Tibor Navracsics blasts Brexit for running emotionally-driven political campaign

Tibor Navracsics, one of Fidesz’s most prominent politicians and currently the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, spoke this weekend at a symposium organized by a foundation affiliated with the Politics Can Be Different green party (Lehet Más a Politika – LMP). Mr. Navracsics, who is considered a dove within Fidesz, especially now that he works for the European Commission, remarked that the Brexit campaign in the UK was successful because the campaigners placed emotion and feeling above rational, reasonable arguments. Mr. Navracsics probably knows this better than anyone else, because for over ten years, he actively assisted Fidesz in running precisely these types of emotionally-driven and irrational political campaigns in Hungary.

“One should not set national identity against European identity,” remarked Mr. Navracsics at the Ökopolisz Foundation’s symposium on Saturday. He added that a positive European identity complements other forms of identity. Referring to himself, he said: “A happy resident of the town of Veszprém becomes a happy resident of Trans-Danubia, a happy Hungarian and a happy European.” In contrast to this, Mr. Navracsics noted that some politicians destructively peddle the notion that if “someone chooses a European identity, then he denies his national identity.”

Was Mr. Navracsics referring to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán? He certainly did not mention the prime minister’s name.

Instead, he essentially blasted those who campaigned for Brexit in the United Kingdom, and especially the line about “regaining control over our borders, let’s have control over our own country.”  Mr. Navracsics explained that emotionally-driven politics prove more effective than campaigns based on reason and fact. He added that if one side can create the impression that it represents the patriotic, national side of an argument, it has already won. “If someone wants to be a good Brit, they cannot be a good European,” explained Mr. Navracsics, as he explored what he felt bolstered the Leave campaign.

Tibor Navracsics speaking on Saturday at the Ökopolisz symposium. Photo: HírTV.

Tibor Navracsics speaking on Saturday at the Ökopolisz symposium. Photo: HírTV.

It’s hard not to stress that this is precisely what Mr. Navracsics and his party did and continues to do in Hungary–Mr. Navracsics’s party followed the same approach, down to the letter, of casting anyone with an opinion other than that of the party, and liberals or social democrats in general, as being enemies of the nation.

When Mr. Navracsics was asked about the European Commission’s opinion on Hungary’s upcoming October 2nd anti-EU and anti-migrant referendum, he said that the European Commission has no opinion. Thankfully, the conservative HírTV, decided to press Mr. Navracsics on this issue and asked for his personal opinion, if the Commission itself does not have one. Mr. Navracsics responded: “I am a member of the European Commission.”

Mr. Navracsics’s complete lack of courage is underwhelming.


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