Commentary

Orbán Divides Hungary to Stay in Power

Hungarians who are scared attack Hungarians who are not scared enough. Orbán says well done, you are right to attack one another.

This is not a story of migrants.

This is the story of the government harming the fabric of society to stay in power despite their many failures we don’t speak about – because migrants!

It’s been two years since the government chose migrants as the public enemy that will keep Fidesz voters together. The government and the Fidesz-controlled parts of the media have been relentlessly churning out fearmongering campaigns ever since.

As a result, Hungarians are divided and conquered. Those who are mortally afraid of migrants attack those who are not scared enough. Orbán will thus stay in power – but at the cost of destroying the fabric of society.

But this time Orbán reached a new, historic low and openly sided with the lynch mob.

This story is not about migration. Do yourself a favor and raise your sight above the propaganda. Watch the puppeteer’s hands.

The lynch mob

Őcsény is a quiet, friendly village in Hungary. They spent the last 11 years in peace and relative prosperity. The locals have never met any refugees, they only know about them through the media, from direct mail campaigns of the government, and government-run, scaremongering billboard campaigns. By 2017, they were so mortally afraid of migrants that they attacked the motel owner who wanted to let six refugee kids to stay in his inn.

The Orbán-government has been running a relentless hate campaign for two years. It told people that refugees rape women and children, rob their houses and commit terrorist attacks.

In a heated village meeting, locals threatened the motel’s owner when they were informed about the arrival of refugees  women and children who have been given legal asylum by Hungarian authorities. They slashed his tires overnight and threw bricks at his house.

Watch the community center explode (with subtitles) and villagers threaten to behead (!) the motel owner who regularly hosts poor and disadvantaged children in his motel.

The locals’ opinion on refugees come straight from the state-run propaganda campaign: That George Soros is responsible for the flood of refugees in Europe and all migrants are terrorists. 

“Even the Turks have occupied Buda by seeping in slowly.”
“First comes 10, then 100. First they just take a vacation, then they want to move in.”
“I moved back home from Germany because over there I was afraid to go out to the streets, because I saw Muslims everywhere. Here in the village I am among the likes of me.”
“The school facing that inn, how will they protect our daughters?”

People should be concerned about real issues in their lives

The escalation also made the mayor resign.

“The country has many problems: there is no healthcare provision, savings banks are closing down, so are the post offices, there is no fire wood. But all they can talk about these days is migrants.”

He had been the village mayor for 11 years and had brought investment and prosperity to the community. But the once peaceful village has become a place of conflict and fear.*

PM Orbán approves of the lynch mobs

After the incident, Orbán defended the illegal actions (vandalism and life threats) of the locals. He said Hungarians always been like this, just look at history.

“It is very right that they expressed their opinions in a loud, determined and easy to understand manner.” 

“I find nothing reproachable in this.” 

“People don’t want immigrants in their country and in their towns.” 

PM Viktor Orbán
– on Hungarians attacking other Hungarians

But the mayor has different views.

“Our prime minister is complicit in the crime. Because this is a crime. And whoever approves or aids a crime is an accomplice. As far as I know, even the law punishes that.”

He also suggested that the prime minister consulted his consciousness about what he had done and said. Giving his moral approval of an illegal act and siding with the local lynch mobs is a new low, even for Orbán.

The owner of the motel made another observation.

“When your life is threatened, when your car is vandalized, it is a kind of terror, isn’t it?” – he mused in an interview with 444.hu.

This is not about migrants

This is how the government divided and stupefied a nation, to stay in power, to distract from the dismal state of healthcare, the economy, education and the never-before-seen level of corruption and cronyism. By stoking fear from migrants and violence against one another. And by standing on the side of the lynch mob.

If the government spends billions of taxpayers’ money on hate campaigns – that will end in violence. No surprise there. But you may still be surprised that not only migrants get hurt. The government-provoked violence may come in the shape of a civil war – and that would benefit the scaremonger just as well.

This is the real story, don’t get distracted by the smokescreen of migrants-migrants-MIGRANTS.

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*Fun fact, in 1951, the same village had hosted 50 deported Swabian families. Orbán’s claim that Hungarians have always been scared little monsters is not quite historically correct.

Featured image: Public hearing in Őcsény, Migration Aid

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