Fox News host and political commentator Tucker Carlson arrived to Hungary a few days ago to speak on the three-day youth festival organized by the conservative Hungarian educational institution, Mathias Corvinus Collegium. Carlson met prominent Hungarian politicians—including PM Viktor Orbán with whom he also made an interview—and visited the Hungarian-Serbian border fence system, which helped the country parry illegal migration. He is also broadcasting his show from Hungary this week. Probably the most famous American conservative TV figure’s visit has the solid purpose of examining why there is such bad news and hate among the leftist elite towards Hungary and its Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who is being depicted as an authoritarian tyrant.
Of course, leftist progressive international and domestic Hungarian media do their best at delegitimizing and dehumanizing Tucker Carlson himself and every step he makes and every meeting he participates in, especially with the Hungarian PM. These media are struggling to outbellow Carlson’s factual, in-person reports on the country and its people—which, of course, completely goes against their depicted picture of Hungary fabricated by their fake news—putting labels like “far-left wing”, “authoritarian”, “regime”, “dictator”, and “Trumpism” on everything and everybody near the TV host.
‘Those who meet PM Orbán can only be radical and far-right, populist and alt-right actors according to the left.
It’s a pity that it is stupid. Or conscious manipulation’, starts Gergely Szilvay his comment on this phenomenon in the Hungarian monthly, Mandiner. ‘Since the 1989 regime change, we have been listening to the entire Hungarian left, together with the international left, chanting “extremists”, and we have long been bored. But when those left-wing personalities who love to label everyone “fascist” are being called communist, squallery starts and the boring academic reasoning about the differences between the various branches of Marxism will begin. However, I think the one who calls every average right-wing player a “fascists” and a “Nazi” is a Communist’ – declares Szilvay. It has been going on for a long time now. Carlson is not the first person to be referred to in the left as an inconvenient far-right, while he is the most influential right-wing media personality in America, and there is nothing extreme about his views.
Markers that Tucker Carlson now gets are the same stamps as Santiago Abascal, president of the Spanish right-wing party Vox, Patrick Deneen, the world-famous political scientist at Notre Dame University, or Jordan Peterson, Canadian star psychologist received. Their only sin was that they all met the Hungarian prime minister, which automatically made them far-right extremists.
In 2015, Katalin Novák, then Secretary of State, attended a family conference of the conservative umbrella organization Political Network for Values, where the family policy of the Hungarian government received several praises. The leftist media quickly found out that mostly Catholic, conservative politicians attended the event and, of course, US-based NGOs, which are considered far-right or even regarded as hate groups’. Sponsors of the conference, according to the Hungarian leftist 444.hu article, were “radical civilians”. The portal’s article was largely based on a list of hate organizations by the American far-left joke institute called the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which also includes various churches (such as the Baptists) and quite a few ordinary conservative organizations. In other words, the SPLC is a frivolous, left-wing propaganda group.
The above examples are manifestations of a trend or strategy that aim to discredit anyone and anything without giving the chance for a healthy discussion or dialogue – highlights Szilvay. Whoever the left does not like is labelled far-right, perhaps radical (how permissive). And who is radical? For example, someone who is pro-life or criticizes the agenda of LGBTQ organizations, opposes immigration or just an old-fashioned religious or someone who—like any conservative—does not believe in equality. This was Molotov’s tactics: that person was labelled “fascist”, who the Soviets considered to be one; always according to their current needs.
This is how the left tries to move the interpretation framework: so the left is trying to move the scale in order for the far-left to get to the middle and the middle-right to the verge without changing its actual position. They even try to push the middle-right outside the framework, to make it look extreme, which has no place in democratic public life.
We must not fall for that because whoever does so, will find themselves in the same situation, where the European People’s Party or Merkel’s CDU-CSU is: rushing to the center of the political framework of interpretation, which is constantly being moved further left by left-wing politics and the left-wing university elite – until it reaches the left itself.
We do not have to adjust, but we definitely need to pull back the framework of interpretation. Anyway, the truth is not always in the middle, and especially not the average of the various positions and opinions is the truth. The truth is where it is – closes his thoughts Gergely Szilvay.
Dávid Nagy, Danube Institute research fellow