Originally posted May 10, 2016.
Politico introduces the EU immigration hardliner with a backbone, Viktor Orban. Debbie and I are in Hungary as I write. Last night we listened to a senior government official who emphasized that Hungary wants no part of the Muslim horde sweeping over Europe. The razor wire is up! There will be no creating of alternative societies in Hungary.
With his remade party, Orban won the premiership in 1998, becoming the youngest Hungarian prime minister in the 20th century. He was back in the wilderness for eight years at the start of the next century. The Socialists ran the economy into the ground, while also giving “liberal” a rotten name in Hungary. Orbán roared back in 2010, this time with his pitch even more stridently attuned to Hungarians furious with the Budapest elite for the economic collapse.
In the wake of the global financial crisis, bankers threatened his notions of civilization; now Muslims do. He says those who come now as well as the generations who preceded them in recent decades endanger Europe’s Christian identity and — here he draws a direct, to him “obvious,” link between their presence and last month’s terrorist attacks in Paris — its security. Certainly that’s not a liberal mainstream view in Europe, but it is a spreading one.
“Moral imperialism” was what Orbán called Germany’s unilateral opening of its borders in September, an unsubtle push to get the rest of Europe to follow. He stirred and tapped into a brewing backlash across the Continent.