In a creepy letter, president of Fidesz, Viktor Orbán, asked for donations “to be able to continue” the anti-Soros, anti-migrant campaign started last year by Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary. PM Orbán’s campaign cost billions of public money.
Fidesz president Orbán now wants his followers to donate so that he can continue it as his party’s 2018 election campaign. Meanwhile, authorities are fining opposition parties out of existence for “unlawful party financing”.
The 2018 election campaign is thus officially launched. Election date: 8 April, 2018
My respected fellow compatriot!
I am writing to You because we are standing before a choice (election) that will define our fate. The stakes are not less than whether Hungary can remain a Hungarian country. We are in the way of the Soros-plan, that wants to bring down the border fence, wants to abolish national governments, and wants Hungary to become a migrant state as well.
George Soros openly attacked Hungary. He has a network of agents a almost limitless financial sources at his disposal. Hungarian opposition politicians as well as Brussels bureaucrats are executing his plan…
Let us defend Hungary!”
Although much of the non-Fidesz media is aghast at the sheer idea of raising funds for campaigns – i.e. begging? It’s so embarrassing, whoever had heard of such a thing? – it is a common practice of western campaigns, and the problem with it is not that it’s embarrassing. The real issue here is not fundraising, but a few Hungarian idiosyncrasies.
Apart from the outrageously manipulative wording and the fact that he singled out an individual as scapegoat and boogeyman for his election campaign, there are a few more sad details.
This is an admission that the previous campaign, financed by the taxpayer, and signed by “the Prime Minister of Hungary” was indeed part of Orbán’s 2018 election campaign.
Tens of thousands of billboards and advertising everywhere from bus shelters to every single page of state controlled print media, websites, and of course, scaremongering news on state controlled television – it all went towards Orbán’s 2018 election game. It was financed by public money, as public service announcements. It was obvious even before he sent this letter. And there will be no one to hold them accountable, even now.
In the meantime, opposition parties are fined out of existence for unlawful party finances. (More about that later.) The charge may even be right, I am not going to be naive. But who’s talking?
Yellow check with your name on it.
If you are a follower of Orbán, and presumably expressed it somehow, you will get a blank check, with your little name on it, your data pulled from public records, and they dare you to not send it back. Media started joking immediately how much the actual beneficiaries of Orbán’s system, the oligarchs must send back.
The famous yellow checks are still widely used for old-fashioned payments, such as utility bills, and many of the most active and enthusiastic consumers of political campaigns are used to pay these checks when they are sent in the post. It is a slightly Pavlovian reflex of anyone over 40: when a yellow check arrives, you go to the post office and pay up
As of the expression of support is broadly understood to be anything, including returning the direct mail letters sent by Orbán a few months before, regardless of your answer.
Limitless campaign spending unlocked.
Unlike opposition parties that are now all slapped with paralyzing fines over their finances, Fidesz will always be able to claim that however much they spent, it was from these kind donations. Don’t be naive, they don’t even release data on matters of public interest, the detailed breakdown of donations will always remain a mystery.
In 2014, the last elections, Orbán won with price controls on utility bills. King Orbán ordered the evil utility companies to lower their prices by 20% immediately – then freeze. (Read the details here.)
Back then, he used to collect donations for his “fight against utility bills”. And people payed him, the irony completely lost on them.
As the poet said:
“My dear friend and respected fellow fighter!
Without Your support we couldn’t have recovered the economy after 8 years of socialist government. Without Your support we couldn’t have decreased utility bills, we couldn’t hold banks accountable, and we couldn’t defend our interests against Brussels.”