Illiberal Orbán portrayed as Central Europe’s paprika dictator

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s infamous (and illiberal) Tusnádfürdő speech has taken on a life of its own in the foreign press. The Czech Republic’s news site published this caricature of Mr. Orbán, as Central Europe’s new “paprika” dictator:



The illustration warns of Central Europe’s dangerous transformation and of Mr. Orbán’s dreams of resurrecting Greater Hungary, at the expense of neighbouring countries.

Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Hungary, André Goodfriend, wrote a blog post over the weekend, entitled “Love me, I’m a liberal,” in direct reference to Mr. Orbán’s virulent attack on liberal democracy, and against anything or anyone deemed liberal.

Ambassador Goodfriend blogs:

“Francis Fukuyama’s 1989 essay, “The End of History,” has regularly been cited for its proclamation of the “unabashed victory of economic and political liberalism.”   By the time of his 2012 essay, “The Future of History:  Can Liberal Democracy Survive the Decline of the Middle Class?” however,  Fukuyama’s views have evolved and he expresses his concerns about the future of liberal democracy.   Fukuyama ends by saying that “The alternative narrative is out there, waiting to be born.” I propose a different ending, rather than waiting to be born, the alternative narrative is waiting for us to write it.   And what we will also find is that the reason we have the freedom to shape our society, to write our narrative, is because of the liberal democratic principles that empower us.”

Therein lies the problem. Mr. Goodfriend speaks of empowerment, when in fact Mr. Orbán builds on vulnerability. Mr. Orbán works to exacerbate this sense of vulnerability, in order to make scores of minions fully dependent on his rule and entirely servile to his party.

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