Nationalists Turn Their Lonely Eyes to Hungary

Dear Reader (including the flight attendant who was too good to be real),

Around this time last year, there was a big argument among a very small group of people about whether the whole Republican Party should be “burned down.” You can guess why some took the GOP Delenda Est point of view, so I won’t dwell on it. My view at the time was that, as a practical matter, it was a pretty silly debate. If you can’t actually do something, spending a lot of time fighting over whether it should be done is kind of pointless. I mean, the Fair Jessica and I often have fun arguing about how we would spend our lottery winnings, but until I finally pick the right numbers—and I will, oh yes, I will—there’s no reason to get too worked up about it. 

I bring this up only because I get the same feeling about the Hungary fetish on the right. Viktor Orbán stanning has been a thing on the right for a while. I’d say anti-anti-Orbánism has been around even longer. But this week things got turned up a notch because of Tucker Carlson’s visit. David writes very persuasively about all of that here.

But, as with the burn-it-all-down stuff last year, I find myself agreeing with David on the substance while thinking the best argument against adopting the Hungarian model is practical: It won’t work. Indeed, it can’t work. So pretending that Hungary illuminates the path forward is just a huge waste of everyone’s time. A relatively poor, ethnically homogeneous (98 percent of Hungarian citizens are ethnically Hungarian), landlocked country, about the size of Michigan with the population of Oregon, with less than a robust democratic tradition, isn’t just a bad (and dumb) model for the United States. It’s an impossible model for the United States.

Create a free account
Access additional articles and newsletters for no cost, no credit card information needed. Continue ALREADY HAVE AN ACCOUNT? SIGN IN
Comments (330)
Join The Dispatch to participate in the comments.
Load More