Professor Gáti in a light-hearted mood. Not long ago he started writing a weekly column in Népszava on life and politics in the United States. This particular piece, which appeared yesterday, was the most read article in the whole paper.
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FAKE NEWS EXCLUSIVE! President Donald J. Trump has recently dealt with U.S.-Hungarian relations.
Chief Adviser (CA): Mr. President! The Hungarian prime minister, a certain Viktor Orban, expects to be invited to the White House.
Donald J. Trump: Who the f*ck is Viktor Orban?
CA: He was a liberal at the end of the last century, he’s now illiberal. Once he was anti-Soviet, even anti-Russian, he’s now pro-Russian.
Trump: Sounds good to me. I adore Putin.
CA: Putin visits Budapest several times every year.
Trump: Where’s Budapest?
CA: It’s the capital of Hungary, northeast of Slovenia.
Trump: Oh, yes. Melania was born there, and one of my previous wives came from somewhere around there.
CA: Melania is of Slovenian origin, Ivana is of Czech origin.
Trump: Don’t lecture me. I know that. But what does this Orban know of us?
CA: There was a time when he looked up to America, but your predecessors refused to see him. Bill Clinton was his idol in the 1990s.
Trump: Anyone who likes a Clinton is a jerk.
CA: Excuse me, Mr. President! Times change. Before our elections last year, Orban came out for you, not for Mrs. Clinton. Nowadays he constantly attacks George Soros, the European Union, and the free press. He holds his opponents in contempt, obstructing their activities. His relations with Merkel are poor. His deputy has just compared a leader of the EU to Hitler.
Trump: So, he’s a lot like me. Does he read my tweets too?
CA: Mr. Orban has shown a preference for Facebook, that’s where he fights the enemy.
Trump: How come such a great guy has enemies?
CA: He has no enemies, he may even get himself reelected next spring, but he constantly seeks fights. His fans fall for this – and for him.
Trump: OK, let’s invite him. Tell him to rent two whole floors at the Trump Hotel. Full price, no discount.
CA: When should he come?
Trump: The sooner the better. Who knows our political future? We can be up today, down tomorrow.
CA: We do have a small problem, Mr. President. We don’t really know why Mr. Orban wants to visit with you, although according to some rumors he may be ready to buy American weapons.
Trump (sighs): It would be just great to sell him weapons, but Congress may refuse to permit such a sale. These folks in Congress take relations with a pro-Russian country quite seriously.
CA: The Hungarians don’t have such problems. Their Parliament is in Orban’s pocket. The reps there cling on his words. Most of the media is under his thump.
Trump: He’s a lucky guy. I wish I could be Hungary’s president. I’d make Orban my deputy.
CA: Should we make your wish part of the agenda then?
Trump: Absolutely! We will also discuss our amazing successes. Then I’ll report on them on Tweeter, he’ll do it on Facebook. But if Orban states publicly that it’s the greatest honor of his life to meet me, we’ll go and play golf too.
CA: He plays soccer, can’t play golf.
Trump: In the age of fake news this is no problem at all. Golf? Soccer? What’s the difference? Fact is what I tweet. And my tweet will say that my historic encounter with Mr. Orban was an unparalleled success. Like everything else that I do.