How spectacularly and how chillingly has the circle been rounded out at last!
It began quite innocently in 1994 during the “shiny winds” of spring, as the country was getting ready for election. As it happened, Fidesz to its astonishment lost the election quite badly and Viktor Orbán realized swiftly how others occupied the room for advancement of his party. The Fidesz, as a liberal party, had no place left on the electoral palette. The socialists and liberals coalesced into a majority government and the right of the MDF was in ruins. The “liberal” Fidesz was left out. The only direction they could march toward was right, because there was the only opening they could occupy.
The forced march to the right began almost immediately, after a few weeks of smarting from the election results. The Fidesz rapidly “positioned” itself as a right wing party in a couple of years and professed to be conservative. This was almost fine; however, even the forgetful Hungarian public needed more time to digest the change, and therefore, more work was needed. It was obvious that Fidesz had to distinguish itself from the rest of the political spectrum. They pedaled as fast as they could, branding themselves as “civic” party, but by the fall municipal election all proved futile, they were routed.
Nothing was left they could do within the democratic framework, so they had to turn to the devices of political marketing and they did. This is how the decision was made that they will not celebrate the national holiday of October 23 together with others, especially not with the government of “aliens,” but they would organize their own, national holiday. This was the beginning of relegating everybody else to “alien,” “traitor,” “agents of Jews,” etc. They were not content celebrating apart, they also sent out brigades of oldish ladies and young thugs to interrupt the celebrations of others. The struggle for recognition escalated ever since.
In 1998 at last they managed to form a government, if barely, and used their position to increase the propaganda work in favor of the right wing shift of the country. This did bear some fruits, but not the long-lasting kind they desired. At the end of their four year term, months before the election, their pollsters, mostly Gallup, kept on publishing polls that showed them far in the lead, but reduced the trend of the increasing interest in the opposition. Fidesz took the dilemma by the horn and tried to help themselves by mud slinging, smear campaigns and unbridled nationalist propaganda. The crowd at Viktor Orbán’s mass-rallies often sported not only the national tricolor, but also the Nazi Árpád-striped flags. The self-delusion did not help.
The great and the small are flipping the nationalist bird.
This was the moment when the “brand” needed a boost and the Fidesz found a good one. For the national holiday of March 15th they encouraged their supporters to wear the traditional cockade, well ahead of time and keep it on well after. They haven’t missed any opportunity to say, “I love my country and I show it. What’s wrong with that?”
They also encouraged the use of the Arpad striped flags that thus became the unifying symbol of the Right and was in their eyes almost interchangeable with the tricolour. The two together made their world a whole.
Arpad stripes? Mmmmmm. Sexy!
It was an effective marketing ploy, because on the face of it nothing could be wrong with it, but there was more than just the façade. Scarcely anyone understood it at the time that unless the competition picks up the gauntlet, the Fidesz will accomplish cleaving society in two: those willing to wear the tricolor on their bosom at all times and those who don’t find it necessary to prove constantly their patriotism. It was easy picking: “What? You don’t wear the cockade? Obviously you are no patriot, in fact, I can see, you are a traitor!” Or conversely: “ You cannot fault me for wearing it because I do love my homeland, unlike you, you traitor.” It worked magically if they wanted to divide the country. I assume they had no idea about the consequences because they were constantly harping on “national unity” at the same time and I am trying to be charitable.
This was the way the “I love my homeland” phrase was elevated to the status of almost religious confession and also to serve as a justification for the stupidest and most wile behavior and statements. Those were only the early days in the triumphal march of the ominous confession.
Today practically nobody remembers the campaign of cockades. There are greater fish to fry in the homeland-loving deluge of idiocies.
A few weeks ago in Székesfehervár and in the Zugló district of Budapest, in two separate incidents, school children showed up for class in clothes sporting Nazi symbols. When the principals requested that this should not happen again, the parents of those children, as well as the students themselves, claimed that they “love their homeland” and have the right to express that at any time and any way they please. They concluded that the principal was a dirty Jew, (yes, we must not only learn again, but get used to the ubiquitous appearance of this “lovely old phrase!”) who is pushing the interest of the Jew-loving government and the interest of the international moneybags and Jews.
In the last six months the mayors of Fót, Esztergom and lately Pécs (every one of these “patriots” have been described in loving detail on some of the pages of this blog), one by one, have committed the stupidest acts of self-destruction. Regardless of the potential cost to themselves, to their community and even to the country, they embarrassed themselves terribly, without really showing the slightest embarrassment. And the explanation in each of these cases was that they “love their homeland!” they love it so, that they are willing to cause billions of forints of damage, as it is in the case of mayor Zsolt Páva of Pécs.
The crowning achievement of this new breed of party dolts comes from Oszkár Molnár, the mayor of Edeleny, a mountain village in the North, also a back bench MP in the Fidesz ranks of Parliament, who first claimed a few weeks ago that pregnant Gypsy women of his area are intentionally damaging their fetus with rubber mallets and prescription drugs taken orally in order to receive later preferred subsidies from the state for the deformed children. Then a little later, just to prove what an equal opportunity hate monger he is, he also lit into the Jews and homosexuals, threatening the latter with jail. And he did all this in Parliament with the tacit approval of his party. Although members from other parties have urged Fidesz to set themselves apart from this bigot they declined: not one disapproving word was heard from anyone. And why not, you may ask justifiably. Because he explained himself sufficiently: “ I love my homeland so…!” he said. Oh well, the Fidesz honchos must have thought, if that is the case there is nothing to be said, because we love our home land just the same, so how could we fault him. (If your Hungarian and your stomach are good enough for it, you can see the videos of this moron: http://tinyurl.com/ylrtv8j in additon to http://tinyurl.com/yhvqaxj and http://tinyurl.com/ykmajjd.)
But the fruit of hatred is ripening nicely, not only by the Fidesz, but also against it. What started out quite innocently with the cockades just a few years ago has developed into such intense hatred that even Fidesz is not immune anymore. The ultra right is cheerfully accusing Fidesz of also being in the pay of the Jews.
With these events we can certainly say that the circle is complete: the culture of hatred is part of the establishment now and the largest party is representing it everyday everywhere.