Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Foreign Affairs

Hungarian Derangement Syndrome

In a post entitled Hungary's New Clothes, I noted that Hungary was adopting a new constitution to mixed reviews.

Proponents celebrate the document as a final break with Hungary's communist past, whereas critics argue it establishes an authoritarian regime in Europe.

Since that time, liberal alarmists have increasingly raised the pitch of their screeching accusations of tyrannical autocracy, even as Hungary's governing conservative party (and proponent of the new constitution) has proved rather moderate and democratic. At NRO, Mario Smith observes that liberals have now gone round the bend in their absurd obsession with Hungary's conservative majority.

In stark contrast to the Left's timidity in the face of actual authoritarian regimes such as China and Russia, the liberal media's treatment of Hungary has aggressively crossed the line. Paul Krugman ... foresaw a post-Soviet "re-establishment of authoritarian rule" in Hungary. The British Guardian fell into line, describing Hungary's new prime minister, Viktor Orbán, as an "autocratic leader." The Washington Post, not to be outdone, compared Hungary to Belarus and Putin's Russia. Not long after, and with great satisfaction, Hungarian émigré professor Charles Gati announced in an op-ed in the Times that Hungary is "no longer a Western-style democracy." Having been drummed out of the West by left-wing editorialists, Hungary became fair game for the next phase of the liberal crusade: U.S. intervention. Slander has turned into absurd policy prescriptions, intent on destroying one of the most electorally effective center-right parties in Europe.

A central pillar of Obama's foreign policy is the self-determination of peoples - that is, a restraint on arrogant (especially unilateral) attempts to force our way of life on other people. Liberals took sacred oaths to the doctrine of political non-intervention during the Bush years. But in the case of a relatively stable Western democracy which has simply decided to enact conservative policies, lofty principles are suddenly worthless and liberals are comfortable attempting to disrupt another country's domestic politics and influence a democratic election.

As Vernon Lowe correctly observes, Hungary's conservative government has become a whipping boy for the international liberal punditocracy, which sees a fascist tyrant lurking underneath every coffee table with a Bible on top.

Yes, Hungary's constitution has embraced the country's heritage of Christianity, defined marriage in a traditional way, and proclaimed that life begins at conception. Hungary's constitution also introduced a debt cap and reaffirmed Hungary's 700-year-old forint as the national currency, to the chagrin of Brussels. These provisions reflect values held by most Hungarians and are therefore appropriately secured in their fundamental law. That Hungarians have decided to protect their traditional values unsurprisingly rankles the sensibilities of liberal pundits and bureaucrats in Europe and America, but it is hardly cause for crying "Dictatorship!"

The article accurately concludes that "the actual leftist mission" is "stamping out conservative parties in Central and Eastern Europe altogether."

Krugman and crew are calling for the American government to take an active role in usurping Hungarian politics, simply to ensure the election of a liberal party. This is a stunning disrespect toward Hungary's sovereignty - which liberals obviously feel is in violation of some unwritten, progressive international norm which requires all nations to continuously list leftward. Nations which stray from this path are obviously the "rogue" nations of the liberal world order and undeserving of basic international rights. This is just another glimpse of "internationalism" under liberal supervision - which is really nothing more than a supra-national means of forcing progressivism on uncooperative nations.  

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Discussions - 2 Comments

Krugman?????? Why does anyone pay attention to this guy...

Seriously, the only way he can prove that he is a real liberal is to give back all the money he made while he was working for Enron - the evil American Corporation.

Maybe if they declared themselves muslim and enacted sharia law the leftists would embrace them

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