Orban Keeps Winning

Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party won another election in Hungary this weekend. Pollsters claimed Orban’s party looked more vulnerable this election than it’s prior elections defending its large majority. Fidesz emerged with a substantial majority with minor gains to its seats. Right wing pundits gush over Orban and miss key points to his governance. Orban made significant changes once taking power and has delivered to constituents.

It is that simple. Win, entrench your party in power, punish enemies and deliver the goods. The GOP does none of this so pundits cheer and miss the key procedures. Orban won a supermajority in 2010 and with that power exercised it. Constitutional reform reduced the number of seats in parliament, reconfigured districts and lowered retirement ages for judges. A protective measure was making it so future changes required a supermajority of votes whereas previously changes needed simple majorities. With Fidesz’s changes, they made changes and locked in those changes unless a massive opposition took power. With the parliamentary changes, they made it so Fidesz could lose support but likely keep a majority and almost make it impossible for a new majority to change their changes. It was more comprehensive but the details are unnecessary to express the radical change.

A more offense oriented change concerned media. Media legislation required media entities to register with the government, required balanced media content that was relevant to citizens and imposed fines and potential license revocations for violators. Fidesz did not stop there and instituted a media council as an overseer for these new regulations. Fidesz staffed the council. This council had a member who also directed the state media outlets. The state media staff then experienced mass re-staffing.

This is why the clenched jaw, left wing anger is comical. Orban enjoys glowing media coverage. Mail in ballots did not require identification verification. The people had to hunt online for other information sources. Orban created dependent family voters. Fidesz creatively redrew voting districts. All of these flagrant acts are captured here in tongue in cheek fashion. It is geopolitical pot and kettle whining no different than Condi Rice bemoaning Russia’s unlawful invasion of a sovereign nation. The left cannot stand anyone using their tactics. Orban has just done it with campaign rhetoric, governance and follow through.

Fidesz cemented electoral power and changed how the media operated, but he still had to deliver. His first big zig when Europe zagged was saying no to migrants during Merkel’s migrant crisis. Fences went up and were patrolled. Orban instituted pro-natalist policies for his constituents. He had the money to do this because Hungary aggressively paid down IMF loans. Hungary reduced its debt to GDP during the euro crisis and by doing so had money to spare for these pro-family policies.

The results are encouraging but not electrifying. Pundits can scoff at them, but writers like Rod Dreher are excited. Anything bending the fertility rate up should be applauded. Fidesz’s work is not perfect but at least is an attempt producing measurable results. While they look at Hungary as a policy lab with results in real time, they miss the governance work that preceded them.

Pro-natalist policies would not work in America with our media messaging system. The left would twist any pro-natalist policy that encouraged marriage as patriarchal and anything that rewarded good behavior as white supremacist. States could craft tax policy to encourage marriage. Actually writing federal pro-natalist ideas into law would provide our deep state activists the opportunity to design pro-natalist policies that will provide America with a bigger underclass.

Politics is downstream of culture? Who and what sets the cultural tone? What is allowed? What gets funded? People praise Florida banning LGBT talks for K-3rd graders but cede ground that it is okay to discuss with ten year olds in the 4th grade. With the proper exercise of political power, politics can mold the culture. Orban did this in 2011 and then made moves for his constituents. The framing of his policies were massaged by his hand selected crowd. Hungarian media is limited with what it can grumble about even though it still grumbles. Viktor Orban does not have to worry about George Floyd becoming a saint and sparking a mass cult movement. Because of this, he is not subject to holiness spirals. Because of the hard work reconfiguring the political system, Orban will continue to win. For the right to win elsewhere, they should stop applauding Orban and start learning how he built the cadre of operatives that became the party and bureaucrats who made his reforms possible.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. BaboonTycoon says:

    The foundation for such changes is already present in the Republican push for voter ID laws. And we’ve seen things like Mitch McConnell blocking Obama Supreme Court nominations until after the election. The Republican party is willing to play dirty, but thusfar only in the narrow self-interest of the elected representatives and their donors rather than the entire electorate. Nothing changes without elite buy-in.

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    1. E M Lowden says:

      Garland was blocked because he was in line for another gig. After all we’ve seen in the last six years, how can you be this naive? The Republican Party is a controlled opposition, in no small part because it was already an elitist operation built on duping their voter base into acting against their own best interest. It was ready to be used in the way it is being used from the day it was formed.

      Furthermore the idea that the American government would ever actually snub or cut off a Jew like Garland from power is laughable.

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      1. BaboonTycoon says:

        Naive about what? If anyone is the naive one, it is you, who sees the American elite as a united, wholly coherent special interest group in which there is perfect cooperation among all of them. If that is what you believe, then leave this movement. We have no need of more blackpill dispensers, especially when it goes against observable reality. Such beliefs seed the idea that there is absolutely no path for tradtionalist victory, and who benefits from having people adopt that idea?

        None of this to say that any significant portion of the elite are on the side of their constituency, as I mentioned in my original post. The point of all of this is to say that the party apparatus and even the average voter are somewhat more susceptible to the use of anti-democratic policy than I think many of us realize, even given the constitutionalist bent unfortunately prevalent among conservatives.

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      2. E M Lowden says:

        That’s a lot of ideological buzzwords when you could have just said “I watch a lot of Nick Fuentes”. The idea of an elite having a “constituency”… I don’t even know where to begin. If you’re over the age of 25 and you think this way, you ought to be ashamed of your stupidity. An adult man speaking of constituencies and using a “party apparatus” as though any of this is more than mere theatre.

        The readership has certainly declined in these latter days. I miss Social Matter.

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      3. BaboonTycoon says:

        I can only assume I am replying to a woman at this point given the passive aggressiveness and the ridiculous appeals to social norms in an anonymous dissident “community,” in which case I doubt any further talk on the matter will be terribly productive. But I will attempt one last point. None of the elite behavior makes sense if everything is theater. There would be no point in the overt suppression of any ideas if the general public had no real input. There would be no need for the widespread grooming of children. There would be no moral panic over Trump or Putin or whatever the present bogeyman is. Act as if these things don’t matter all you want, once more, observable reality suggests otherwise. There are many things that are indeterminate, such as the true purpose behind the pandemic lockdowns, but not everything is behind the scenes.

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  2. Tony The Tigere says:

    I think “based” eastern European countries like Hungary and Poland are going to have a tough time in the next few decades. It is a very difficult thing to cultivate a rightism that doesn’t backlash: Spain used to be the traddest, most integralist part of Europe, under Franco, except perhaps for Ireland, and on our continent it was Quebec. In all three cases, it seemed to be a mile wide and an inch thick; it didn’t transmit from one generation to another under the conditions of modernity and they pozzed at remarkable speed to make up for lost time. I’ve also heard that their fertility bounce is largely gypsy, and their decision to court Rod Dreher type elements in the American right is risky, because he has a very superficial understanding of the west.

    One advantage I think Hungary has over those nations is that it has both conservative catholicism and conservative protestantism. Most countries only have one or the other. It’s tough holding up against globohomo, it’s also tough being poor. But they seem well-led and amenable to that leadership. For these reasons, I think it’s fair to view them as a sliver of hope.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Earl Shetland says:

    Éljen a haza! Long live the homeland!

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  4. snigger says:

    > but writers like Rod Dreher are excited.

    Can somebody please explain why some people on RW twitter treat him as a good-faith actor? Even Bill Kristol was a more plausible right-winger.

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  5. Alex says:

    Politics is downstream. Orban said Hungary is explicitly Christian and European. That guides social, sexual and political behavior and action.

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  6. Pabst Blue says:

    “For the right to win elsewhere, they should stop applauding Orban and start learning how he built the cadre of operatives that became the party and bureaucrats who made his reforms possible.“

    Forgive me for being a week late here, but I have to ask:
    Is this essay more of the former or the latter?

    Every time I see right wingers come up with some plausible idea for how to achieve the latter, they get dunked on by folks who mostly write articles and host podcasts.

    What is the actionable lesson a young, enthusiastic reader of this website should take from Orban’s assent? That he should get a job in bureaucracy in his (hopefully red) State government? So that he’ll be qualified and prepared to join the Executive Branch when the GOP takes back the White House? This idea doesn’t seem very good even to me, but I also can’t think of anything better.

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  7. NC says:

    until the deamons are purged from all aspects of society, we are fucked. The pudendum has swung so far towards evil only a good old fashion purge will be the cure. And that wont happen until the power goes out and all the mind control devices run out of power.

    Like

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