crisis began to spread through Europe, Jobbik grew in popularity, channeling the discontentment of those who believed that Fidesz was too moderate.
However, by 2018, it was clear that whatever forces had been fueling the rise of Jobbik had been severely weakened. Urban had made the wise decision to refuse to take any migrants into Hungary, thus diffusing and dissipating nativist fears. In short, Orban and Fidesz made the wise move of moving slightly to the right to accommodate the desires of their population but certainly did not become fascists or authoritarians.
The charge that Fidesz consists of anti-Semites is also utterly without merit.
Urban has worked closely with Israel and expressed his disappointment in his interview with Carlson that Benjamin Netanyahu was no longer in office. While the declining Jobbik had certainly had its brushes with anti-Semitism, it is absurd to tar the mainstream of the Hungarian nation that way.
In a word, the American media is simply lying about Viktor Orban and his party. The reason why is likely the very one that Orban himself suggested: that closing the border to immigrants may actually help you to preserve a nice country.