Freedom is under threat today as globalisation and the business interests behind it have declared war on the community, resulting in a “tough cultural war”, Gergely Gulyás, head of the Prime Minister’s Office, said late on Wednesday.
The fight is not between two cultures, but between the values of the free world and “deconstruction”, Gulyás told a two-day conference entitled “The Future of Europe” in Budapest.
The question whether the “local” has a chance against the “global” much depends on what happens in the United States, which has just seen a political revolution, he said.
Gulyás noted that US President Donald Trump’s victory came as a general surprise. Although it would be too early to assess his presidency, he added, it is obviously his “historic achievement” that Hillary Clinton had not become president of the United States.
It was not the Democrats who represented a true opposition party but the media that pursued a “mistaken policy”, Gulyás said, adding that Hungary had seen a similar scenario just two months ago when the left-wing media acted as the most vocal opposition force but its strategy led to the “replacement of the opposition rather than that of the government”.
Hungary follows Trump’s presidency with keen interest, Gulyás said, adding that the dominant trend is about giving back the people the right of decision-making and putting more emphasis on national interests.
The underlying idea is quite simple: “dusting off” the system of democratic institutions and “freeing it from the shackles of political correctness”, he said.
Hungary had joined NATO with a view to becoming part of the free world where individual and collective rights are enforced simultaneously.
The case was the same with the European Union, which offered a chance of economic prosperity and balanced cooperation between free nations, he said, expressing his firm belief that free nations can work together, in alliance.
Gulyás said there are some common points that may promote mutual understanding in disputes between the United States and Europe, for instance respect for traditions, defence of security and identity, and commitment to the nation and justice.
Stephen K. Bannon, Trump’s former campaign chief and chief strategist, said it was a fundamental question of the age whether “we have the courage to protect our civilisation from those that want to destroy it”. The Hungarian people answered this question in the April general election by voting in support of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán staying in office, he said.
“What we have today is not a political, but a media opposition”, he said.
Some considered liberal democracy good as long as they entered power by winning the elections, Bannon said. But at the moment they began to lose, they ended up branding all those others in power as autocratic “mini-dictators”, he added.
Although American people were fond of former president Barack Obama, they would not really believe that he could bring about the change their country needed.
Three-quarters of them held the opinion that the United States was on a downward path, he said, adding that only the elite, not the working class, supported the Democrats.
Lower middle class voters sought to give their support to a prospective leader who they saw capable of making the United States great again, Bannon said, adding that Donald Trump chose this notion to be the cornerstone of his strategy, at his advice.
Speaking about Viktor Orbán, Bannon said that the Hungarian prime minister is motivating Hungarians the way Donald Trump is motivating Americans. He said Orbán had gained an opportunity to prove himself.