By design, the published image and lived reality are made to diverge.
Daily this writer consults more than ten papers and several magazines. Most represent “the mainstream”. That confirms that objectivity is a badge worn by mutual acclamation that makes the term into a camouflage for bias. What is bemoaned is not that most organs lean left. If that is admitted, then one can judge the product. Unfair is when the fare served belies the claimed neutrality. Many people believe that if it is printed it must be true. This trust can be undeserved and misleading.
Democracies live in a perennial pre-election season. So, glance at your average pre-election endorsements. Even if your paper might not approve of anybody to the right of Lenin, there will be a lot of pious objectivism at the end of which one of the leftist candidates gets the nod.
The more you know about a subject, the more distortions you discover. As the direct knowledge what is served lessens, the likelihood of acceptance grows. The implications are frightening as it is hard to straighten out what is bent left by the controlling opinion makers. Small and distant countries are born victims of distorted depiction in the service of a political agenda. The accidents that add up to a “life” made the writer at home in three misrepresented countries. They are the USA, Switzerland, and Hungary. The reality of these cannot be recognized in the press they get.
Now, the Eurocratic Left has made Hungary into a battleground. The goal is to remove the right-of-center government of Victor Orbàn, the re-imposition of Socialist rule and the re-definition of the authority of the central power in Brussels. The means are charges of “Fascism”, imposed conformity to Brussels’ concepts, and economic hardship induced by undermining financial stability. (In fact, the balance of payments is positive, the National Bank’s reserves are 35% of GNP, therefore, not Euro-money is needed but fewer attacks on Hungary’s image.)
They key target of the campaign of defamation is PM Orbán who is declared a fascistic dictator. A recent interview in a major paper (the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) will help the reader to draw his own conclusions. The shortened text reveals what can be wrong with the leftist mandated consensus of smear.
The interviewer began by asking the PM about how he sees the condition of Europe. “What I perceive concerns me greatly. If I think of the future, the Europe/West I see is waning. We are losing in importance if compared to the past and to other nations. Our economic significance declines and people lose confidence in our order and in democracy. Others, with other institutions, are becoming more successful than we are. Why is that so? It is because leaders have lost faith in what had made the West successful and they are even ashamed of that achievement. Emerging powers have the courage to acknowledge their tradition and their spiritual identity. Meanwhile, we abandon the force that had elevated us and that is our Christian-inspired culture and values. We like to talk about our ways as being out of fashion and, bowing to PC, we do not dare to invoke values that are a living civilization’s precondition of survival.
Is progress not moving away from the (Western) Nation and civilization? This is the cause of the punches I take. There is a view that advocates secularization, alternative family patterns, and internationalism. My ideas go in the opposite direction and so I find that I argue with the critics about what is ‘forward’ and what is ‘backwards’.
Why is it not enough that the EU Charta endorses democracy which is a product of the Western tradition? True in theory, but where is actual life! When Sarkozy appeared in France, without being French, I felt the pride in France’s glory. The same sensation overcame me when at a ballgame I saw a sea of German flags exhibiting their patriotism. That is a sentiment we need not fear today. I like it when the Poles say, ‘we are a strong country, and the EU’s directors have to consider us’. Here is a will, an energy, and thus a valid stand is made. I do not wish to contrast such shows of identity and the European idea. I would like it if the reaction would not be that this endangers European integration. Nations without character and a purpose will not make the community successful. Patriotism and integration do not clash.
Europe grew together because its nations have surrendered part of their sovereignty to react to the world wars and to globalization. Can nations that became independent in 1989 avoid participation? Here in Germany my response will get me into hot water. The wars can be seen as wars between nations. The tragedy might be greater as they were a civil war of our civilization. The ruinous damage, the demographic and economic consequences are obvious. After WW2 Europeans lost control over their future to outsiders. The 20th century degenerated into a civil war within Christendom. God formed us in his image; therefore, we must not destroy each other. That is why Schuman thought that Europe would either be Christian or disappear.
The EU holds that the constitution passed by your majority violates the values of the Union. The Union objects to about 50 actions. Germany and France have a hundred disputed cases. Are they less European than we are? Such matters are normal in the EU. Some claim that we violate the spirit of Europe even if our laws are legally in order. How am I to react? Hungary’s government has been elected, so has the EU Parliament. Who has elected the European Commission? To whom is the EU Parliament responsible? These are serious problems in Europe’s architecture.
Many Hungarians support the critics. What has happened in Hungary? The Left collapsed in the elections. Therefore, the international Left tries to reinstate it. Internally this does not work, as the Socialists’ wreckage is overwhelming. Therefore, the job has to be done from abroad, by Europe and by America. Foreign-funded organizations wish to formulate leftist alternatives for Hungary. This is why we are attacked.
Your support has receded since the 2010 elections and hostile demonstrations draw crowds. We have won handily in by-elections. Considering all the changes I have made, we are doing far better than I dared to imagine. The marchers have my respect. However, compared to what we mobilize these amount to closed club-events.
Your country is polarized. Why do you want to destroy the Left? I would like to claim the destruction of the Left as my achievement but that is only partly of my doing. Through its governance, the Left committed suicide: I did not hold the knife.
Socialist owned asocial capital has –the last Premiers were among the richest men of the country- made an alliance with the poorest. Through the dole, corruption, tax evasion they created a client, state-dependent mass. That strangulated the middle class. When I returned into power, more people lived off the government handouts than from salaries paid for work. Out of ten million only 3.7 worked and only 2.6 paid taxes. When I lost power in 2002, the debt was 52% of GNP. When I returned, the figure was 80%. A country so indebted is not free and independent.
And Europe? Is it free? We hope for the Germans. We trust that they can reduce their debt to 60% and we hope to follow their example. Can the rest follow suit? As for us, as long as we have our two-thirds majority, we can pursue our recovery.
Do you not fear German dominance? The Germans know history and they are careful about assuming leadership roles, which the French and the British would oppose. Central Europe fears encirclement by the Germans and the Russians. However, in my view, Germany had been too small to rule Europe and is too large to keep others from being concerned regarding her intentions.
What have you learned about your country while on the job? I found more commitment to reforms than I had expected. We have a highly critical view of ourselves, like to quarrel, and tend to see the negative aspects of all situations. Today there is less division than usually and there is hope for overcoming our problems. Absurd attacks from abroad provoke concordance. It is that a nation has an honor and for that reason one should not talk to us the way the EU’s Left does. The dignified response of our people shows that small nations are at times underestimated. That gives me strength.
Are you willing to make concessions to Brussels’ objections to Hungarian legislation? I have not only said so, we have also had talks. Furthermore, we have also submitted to the Commission the suggested modifications of the new constitution. We are waiting for the response, after which we will continue to negotiate.