Days before he’s set to address the United States’ largest gathering of conservative activists, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán railed against “mixed race” nations.
Orbán, a GOP darling for his administration’s illiberal and white nationalist politics, embraced a version of the racist “replacement theory” that motivates many American conservatives — from lawmakers to murderers — during a speech Saturday in Romania.
“We [Hungarians] are not a mixed race … and we do not want to become a mixed race,” said Orbán, who’s slated to speak at the Conservative Action Political Conference in Texas next week.
Countries where Europeans and non-Europeans mingle “are no longer nations,” he added, according to Politico. “They are nothing more than a conglomeration of peoples.”
Republicans are so in love with Orbán they hosted the first CPAC in Hungary earlier this year. Around that time, I wrote a quick explainer on what, in particular, Republicans like about him:
His largely white country has installed a proto-fascist, white nationalist government that bears only a slight resemblance to democracy, and Republicans — looking to institute a similar government here — have heralded him as one of their favorite leaders. Fox News’ leading white nationalist, Tucker Carlson, routinely fawns over Orbán on his show and has traveled to Hungary to speak with right-wing politicians, and he’s scheduled to deliver remarks at CPAC Hungary.
Orbán has stated openly that he wants Hungary to be an “illiberal democracy,” and he’s largely succeeded on that front by cracking down on press freedoms and crafting a system that clearly advantages his own political party. Despite this, one of Orbán’s Cabinet members, Zoltán Kovács, evidently didn’t take kindly to my factual description of his boss in May.
In a rather cute response, Kovács wrote that “‘white nationalism’ and ‘white supremacy,’ thankfully, are not issues in Hungarian political discourse. Bringing these otherwise very dangerous, twisted ideologies into a conversation about Hungary makes a fool of the author.”
And yet here I am again, just months later, writing about how his boss’s comments affirm my claims.
Regardless, the latest comments make it abundantly clear why today’s Republicans are infatuated with Orbán. Inviting a non-American to headline an event after preaching a decidedly anti-American view? It’s an unsurprising contradiction for the purported “America First” party. But make no mistake: Orbán possesses characteristics the GOP admires most, including mind-numbing bigotry and an open hostility toward democratic norms.