Libertarian writer slams MAGA Republicans' ‘creepy’ affection for Viktor Orbán

Libertarian writer slams MAGA Republicans' ‘creepy’ affection for Viktor Orbán
World

On Saturday, July 23, far-right Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán — who is adored by the MAGA movement in the United States — gave a speech in Romania that was controversial even by his authoritarian standards. Orbán used the rhetoric of the Great Replacement theory, a cornerstone of modern White supremacist and White nationalist ideology, and he claimed that a “mixed-race world” is hurting western countries. The speech was so extreme that even Zsuzsa Hegedüs, a long-time ally and adviser, slammed it as “openly racist” and “a purely Nazi diatribe worthy of Joseph Goebbels” when she submitted a resignation letter on Tuesday, July 26.

Regardless, Orbán is still scheduled to speak a Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) gathering in Dallas in August that will also feature former President Donald Trump and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. And conservative/libertarian journalist Cathy Young, in an article published by The Bulwark on July 28, slams Orbán “apologists” in the Republican Party who continue to openly embrace and praise the Hungarian prime minister despite his extremism. Young is especially critical of MAGA journalist Rod Dreher, a senior editor for Patrick Buchanan’s publication The American Conservative.

During his speech in Romania, Young notes, Orbán praised “Le Camp des Saints” (“The Camp of the Saints”), a 1973 novel by far-right French author Jean Raspail. The book has an overtly racist, anti-immigrant outlook and is adored by White nationalists in France and other countries. And Orbán described it as “outstanding,” saying, “I recommend it to anyone who wants to understand the spiritual developments underlying the West’s inability to defend itself.” Typically, those on the French far right who praise “Le Camp des Saints” also praise Renaud Camus’ 2011 book “Le Grand Remplacement” (“The Great Replacement”), which is considered essential reading among White supremacists and White nationalists.

READ MORE: CPAC 'proud' to host Hungarian strongman Viktor Orbán to 'fight against socialism'

“Raspail’s novel — the full text of which can be easily found online — is highly popular with the American and European far right,” Young observes. “Erstwhile Trump adviser Steve Bannon is a fan. So is Steve King, the former congressman from Iowa who managed to become a pariah even in the Trumpified Republican Party by wondering aloud why such terms as ‘White nationalist’ and ‘White supremacist’ should be considered offensive. So is Stephen Miller, the immigration policy chief in the Trump White House.”

Young continues, “Dreher doesn’t exactly love ‘The Camp of the Saints.’ He read it back in 2015 in response to refugee crisis in Europe, and reported that it is ‘a bad book, both aesthetically and morally,’ but nonetheless one with ‘something valuable to say to us’ — namely, that ‘the sentimental liberal humanitarianism’ of the West’s elites and their longing for ‘redemption for the West’s sins’ will bring about the death of western civilization by stripping it of the will to defend itself against the invading hordes from the Third World.”

“Le Camp des Saints,” Young notes, “is not just about the ‘clash of civilizations’ but, quite explicitly, about racial warfare: White people versus everybody else.”

“Given the expressions of complicated feelings by some of the book’s sympathetic American readers,” Young writes, “it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that Orbán glowingly endorses ‘The Camp of the Saints’ without any kind of ‘yes, it’s awful and racist, but’ disclaimer. Considered together with his comments about ‘race-mixing,’ his unqualified praise for Raspail’s book looks very much like a mask-off moment.”

READ MORE: Former psychotherapist explains why Trump-loving Americans are drinking deep from Orban’s fascist well

Young continues, “The enthusiasm for Orbán among American ‘national conservatives’ like Dreher was creepy enough before the speech in Romania,” Young explains. “Orbán’s quasi-authoritarian drift, his demonization of dissenters and aliens, and his fondness for Vladimir Putin are all long-established aspects of his politics and persona. But now, the Hungarian prime minister is rather brazenly flirting with White nationalism — something that the NatCons have strenuously disavowed. If they still want to embrace Orbán and his ‘vision,’ will they have any credibility left when claiming that they stand for a civic nationalist creed and consider racial ethnonationalism abhorrent?”

READ MORE: Critics are horrified as Trump endorses strongman Viktor Orbán in Hungarian election

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