The Real Reason The Democrats Are Determined To Punish Hungary

(Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP) (Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Gage Klipper Commentary & Analysis Writer
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Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson returned to Hungary this week, where he interviewed Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and spoke on the U.S.-Hungarian alliance and the future of Western civilization. The trip comes in the wake of a Biden administration increasingly determined to ostracize Hungary. But why is the U.S. determined to punish one small European democracy when it lets some of the world’s worst dictators off the hook?

It began with Hungary’s approach to illegal immigration and asylum during the Syrian Civil War in 2015. As millions fled the region, the European Union pushed a near unlimited acceptance of refugee claims. Hungary was one of only three member countries to say no. The democratically elected Orbán government imposed strict immigration policies in defiance of the EU and erected a now-infamous border wall. To the consternation of the rest of the progressive West, it worked. (RELATED: ‘Call Back Trump’: Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán Praises Trump’s Foreign Policy In Interview With Tucker Carlson)

As Orbán later said in an interview, “it is not a human right” to migrate to Hungary. “No way,” he continued, “[i]t’s our land. It’s a nation, a community, family, history, tradition, language.” (RELATED: Tucker Blasts ‘Disgusting’ Behavior Of US Ambassador In Budapest Speech)

Orbán is also a staunch defender of traditional family values. The administration has incentivized family formation through a number of financial incentives, but it also uses state power to engage in the culture war that plagues the EU just as much as America. Orbán has had an ongoing dispute with the EU for years over the legal restrictions to protect children from LGBTQ propaganda.

After Brussels took action to withhold funding, Orbán hit back. “The future of our children is at stake, so we cannot cede ground in this issue,” he said. “Hungarian laws do not permit sexual propaganda in kindergartens, schools, on television and in advertisements.” Yet despite all of the media vitriol, it is not illegal to be gay in Hungary.

The EU has long been committed to delegitimizing Orbán’s Hungary as an “autocracy” that routinely violates its citizens’ human rights — an enemy of freedom. While legal rows with the EU are nothing new, it’s notable the extent to which the Biden administration has now stepped into the action.

Since 2022, the Biden administration has ramped up the pressure on Hungary. The Treasury Department terminated a tax treaty meant to facilitate commerce. Without it, American citizens and companies will face double taxation on their business in the country.

Earlier this year, USAID launched a dystopian “rule of law” program to pressure “sustainable, inclusive, and equitable development” abroad. The USAID administrator, former Obama shill Samantha Powers, made clear that the money was not going to third world hellholes, but to agitate “civic engagement” in countries like Hungary.

It’s unsurprising that the openly gay American ambassador to Hungary apparently feels it is his job to disparage his host country. Hungary’s audit office also revealed that left-wing opposition parties received millions in illegal foreign funding in the last election, including from some American NGOs.

Now, the latest affront comes with the administration blacklisting Hungary from the U.S. Visa Waiver Program earlier in August, which allows citizens of EU countries visa-free entry for up to 90 days. The putative appeal to national security is belied by the completely open Southern border. This is targeted American aggression by diplomatic and economic means against its own ally.

But to today’s liberals, ideological solidarity stands much stronger than any traditional loyalties. Hungary may be a U.S. ally on paper, but for the permanent ruling class in Washington and Brussels — united in their ideological zeal — Orbán’s government is a hostile enemy. The West regularly overlooks some of the world’s most aggressive and powerful dictators, but unlike Orban, they do not claim to champion democracy.

Hungary could never be a threat to the combined might of the U.S. and Western Europe, but it does pose a deep threat to the ruling ideology. To the West, liberalism and democracy are virtually indistinguishable — the two cannot be separated in a free society. They truly believe that secure borders and education free from gender indoctrination is hateful and backwards. Democracy intrinsically means an ever-expanding set of universal rights, an endless push towards deeper equality to protect perpetually slighted groups. Anyone who does not want such a system, by default must wish to dominate others. Anything besides liberal democracy must inevitably lead to tyranny.

Hungary shows what nonsense this is. A proud defender of “illiberal democracy,” Orbán’s government shows that a democracy can work outside of the liberal mold and not devolve into a fascist hellscape.

Hungary balances majority and minority rights without oppressing one or the other; it protects the nation without expansion and conquest. It delivers on helping individuals achieve what they need most to find meaning in life: marriage and family. It shows that a society can find value and purpose by looking inwards to what its own culture has to offer, rather than rejecting its history for a new utopia.

The left can’t allow a counter-example to the narrative that liberal democracy is the only option for a stable, prosperous, moral society. One country standing up is enough to show that there is an alternative to liberal hegemony. Hungary undermines the legitimacy of the entire modern liberal project, which is why they are determined to destroy it first.