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Long Before Hungary, the Right Was Fixated on Another Country
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JOSHUA TAIT argues: Long Before Hungary, the Right Was Fixated on Another Country.
Prominent conservatives have discovered Hungary and its “twenty-first century dictator,” Viktor Orbán. This week, Tucker Carlson will be relocating his top-rated show to Hungary, as he did for a week last August, bringing Orbán into the homes of hundreds of thousands of Fox viewers.
Carlson may be the most high-profile conservative to alight on Hungary, but he’s far from the first. Christopher Caldwell profiled Orbán in the Claremont Review of Books in 2019; former National Review editor John O’Sullivan moved to Budapest, where he has run the Danube Institute, a think tank funded by Orbán’s government, since 2017; the American Conservative’s Rod Dreher spent four months last year in Budapest under the auspices of the Danube Institute, largely singing its praises; while a number of others, including Patrick Deneen, Chris DeMuth, Sohrab Ahmari, Yoram Hazony, and Jordan Peterson have made pilgrimages, in several cases meeting with Orbán himself. Early this year, Donald Trump endorsed Orbán for re-election.
Hungary’s appeal to the American right is straightforward. Among the world’s leaders, Tucker Carlson pronounced, only Orbán identifies as a Western conservative. He takes pride in standing athwart European Union integration, internationalism, immigration, and “wokeism.” He champions the Hungarian nation and the Christian West.
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