Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

Why the Right is successful

June 9th, 2014

A liberal analyst thinks the Left has not found a language that could make its messages convincing, while the govenring conservatives are keen on reacting to people’s everyday concerns.
In Magyar Narancs (print edition), political scientist Zoltán Balázs says “language” is one of the secrets of the success of the right wing in Hungary. He compares two ways of talking about politics as represented by two successive foreign speakers in Budapest, a conservative and a left-liberal one. Conservative thinker Roger Scruton delivered a talk in the Academy of Sciences in 2013 where he praised the Orbán government for addressing day to day concerns. Viktor Orbán was present, along with a series of his government dignitaries. This year, German philosopher Jürgen Habermas gave a lecture in the complete absence of left-wing politicians, in which he accused the government of being a threat to basic liberal values. The two ways of thinking, Balázs argues, show why Orbán is so much more successful with the Hungarian electorate. His approach is pragmatic, he can speak in crowd-pleasing sound bites, he addresses the immediate concerns of voters – even if only for immediate political gain. Liberals, on the other hand, cannot give up on “building a new society” and their language is quite inaccessible to most voters. The last left-wing politician who knew how to speak to ordinary citizens was Gyula Horn (a Communist era old-timer who led the MSZP in the 1990s), but where is a Gyula Horn now on the left? And in any case – would Horn be acceptable at all?

Tags: , ,