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Fidesz intellectuals’ loyalty questioned

April 22nd, 2017

Two young conservative pundits suggest that young middle class conservatives feel alienated by the policies of Fidesz. A pro-government commentator calls for dialogue between conservative elites and the government.

Mandiner’s Gellért Rajcsányi accuses Fidesz of using an increasingly anti-intellectual rhetoric that attracts only ‘frustrated old pensioners’ who look back on the Kádár era with nostalgia. The conservative blogger thinks that as Fidesz tries to woo these voters, it alienates true conservatives as well as the younger generations – its former base.

In Magyar Nemzet, György Pápay also thinks that the governing party relies on fear mongering in order to mobilize less privileged masses. The conservative columnist believes that the anti-Brussels, anti-Soros and anti-migration rhetoric employed by Fidesz may woo poorer voters, but its ‘struggle’ for lower utility bills is unlikely to win the allegiance of middle class conservatives who expect a different kind of attitude from a right-wing government.

Fidesz has no integrated intellectual hinterland, Bálint Botond writes in Magyar Idők. The main reason why the governing party has never established a strong base among the intelligentsia is that this strata is dominated by left-wing liberals, Botond thinks. Thus Fidesz has engaged more with technocratic professionals rather than with classical opinion-makers. Botond claims that conservative intellectuals have so far distanced themselves from the current rulers, instead of trying to help Fidesz with constructive criticism. As for the ongoing discontent among conservative intellectuals, Botond finds it sad that these allegedly right-wing people have joined the hysterical left-wing elites who criticize the Orbán government for what he regards as ‘ideological’ reasons. In conclusion, Botond suggests that Fidesz should be more accommodating and open towards conservative minds, but right-leaning intellectuals should also show more loyalty towards the government.