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Tue May 14, 2019, 08:52 AM

What we have to fear. Take a look at Hungary.

This column by David Leonhardt on his visit to Hungary appeared in the NYT before last year's midterms, but it's still very relevant and chilling now.

**************

What Orbán has done is to squash political competition. He has gerrymandered and changed election rules, so that he doesn’t need a majority of votes to control the government. He has rushed bills through Parliament with little debate. He has relied on friendly media to echo his message and smear opponents. He has stocked the courts with allies. He has overseen rampant corruption. He has cozied up to Putin. To justify his rule, Orbán has cited external threats — especially Muslim immigrants and George Soros, the Jewish Hungarian-born investor — and said that his party is the only one that represents the real people.

Does any of this sound familiar?

(snip)

Most alarming, the Republican Party has shown multiple signs of early Orbánism. No, the party is not as bad as Fidesz, and, yes, American democracy remains much healthier than the Hungarian version. But the parallels are there for anyone willing to see them: Like Orbán, Republican leaders have repeatedly been willing to change the rules and customs of democracy for the sake of raw power.

The list includes: rushing unpopular bills through Congress with little debate; telling bald lies about those bills; stealing a Supreme Court seat to maintain a Republican majority; trying to keep American citizens from voting; gerrymandering; campaigning on racism and xenophobia; refusing to investigate President Trump’s corruption and Russian ties.

(snip)

Just like Fox News, the Hungarian media ignores inconvenient stories, like anti-Orbán protests. Instead, it pumps conspiracies, especially anti-immigrant, anti-Roma and anti-Semitic ones, as the writer Paul Lendvai has noted. During my stay, newspapers ran Soros-related stories for little apparent reason, and there was talk of “the Soros caravan” — the same made-up story making the rounds on the American right.

I found it chilling to return home to a Republican closing message in the midterms that echoed Orbán’s so closely. In both, fictitious invading hordes — and those who supposedly support them — are the enemy of the people.

More:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/04/opinion/hungary-orban-republican-party-trump.html?te=1&nl=opinion-today&emc=edit_ty_20190514

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Reply What we have to fear. Take a look at Hungary. (Original post)
Ohiogal May 14 OP
samplegirl May 14 #1
The Mouth May 14 #6
Wounded Bear May 14 #2
lunasun May 14 #3
2naSalit May 14 #4
smirkymonkey May 14 #5
pdsimdars May 14 #7

Response to Ohiogal (Original post)

Tue May 14, 2019, 09:23 AM

1. This piece is chilling

We may be coming close to the point where voting isn't going to be enough. It has happened all over the world, and our own very flawed system is close to being broken.

Voting is a start, but we know our government is full of well paid representatives of special interests and big money. The GOP has managed to lock down all branches of the government, so there are few people who are willing to take the risks necessary to pick the locks. Money has taken over. Money is the keeper of our "democracy."

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Response to samplegirl (Reply #1)

Tue May 14, 2019, 11:04 AM

6. That is precisely why

even- especially- progressives should not disarm until the last fascist does.

One doesn't need to have Rambo/Die Hard or survivalist fantasies about saving civilization or other such NRA incel type claptrap to consider that there are circumstances that are beyond voting. I don't fetishisize my firearms, hell I have no intent of EVER using one on another human unless my life or the lives of loved ones are in direct jeopardy; but like a fire insurance policy, better to have and never need .....

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Response to Ohiogal (Original post)

Tue May 14, 2019, 09:25 AM

2. The authoritarian playbook remains the same...

Trump is just putting his own spin on the old program.

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Response to Ohiogal (Original post)

Tue May 14, 2019, 09:26 AM

3. K&R

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Response to Ohiogal (Original post)

Tue May 14, 2019, 09:27 AM

4. Not what we have to fear, what we have to prevent...nt

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Response to Ohiogal (Original post)

Tue May 14, 2019, 09:49 AM

5. It's such a shame that Hungary has gone this way.

I have only been to Budapest and Szentendre, but I found it to be a beautiful country with lovely people. I have always wanted to go back, but now I am not so sure. Like us, I am sure there are many Hungarians who are just as unhappy with Orban as we are with Trump, but we don't get to see the opposition.

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Response to Ohiogal (Original post)

Tue May 14, 2019, 11:34 AM

7. WE know the danger, but it is only CONGRESS who can DO something about it now

before it is too late.

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