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Mariann Őry is head of the Foreign Desk at Hungarian conservative daily newspaper Magyar Hírlap. Photo: Zoltán Kocsis/Magyar Hírlap.

Reality has won

Published: November 28, 2016, 2:42 pm

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    “It’s the end of the West as we know it” – the words of Carl Bildt from his recent op-ed for The Washington Post. Sweden’s former prime minister, an enthusiastic Atlantist blames president-elect Donald Trump, because “he transmits a signal of support to those dark forces in various countries trying to undo what generations of U.S. and European statesmen have worked to achieve”.

    Carl Bildt is not the only Western politician by far who divides the world of politics into “us”, the statesmen, the responsible ones, and “them”, the populists, the dark forces. Their arrogant elitism might be shaken a bit though by the fact that these so-called dark forces are and will be winning elections all over the world, and this causes massive hysteria among the elites.

    Donald Trump’s victory came as a total surprise mainly because we have been fooled by the mainstream media pretending to be the ideal press which is exercising control over those in power. But in reality establishment politics and the mainstream media walk hand in hand. The latest example of this is the fact that practically the entire American mainstream media were campaigning for Hillary Clinton. As an article by the Chicago Tribute pointed out, the 50 biggest US newspapers endorsed Clinton before the election.

    Did they win the election for her? No, they didn’t. On the day of the election Paul Krugman admitted in The New York Times: “People like me, and probably like most readers of The New York Times, truly didn’t understand the country we live in.” Krugman hit the nail on the head with this realisation, but instead of trying to overcome the arrogance of the liberal elite, he went on: “We thought that the nation, while far from having transcended racial prejudice and misogyny, had become vastly more open and tolerant over time. We thought that the great majority of Americans valued democratic norms and the rule of law. It turns out that we were wrong. There turn out to be a huge number of people — white people, living mainly in rural areas — who don’t share at all our idea of what America is about. For them, it is about blood and soil, about traditional patriarchy and racial hierarchy.”

    Once again, it’s “us” and “them”, the responsible, enlightened elite versus the plebs, who made the “wrong decision” despite all the warnings, hysteria and smear campaigns of the mainstream media.

    It’s hardly a surprise for anyone that the European political elite also reacted hysterically. The leaders of the European Union and its most powerful countries are terrified by the “unknown”, the president who won elections by bashing the same elite they are representing in Europe. There is one government though in the European Union which is very far from panicking:

    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was the very first acting head of government or state who endorsed Donald Trump during his campaign. PM Orbán was heavily criticised by the Hungarian liberal press for his “diplomatic failure” when he said that “the Democrats’ foreign policy is bad for Europe, and deadly for Hungary, but the migration and foreign policy advocated by the Republican candidate, Mr Trump, is good for Europe and vital for Hungary.” Time proved him right.

    The Hungarian government – and also the right-wing opposition party Jobbik – was quick to congratulate Donald Trump after his victory and members of the government expressed a lot of optimism. First of all the government refused to take part in the European hysteria, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó, didn’t attend the informal “crisis dinner” of his European counterparts summoned by Federica Mogherini. In a clear sign of disagreement, Hungary was represented by Olivér Várhelyi, the country’s permanent representative in Brussels.

    “The hysteria that is sweeping through the European political elite due to the result of the U.S. presidential election is pathetic and at the same time entertaining; Hungary is not participating in this,” FM Szijjártó told journalists the next day, when he attended the official meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels. “It is a strange liberal approach to democracy that when people make decisions that certain members of the elite agree with then the state of democracy is in order and something to be followed, but when a decision goes against the will of the elite then they convene an emergency meeting and criticise it,” he said. According to FM Szijjártó, Trump’s victory was “particularly good news for the world” because “the previous approach to exporting democracy in an unbridled manner and without limitations has caused a lot of trouble”.

    Speaking to the public radio days after the US election PM Viktor Orbán expressed the same thoughts: “Hungary has always maintained strong economic and security relations with the United States, but political cooperation with the Democratic Party administration in Washington regularly ran aground, because it lived in an artificial liberal world which was out of touch with reality and which it wanted to force on others – including Hungary. It followed the Democratic Party’s ideological mindset, it wanted to export democracy around the world in accordance with its own understanding of democracy, and it supported global immigration forces. The world will be a better place with the new American president – there is a serious chance of this”, he declared, adding that “We have crossed the threshold into a new era”. Brexit was “the knock on the door, but now we have crossed the threshold” and “reality has won”, the Prime Minister said.

    Nobody has detailed predictions about what Donald Trump will do as president of the United States. But it is an undeniable fact that we are seeing an upcoming change in the elite of the Western world, and this possible “new world order” is feared by those who refuse to overcome the liberal status quo.


    Mariann Őry is head of the Foreign Desk at Hungarian conservative daily newspaper Magyar Hírlap.

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