WASHINGTON, April 10, 2017 — Hypocrisy, it’s said, is the tribute vice pays virtue. Many totalitarian states have the words “democratic” or “republic” in their name, as do (The People’s Republic of) China and (The Democratic People’s Republic of) (North) Korea.
Tyrants and authoritarians pay lip service to democracy and its institutions, but it’s hard to say what they mean by “democracy.”
The people of the democratic West have been unshackling themselves from the post-World War II international projects that began when the United Nations General Assembly convened on January 10, 1946.
Two years prior, attendees to the Dumbarton Oaks conference in Washington, D.C. established a new international order that it believed would maintain world peace and stabilize the global economy, with the U.S. dollar serving as its reserve currency.
More recently, Britain voted to remove the constraints of an ever-growing authoritarian European Union over its economic future, while Americans selected Donald Trump as its “America First” president. France is poised to decouple itself from the EU’s disastrous immigration policies with the possible election of the National Front’s Marine Le Pen.
In October, the Hungarian government closed its southern border in an effort to prevent the expansion of its Muslim immigrant population, which has grown by 400,000 since 2015. Prime Minister Viktor Orban signed legislation to shut down Budapest’s Central European University (CEU) as a means to curb outside influences deemed injurious to Hungary.
Most observers think the move is aimed directly at billionaire and left-wing activist George Soros, the university’s primary financial backer.
In 2016, Soros was a major contributor to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s PAC, to the tune of $10.5 million.
Like American Democrats and their media mouthpieces who seek to delegitimize Trump’s election by associating him with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Joschka Fischer, Germany’s former foreign minister, calls Prime Minister Orban “the only Putinist governing in the European Union.”
Freedom House, which calls itself an “independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world,” said in its “Nations in Transit 2017” report:
“In Hungary, Prime Minister Victor Orban and his ruling Fidesz Party have entrenched themselves ever more firmly in power each year since 2010, increasingly stoking bigotry and hatred through a self-serving anti-immigration campaign … With the 2018 elections nearing, Fidesz is turning its attention to civil society, threatening to ‘sweep out’ organizations backed by foreign funding.”
A petition launched on change.org calls on the Hungarian National Assembly to “drop the legislation and enter negotiations with the leadership of CEU that will ultimately allow this prestigious university to remain a proud contributor to scientific discourse in Hungary.”
That petition has garnered more than 40,000 signatures.
But those who favor the dying international project, like Soros, can no longer sustain the legitimacy of a relatively few, unelected bureaucratic elites holding sway over the lives of their angry electorates.
Those elites simply don’t have the votes.