Hungarian Free Press – Hillary Clinton is our choice

On Tuesday, November 8th, Americans – among them 1.5 million with Hungarian roots – will go to the polls to elect the next president of the United States. Secretary Hillary Clinton has won the Democratic nomination and she is the most qualified candidate.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

Whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump wins both will present challenges for relations with America’s European Union allies. US foreign policy under the new president will be especially important for Hungarians. We feel that Hungary was at times somewhat neglected by the Obama administration and we support more active US involvement and cooperation with Hungary in the future.

Trump said that NATO is “obsolete” and he admires Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling him a great leader. Secretary Clinton supports NATO and doesn’t trust Putin. She supports the economic sanctions against Russia.

We believe that NATO is not obsolete. For Hungary NATO means the only defense mechanism which can provide security and stability. President Putin’s own “illiberal democracy” is not something the US should support.

Hungary’s direction over the last six years has taken a dangerous turn. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is building the Hungarian version of “illiberal democracy” by stifling the free press, the NGOs and restricting civil rights. Mr. Orbán admires authoritarian leaders Russian President Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and promotes nationalism and racism, rewrites history and has anti-Semitic tendencies. Numerous international groups have urged the EU to address Hungary’s attack on human rights. The EU, however, has not only proven incapable of anything beyond the occasional verbal reprimand, but continues to bankroll the Orbán regime through lavish subsidies, which line the pockets of Fidesz oligarchs and with which Mr. Orbán buys the loyalty of people around him. This is not the kind of Hungary the US should support; these values are far from the American ideals most Americans of Hungarian origin cherish.

Every European government has signalled their nervousness about Donald Trump’s policies and favours a win by Hillary Clinton. The only exception is Hungary’s right-wing nationalist government which to the amazement (and dismay) of most Hungarian Americans declared its support for Trump, only to have Prime Minister Orbán later claim that it never did such thing, once Mr. Trump’s electoral fortunes began to fade.

Traditionally about two-thirds of Hungarian Americans vote for the Democratic Party. Ninety percent of Hungarian Americans don’t speak the native language and have little or no contact with Hungary or Hungarian matters. We believe that in this election the ratio will be higher; we estimate that perhaps up to four-fifths of Hungarian Americans may support Secretary Clinton.

Secretary Clinton understands that Hungary’s “illiberal democracy” is a dangerous political adventure and the US should take action to reverse the suppression of true liberal democracy. Mr. Orbán’s policies undermine stability in the CEE region and are also against long-term US interests in Europe.

Secretary Clinton is our choice and we suggest that she will get the support of responsible Hungarian Americans who care about the future of Hungary.

Hungarian Free Press

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