Viktor Orban’s Re-Election Highlights the Slow Death of Neoliberalism

"Out of the ashes of the former Soviet Union, Viktor Orban built a right-wing, Christian republic upon the traditional foundations of western civilization. With luck, perhaps American conservatives will soon have the opportunity to do the same."


(HUNGARY) - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was elected to his fourth term in a landslide on Sunday night. The victory came amidst a relentless campaign, ushered by both domestic and international forces, to usurp the Prime Minister from power. Entering Hungary’s Election Day, Orban faced a daunting coalition of six opposition parties from around the country. Western media would consequently sell the race as Orban's toughest re-election bid to date.

Yet the greater story arguably lies in the international opposition to Viktor Orban’s tenure. Orban’s conservatism – highlighted by its unwavering emphasis on Christianity, tradition, and nationalism – garnered no shortage of enemies amongst neoliberal political actors in the West. Large swaths of western media frequently labeled Orban an authoritarian dictator, an accusation that was amplified in response to Tucker Carlson’s 2021 visit to the eastern European republic. Joe Biden labeled the Prime Minister a “totalitarian thug” on the campaign trail. Most recently, Orban faced attacks from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky over his refusal to deploy Hungarian resources in defense of Ukraine.

Orban’s most formidable international opponent, however, came in the form of infamous leftwing billionaire George Soros. As highlighted in Tucker Carlson’s documentary on the subject, Soros’s resources had been hard at work in seeking to oust Orban for years. Soros’s electioneering efforts – which are commonplace in America – were the source of great intrigue during this election cycle.

The true scope of international interference in Hungary’s election is unknown, but its presence was an inevitability. On Wednesday, Orban’s foreign minister accused Ukraine’s Zelensky of colluding with Hungarian opposition parties. Interference from American entities – be it George Soros, the State Department, or the CIA – was also within the realm of concern.

“When the President of the United States describes you as a ‘totalitarian thug,’ that suggests that … why wouldn’t the Biden State Department work to prevent you from getting re-elected,” noted Carlson in last year’s interview.

Yet despite powerful forces of global opposition, Orban would be re-elected by an overwhelming margin. Orban’s party would retain its parliamentary supermajority with 53.7% of the popular vote – the United for Hungary opposition bloc, meanwhile, would finish at a dismal 34.4%. If last night’s election underscored an ideological divide between Christian nationalism and secular globalism, the credos of Christianity and nationalism were granted an overwhelming mandate by the Hungarian people.

“The entire world can see that our brand of Christian democratic, conservative, patriotic politics has won. We are sending Europe a message that this is not the past – this is the future,” remarked Orban. “This victory is one to remember … because we had the biggest [range of opponents to] overpower. The left at home, the international left, the bureaucrats in Brussels, the money of the Soros empire, the international media and even the Ukrainian president in the end,” Orban further said in reference to the opposition forces against him.

For Hungary, Orban’s re-election clearly means further separation from the rest of the EU. Whereas other European regimes seek to de-Christianize their peoples, liberalize their cultures, and compensate for struggling birth rates via mass immigration, Hungary embarks toward a future of traditional, family-based, Christian nationalism. Orban’s political identity has been shaped by his pro-family policies and hardline stances against mass immigration, homosexuality, and secularism. With Orban’s re-election, Hungary has doubled down in its ongoing rebellion against the neoliberalism that characterizes America and western Europe.

“By rejecting the tenants of neoliberalism, Viktor Orban has personally offended [Washington DC’s elites] … He thinks families are more important than banks. He believes countries need borders,” said Tucker Carlson last August.

It’s easy for America’s paleoconservatives and national populists to merely look to Hungary with envy. Yet as noted by Carlson, there is an undeniable relationship between the health of European nationalism and American nationalism. 2016, for instance, was a year simultaneously characterized by both the BREXIT referendum in England and Trump’s election in America. Far from being isolated incidents, many argued that both elections were driven by similar sentiments felt across the greater West. Trump advisor Steve Cortes seems to predict a similar phenomenon in 2022.

“Congratulations to the Hungarian people! Proud nationalists who selected Fidesz & Orban and rejected the globalists’ influence efforts from Soros, the Biden State Dept, multinational business, Zelensky, & corrupt western media. Up next: America First sweeps 2022 plebiscites…” Cortes posted in his Telegram channel.

One on hand, perhaps Hungarian politics share less in common with the US than British politics. Yet still, it should be optimistic to conservatives that the “international left,” as coined by Orban, failed in their efforts to reshape Hungary’s government. Orban’s re-election strikes as yet another blow to our political class on the world stage, following in the recent footsteps of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the Taliban’s reconquest of Afghanistan.

Make no mistake: the powers that be in America worked hard to defeat Orban. Their failure makes it clear is that the hegemony of American-led neoliberalism is waning worldwide. Our elites are no longer able to control global affairs in the way they once could. Their power and global influence are in decline. Amidst the backdrop of countless other recent failures, Orban’s re-election only further foreshadows the inevitability of globalism’s collapse.

The fall of our current regime’s power should come as a welcome development to Trumpian conservatives. The slow death of neoliberalism leaves behind a power vacuum, ripe to be filled by nationalist movements like Orban’s in Hungary, Farage's in Britain, and Trump’s in America. Just as they have become incapable of enforcing their vision of liberal democracy around the world, America’s elites will likewise grow unable to stop the rise of an America First movement here at home.

Out of the ashes of the former Soviet Union, Viktor Orban built a right-wing, Christian republic upon the traditional foundations of western civilization. With luck, perhaps American conservatives will soon have the opportunity to do the same.

Vince Dao is the Chairman and Co-Founder of the American Populist Union.