Why Is the Media Making Such a Fuss Over the Orban-Trump Meeting?
By Steve Rogers
President Trump just concluded a very warm and productive Oval Office meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and the American press is working overtime to make that seem like an outrage.
Orban is no stranger to this kind of treatment from America’s media establishment. A New York Times columnist, for instance, once referred to him as a “fascist” without reservation. The press as a whole has tried to pin the “authoritarian” label on this democratically-elected leader based on trivialities, such as his government rejecting a “university” funded by left-wing billionaire George Soros and eliminating state subsidies for gender studies courses.
Most ridiculously, these desperate media attacks try to paint Orban and the people of Hungary as mere stooges of Vladimir Putin, even though Orban was an anti-communist dissident who risked his life to free his country from the grip of the Soviet empire, and now leads a country that suffered brutal Russian invasions three times in the 20th century.
The real reason Orban provokes such disgust and derision from American elites actually has nothing to do with their fanciful tales of fascism or conspiracy theories about Russia. These self-appointed gatekeepers of acceptability hate Orban because his existence proves them wrong.
In 2015, Hungary was inundated by a wave of Middle Eastern and North African migrants trampling across Europe, a situation that threatened Hungary’s very existence as a sovereign nation-state. Orban responded to Hungary’s border crisis with the same obvious solution that President Trump has been advocating for nearly four years: he built a wall.
The American mainstream media have mocked and attacked Trump’s border wall as “immoral” and “ineffective,” yet the Hungarian example demonstrated that border walls are just as effective as President Trump has claimed. Hungarian officials have even explained to us in detail how the United States can emulate their success.
Orban’s winning nationalist agenda is also extremely popular among Hungarian voters. In eight years, Orban has decisely won four elections, achieving his widest margin of victory yet in last year’s election.
This is a nightmare scenario that is clearly preying on the minds of American liberal elites. Orban is living proof that not only can Trumpism work, but it might foster a permanent nationalist electoral coalition in this country.
By rolling out the red carpet for Viktor Orban, Trump was doing more than just goading the press into throwing a tantrum over a perfectly normal meeting with a European leader — although I’m sure that wasn’t far from the President’s mind.
The handshake with Orban sent a clear signal that the MAGA revolution that elected Donald Trump president is part of a global movement — the American incarnation of a nationalist awakening in the West that was already well underway.
Orban’s return to power in 2010 following an eight-year hiatus was a turning point in that movement’s history. His steadfast refusal to surrender Hungary’s borders to the whims of open-borders globalists in 2015 was in many ways the movement’s debut on the world stage.
Donald Trump, as a nascent presidential candidate back then, was able to use that crisis to awaken the American public to the threats we face and the forces aligned against us. Trump and his supporters took inspiration from Orban’s response to the migrant crisis, particularly the quickly-built and strikingly effective border wall.
Almost four years later, Viktor Orban was able to make a triumphant visit to a White House in which the same spirit reigns.
The liberal press scrambled to dishonestly portray the meeting as a breach of decorum, just as they’ve tried to invent reasons to falsely claim that both Orban and Trump are somehow not legitimate, democratically elected leaders.
But the media monopoly on public discourse in America is not nearly so strong as it once was. Their fear-mongering and hysterical narratives can’t stop the global march of the nationalist right in Hungary, in Matteo Salvini’s Italy, in Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil — and especially not here in Donald Trump’s America.
Steven Rogers is a retired U.S. Navy intelligence officer and a former member of the FBI National Joint Terrorism Task Force. He is a member of the Donald J. Trump for President 2020 Campaign Advisory Board.