Magazine August 24, 2020, Issue

The Conservative Embrace of Hungary’s Viktor Orban Is Misguided

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban delivers his state-of-the-nation speech in February. (Attila Kisbenedek/AFP via Getty Images)
Authoritarianism and corruption don’t become justifiable just because they are practiced by a nemesis of the Left

President Donald Trump’s emphasis on “winning” illustrates the perennial tension in politics between principles and impact. Too much ideological rigidity relegates conservatives to the role of standing “athwart history, yelling Stop.” In the effort to “defeat the enemy and enjoy the spoils,” in contrast, principles and ideas become irrelevant — what matters is brute force. However, there are better examples of the perils of conservative politics focused on “winning” than Donald Trump. After all, Trump has not really fought the liberal and progressive Left as much as he has trolled it and wound it up. In contrast, Hungary’s Prime Minister

This article appears as “Orban Plays with Fire” in the August 24, 2020, print edition of National Review.

Something to Consider

If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content (including the magazine), no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (conference calls, social-media groups, etc.). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going. Consider it?

If you enjoyed this article, and were stimulated by its contents, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS.

LEARN MORE

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

The Week

The Week

In memory of the late Herman Cain, please join us in saying nine Hail Marys, nine Our Fathers, and nine Glory Bes.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Do You Want 51 or 52 States Next Year?

“The prospects of statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., have never been greater, but many significant obstacles loom,” The Hill declares. The Constitution declares, “new States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Do You Want 51 or 52 States Next Year?

“The prospects of statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., have never been greater, but many significant obstacles loom,” The Hill declares. The Constitution declares, “new States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction ... Read More
Elections

There Will Be a Peaceful Transfer of Power

The answer to the question, “Will your administration oversee a peaceful transfer of power after the impending election?” is, without exception, “Yes.” It would be better for the United States, and for this administration, if President Trump understood that. One of the more peculiar political dynamics ... Read More
Elections

There Will Be a Peaceful Transfer of Power

The answer to the question, “Will your administration oversee a peaceful transfer of power after the impending election?” is, without exception, “Yes.” It would be better for the United States, and for this administration, if President Trump understood that. One of the more peculiar political dynamics ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Judge Barrett on the Second Amendment

Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s impressive dissent in Kanter v. Barr (pp. 27-64) illustrates both her fidelity to the Supreme Court’s landmark Second Amendment ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and her masterful application of the constitutional methodology of originalism. Rickey I. Kanter pleaded ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Judge Barrett on the Second Amendment

Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s impressive dissent in Kanter v. Barr (pp. 27-64) illustrates both her fidelity to the Supreme Court’s landmark Second Amendment ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and her masterful application of the constitutional methodology of originalism. Rickey I. Kanter pleaded ... Read More
Law & the Courts

No, the Democrats Won’t Pack the Court

For many progressive opinion-makers, the only way to save the Supreme Court is to destroy it.   They believe the best response to the Republican-held Senate confirming a Trump nominee to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court is to pack the Court if Democrats win in November. Holding out the ... Read More
Law & the Courts

No, the Democrats Won’t Pack the Court

For many progressive opinion-makers, the only way to save the Supreme Court is to destroy it.   They believe the best response to the Republican-held Senate confirming a Trump nominee to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court is to pack the Court if Democrats win in November. Holding out the ... Read More