Hungary, Western Civ, and the Wokeification of Everything

In a recent podcast titled “Why the Hell Is the Right Embracing Victor Orbán?” with Danielle Pletka and Matthew Continetti, Mark Thiessen took after the Hungarian prime minister, wondering why “there is a strain of conservatism that has embraced the politics of Viktor Orbán.” The charge is that Orbán hasn’t been letting immigrants into Hungary—though there may also be a hidden agenda. Pletka claimed Orbán is saying, “We’re all white people here, and where we need to draw the border is with brown people.” 

Please! Is race all they think about?

There may be lots of reasons to be skeptical of, or to dislike, Orbán: he is effusive in his remarks about Vladimir Putin, and he does too much business with the Chinese.

People who don’t like Orbán’s immigration policy, however, need to think more about what it means to be a country—and a citizen in a country.

The current population of Hungary is a little under 9.5 million. The current population of Sweden is about a million more. Because of Sweden’s open immigration policies, it now has living in the country about 2 million people who were not born in Sweden—or about every fifth person. A few of those are Swedes who were born abroad, but most are refugees from the Middle East. How has that worked out? 

Not well. 

A little less than a year ago, James Traub wrote in Foreign Policy that “the Social Democrats [once upon a time, they were the “good guys”] now deploy the harsh language only far-right nativists of the Sweden Democrats party used in 2015. Indeed, a social democratic organ recently noted with satisfaction that since ‘all major parties today stand for a restrictive migration policy with a strong focus on law and order,’ the refugee issue is no longer a political liability.”

According to Newsweek, “a German university found that a 10.4 percent increase in violent crime was linked to an influx of migrants into the country’s southern region. . . . More than 90 percent of the 10.4 percent increase in reported violent crimes was attributed to young male migrants in Germany’s southern state of Lower Saxony.” And according to the BBC, 17 percent of crimes attributed to migrants were suspected of being committed by North Africans, a group that makes up less than 1 percent of the state’s migrant population. 

Given those facts, Orbán’s decision not to allow his country to be flooded with immigrants makes some sense—to anyone who cares about the soul of a country. 

Recently, Orbán’s policy toward immigrants seems to have changed (or maybe it hasn’t). He has allowed 140,000 refugees from Ukraine. Why the apparent different treatment? Perhaps because many or most of the Ukrainian refugees are women, elderly, and children who belonged to the Hungarian minority in Ukraine. And perhaps because about 72 percent of Ukrainians are Christians. Uh, oh: don’t try that line in the U.S. of A. 

What kind of people do you want living next door to you anyway? A man may be nothing more than skin and bones. But your neighbor, and certainly a citizen, should be something more. He should know something about the country he lives in, its history, its habits, its soul. He should love the country and make it his—and not just its welfare programs. He should be willing to die for the ashes of his fathers and the temples of his gods.

The United States—you’re not going to believe this—actually has a test, an exam, that foreigners are supposed to pass before being allowed to become citizens. And applicants for citizenship are supposed to have a working knowledge of English. 

How many of the more than 1 million immigrants who crossed our southern border illegally last year or the 2 million immigrants who have crossed our southern border illegally already this year either speak English or could answer a single question on the citizenship exam? How many of them know anything about America’s habits or customs? Who our fathers were? Our gods?

And how many welfare-receiving immigrants will have the fortitude to resist the wokeification of America—if their welfare payments depend on accepting it? 

What are America’s habits and customs these days?  In a word, they are woke. The Biden Administration has highlighted its efforts even to promote transgenderism abroad, including funding drag queen shows. And they are woke even at the American Enterprise Institute, which kept on a researcher who “transitioned” to the opposite sex—the word “opposite” itself even being a loaded word, implying that there are only two sexes. Is mainstreaming “transitioning” the hidden agenda item? 

George Washington said, “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.” John Adams famously said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” 

The folks at the American Enterprise Institute may not believe that, but Victor Orbán seems to. 

AEI is not alone in condemning Orbán; the European Parliament has joined in the fun, condemning in the “strongest possible terms” a law in Hungary that EU members call homophobic. The law bans all educational materials and programs for children which are considered to promote homosexuality, gender reassignment, and the concept of sexuality deviating from the one assigned to a person at birth. Zounds! There is even talk about expelling Hungary from the European Union—maybe that’s why Orbán has been cozying up to Russia and China.

As for promoting homosexuality and other bizarre practices in schools—hey!— haven’t parents across American been objecting to that too, for which the Biden Justice Department has considered designating them as domestic terrorists? 

Parents want to go back to a better, non-woke past where their children were taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, not sex, and not bizarre sex—a past apparently forgotten, or rejected, by Mark Thiessen, Danielle Pletka, and Matthew Continetti. And, apparently, the American Enterprise Institute as well.

About Daniel Oliver

Daniel Oliver is chairman of the board of the Education and Research Institute and a director of the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco. In addition to serving as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Reagan, he was executive editor and subsequently chairman of the board of William F. Buckley Jr.’s National Review. Email him at Daniel.Oliver@TheCandidAmerican.com.

Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

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