There's nothing funny about this encounter. Carlson's world aligns to an alarming degree with that of Orbán ... The goal of these alliances has always been to mainstream far-right values. — Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a New York University historian and expert on strongman leaders
There's nothing funny about this encounter. Carlson's world aligns to an alarming degree with that of Orbán ... The goal of these alliances has always been to mainstream far-right values. — Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a New York University historian and expert on strongman leaders
Tucker Carlson is broadcasting from Hungary because its authoritarian, anti-immigrant leader has set a model for America's far-right
  • Fox News' Tucker Carlson is broadcasting from Hungary this week.
  • Carlson is promoting the worldview of Hungary's authoritarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán.
  • America's far-right looks to Orbán as a more successful, effective version of Trump.
Fox News' Tucker Carlson is broadcasting from Budapest, Hungary this week. For a lot of people, this might be perplexing. But for those who've closely followed the far-right in recent years, it makes perfect sense.

Many American conservatives admire Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán — a xenophobic, anti-LGBTQ authoritarian who's been in power for 11 years and who endorsed President Donald Trump's reelection campaign last year — and they've made no secret of it. They look to Orbán as a more effective version of Trump — and a model for the future of right-wing politics in the US.

Carlson is effectively in Hungary to promote Orbán's nationalism and anti-democratic approach to governance, and authoritarianism experts are concerned — particularly over what this says about the direction of American conservatism. The Fox host's Hungarian excursion comes at a time when Republicans continue to whitewash the pro-Trump Capitol insurrection, vie to restrict voting in states across the US, and as recent polling shows that more than a quarter of Americans qualify as having right-wing authoritarian political beliefs.

"There's nothing funny about this encounter," Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a New York University historian and expert on strongman leaders, wrote of Carlson's visit with Orbán. "Carlson's world aligns to an alarming degree with that of Orbán ... The goal of these alliances has always been to mainstream far-right values."


"Orbán has arguably been among the most successful sitting leaders at creating an electoral autocracy ... keeping a veneer of democracy going while turning elections into sham events, taking judicial and press freedoms away, and suffocating society slowly," Ben-Ghiat added. "This is where the GOP is heading, accelerating the agenda of the Trump presidency to undo our democratic freedoms and institutions."

... If the far-right gains more control over the levers of power in the US, pushing the political system closer to Orbán's Hungary, it could have potentially irrevocable consequences for American democracy.
Read the full article: https://www.businessinsider.com/tucker-carlson-hungary-touts-authoritarian-orbn-as-model-for-west-2021-8