Patterico's Pontifications


Another Foreign Leader Swims Against the Current

Filed under: General — JVW @ 10:33 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Dana had a great post yesterday about Benjamin Netanyahu’s magnificent speech at the United Nations. I wanted to draw everyone’s attention to another tour de force from an overseas leader who is not content to happily follow along conventional wisdom from the political/academic/journalistic elite. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán delivered a speech to the Hungarian Parliament in which he lacerated the arrogance of the demands of the EU (led in this case by Germany) for its member-states to accept emigres from throughout the Middle East all the way to South Asia. This speech is 17 minutes long (and it is subtitled in English; click on the Subtitles/CC icon if you don’t see them) but it is a masterpiece of rational thought, careful argument, and assertion of national sovereignty.

If you can’t find time for the full 17 minutes, I want to share with you some highlights:

4:45: “We take the view that it is the most natural thing in the world to want to protect one’s own family. . . . Hungary has been a valued member of the larger European family for a thousand years. It is its historic and moral duty to protect Europe, as Hungary also thereby protects itself.”

5:20: “Thanks to the mass media and the Internet, it is now clear to everyone that Europe is rich, but weak. This is the most dangerous combination possible.”

7:29: “A Europe which requires its half billion citizens to respect its laws is unable to persuade migrants to undergo a simple registration process.”

12:00: “The Hungarian people have decided: the country must be protected.”

14:40: “All 28 member-states should take a share in the protection of the southern borders of Europe. . . . We should not set up refugee campus — or whatever they may be called — within the European Union, but outside of it.”

I want to mention too that throughout his entire speech, Orbán was interrupted exactly once with applause, when he thanked the Hungarian police and military for their efforts 45 seconds into his speech. Contrast that with the awful Presidential addresses to Congress which are scripted so that “spontaneous” applause lines appear approximately every 30 seconds. It’s almost as if these Hungarian legislators are interested in solving problems, not grandstanding for their favored interest groups.

Hat tip to Powerline.


22 Responses to “Another Foreign Leader Swims Against the Current”

  1. I should disclose here that I am a big Hungarophile (Maygarphile?) I think Budapest is the most beautiful city in all of continental Europe, even more so than Paris or Rome.

    JVW (ba78f9)

  2. JVW, PRAGUE is most beautiful. Off continent. EDINBURGH is BEST.

    GUS (7cc192)

  3. Budapest!!!

    Beautiful, relaxed, raffish, great food, extraordinary wine made in lots too small to be worth exporting, and …

    I gots me a picture of me standing next to the Ronald Reagan statue.

    Fred Z (5db617)

  4. That is awesome, Fred Z. The Reagan statue wasn’t yet there when I visited. Yet another reason for me to go back.

    JVW (ba78f9)

    These MIGRANTS are wonderful peeps!!!

    GUS (7cc192)

  6. Prague is pretty because Czechoslovakia surrendered to the Nazis without firing a shot, avoiding the ravages of war. Its most notable WWII hero is a woman who spread venereal disease to the Germans.

    nk (9faaca)

  7. My Grandma escaped Czechoslovakia in 1918. Not that I was worried, nk.

    mg (31009b)

  8. GUS: They are “Syrian Refugees,” not migrants.

    If you point out that 90% of them are neither Syrian nor Refugees, you’re racist.

    egd (1ad898)

  9. Thanks for linking Orban’s speech…one of the most powerful video clips on the net right now.

    creeper (9a0fe6)

  10. Orban is a hero. Few realize that he was a young democracy activist when the Soviets still controlled Hungary. He was the Vaclav Havel of Hungary, just less known.

    In the 1980s, Orban was a dissident against communist rule and held mainstream liberal views at a time when Hungary was arguably more integrated into the global economy than any other Warsaw Pact country. Since then, he has capitalized on growing Euro-skepticism, associating Brussels with the various empires that have conquered Hungary in the past. Meanwhile, the Jobbik party has demonized immigrants and Hungary’s large Roma minority, embraced fascist iconography and espoused a narrative of alleged foreign and Zionist influences, pulling Orban’s Fidesz rightward in the process.

    “It is crucial to note that Orban has not said he was against democracy,” cautions Saltman, “As a stealthy wordsmith and politician, Orban has been careful in stating that he is against liberal democracy; in Hungary liberalism is seen, by right and radical right-wing supporters, as a system that supports international over national needs and caters to big business over local workers. In essence Orban is utilizing populist rhetoric to maintain widespread support from the average Hungarian citizen.”

    The EU politicians and their flacks are, of course, convinced he is headed for autocracy.

    It is extra ironic that they accuse him of anti-Semitism.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  11. A man to be admired. A leader who realizes that the national self-interest is of primary importance and that one should not allow outsiders to bring their troubles to one’s home.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  12. you have to go back a bit, to see when he had the white hat,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  13. when even your positives are counted against you,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  14. “…it is now clear to everyone that Europe is rich, but weak. This is the most dangerous combination possible.”

    The flip side of the nationalism and imperialism of over 70 years ago, which incubated World War I and II, in tandem with the totalitarianism of the Communist’s Iron Curtain.

    It didn’t end well in the past, and there’s a sense it won’t end well today.

    Mark (f713e4)

  15. Finally, a world leader who gets it.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  16. “when even your positives are counted against you,”

    His politics are now classical conservative – with an emphasis on family, church and nation – while his economics are hazier. Orban speaks of over-privatization of the Hungarian economy and the need for strong Hungarian companies. He also angered foreign-owned utilities in his first premiership, overturning agreements on the politically sensitive issue of gas and electricity prices.

    Sounds good to me. Maybe he is Hungary’s Trump.

    I have some opinions about Obama over at Chicagoboyz.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  17. I was referring to the ‘effrontery’ of demanding of Soviet withdrawal, when all the other dissidents had decided not to, I guess these same would fault Walesa for speaking out of turn in Gdansk,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  18. Orban speaks of over-privatization of the Hungarian economy and the need for strong Hungarian companies. He also angered foreign-owned utilities in his first premiership, overturning agreements on the politically sensitive issue of gas and electricity prices.

    I think what a lot of people overlook is that his economic nationalism has to be placed in context of Hungary’s history over the last 70 years. When your nation’s senior citizens still remember life under the Nazi occupation then life as a citizen of a Soviet satellite state, I can understand why even a conservative might be a little bit wary about inviting lots of foreign entities to dominate the Hungarian economy. Frankly, Europe could use a bit more nationalism.

    JVW (ba78f9)

  19. A leader who has rejected the pro-choice doctrine that justifies the arbitrary exchange of one human life for another, and other moral hazards created through construction of congruences. A leader who opposes perpetually profiting from the insidious creation of dysfunction and treatment of its symptoms. A leader who reconciles individual dignity, intrinsic value, and natural imperatives. Extraordinary.

    n.n (c14cb2)

  20. Wonderful pic, Fred Z. Joined parents – mom on sabbatical –
    and we visited Budapest – ’70s. It reflected the ravages of
    communism – worth all the political science classes I never took.
    Struck up conversation with a lady who noticed our French plates.
    She was there with husband for journalists’ symposium, and they
    were assigned there during Hungarian revolution. Her husband’s
    ties were shot off at the neck clean thru their chifferobe several stories
    up their apt bldg. Turned out I worked with her brother,
    “Frenchie,” a free-lance musician who emigrated to States.
    At that time seemed everything was torn up and
    in a constant state of never-finished, ages-old construction. From what
    I’ve seen of travel films, looks very prosperous & cosmopolitan.
    Driving thru Eastern bloc then was like stepping back a century.

    Judy Eaton (0bfcdb)

  21. I’m 40% through Charles Moore’s Margaret Thatcher: From Grantham to the Falklands (2013), the first of two anticipated volumes from Thatcher’s “authorized” biographer who’s had unique access to her personal papers and to her family, friends, and colleagues. By that point in the book she’s still the Leader of the Opposition, having rescued the Tories from Ted Heath’s deadly wobbliness. I’m struck very much by how spectacularly different she was from Hillary in almost every respect — and by how much she reminds me of Carly Fiorina, who has a great deal in common with Thatcher.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  22. How ironic that the former USSR satellite nations of Eastern Europe are taking the lead over the idiots who control Western Europe’s dying nations.

    Gary Fouse (6c53e2)

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