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Donald Trump’s victory still on the agenda

November 21st, 2016

Hungarian weeklies ponder the implications of the US presidential election on Hungary and its broader cultural ramifications.

In his regular weekly editorial in Heti Válasz, Gábor Borókai draws a parallel between Donald Trump’s victory and the defeat of the Hungarian Socialist-Liberal coalition in 2010. Both cases show that ideological hegemony and media domination are not enough to remain in power, Borókai suggests. He goes on to note that the Orbán government should also be attentive to growing discontent in Hungary. Although he considers that the Fidesz government has been successful, Borókai hints that political scandals around government politicians fuel anti-establishment sentiments.

Donald Trump’s vision and PM Orbán’s illiberalism are founded on the same principles, András Bencsik writes in Magyar Demokrata. The pro-government editor-in-chief contends that neither President-elect Trump nor PM Orbán deny basic liberal values, but they put collective national interest before individual rights – and patriotism before cosmopolitan values. 

Writing in the same weekly, László Szentesi Zöld believes that US-Hungarian diplomatic relations will improve after Donald Trump’s election. Szentesi Zöld admits that some of Donald Trump’s foreign policy messages in the election campaign were unrealistic and ambiguous, but he predicts that the new US president will follow an isolationist path rather than trying to spread democracy through military intervention. As PM Orbán has openly supported Donald Trump, Szentesi Zöld hopes that the new US ambassador who will replace Colleen Bell will be less critical of the Orbán government than his or her predecessors.

In 168 ÓraZoltán Lakner cautions the Orbán government against undue optimism concerning the implications of Trump’s election on Hungary. The left-wing political analyst recalls a statement by Mr Orbán himself, that the US follows realistic pragmatism in foreign policy rather than ideological considerations. Thus US-Hungarian relations will be determined by Washington’s geopolitical goals and relations to Russia rather than the US President’s ideological convictions. 

PM Orbán gambled a lot by supporting Donald Trump, and won, István Dobozi writes in Élet és IrodalomDobozi also thinks that Donald Trump and Mr Orbán both reject idealistic politics and follow interests rather than values. As a result, the Hungarian government is likely to receive much less criticism from the US under Trump than it has under the current administration which was preoccupied with human rights and democratic principles.

The election of a “misogynist, uneducated redneck” marks a cultural counter-revolutionGáspár Miklós Tamás contends in Heti Világgazdaság. The Marxist philosopher believes that Donald Trump belongs to the cohort of what he considers as far-right governments in Hungary and Poland. These ‘counter-revolutionary’ politicians fight against social equality, reject ethnic inclusion, advocate authoritarian and male-centric hierarchies and reject environmentalism.

On MandinerZsolt Jeszensky finds it peculiar that liberal and and left-wing elites lambast the supporters of Donald Trump rather than trying to understand them. In order to maintain the integrity of their cultural identity, progressives label Donald Trump and his voters as stupid, racist and homophobic rednecks. The conservative pundit thinks that what he regards as an arrogant and hysterical stance, and their inability to revise their own ossified and prejudiced basic principles, is unlikely to make liberal and left-wing intellectuals popular among ordinary  voters any time soon.

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