Hungary had a horrendous 20th century of lost territory and freedom, but Budapest, a handsome city set on a broad sweep of the Danube, suggests its wounds have healed. Trams hum along boulevards lined with elegant cafes and clogged with the cars German companies manufacture here. The country has escaped what Milan Kundera, the Czech writer, called the “kidnapped West,” the great swath of Europe yielded to the Soviet empire after World War II, and has returned to the Western family.
Or so it seems, until you notice the posters of a smiling Hungarian-American Jew, his arms around opposition politicians who brandish wire-cutters and have cut through a fence.
The man in question is George Soros, the billionaire investor and philanthropist. He’s not on any ballot, but his international renown and funding of liberal causes has made him the chosen symbol, for Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his right-wing Fidesz party, of all they loathe: international speculators, sappers of nation and Christendom, facilitators of mass migration.
As a young man, Orban fought against Bolshevism. Western liberal democracy was the Promised Land. Now it has morphed into the enemy. The West is the site of European cultural suicide, the place where family, church, nation and traditional notions of marriage and gender go to die. [Continue reading…]
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