The ultimate scapegoat for October’s defeat is youth. But it took months to settle on them.
It’s been months since Orbán’s Fidesz didn’t win the municipal elections. It was a shock for everyone so I didn’t expect official reaction immediately. But I did expect a change of course eventually that would show us what conclusions the King had drawn. And I knew it would be spectacular, like a massive cruise ship turning around in a small bay.
One of the reactions I was particularly curious about was where they would end up putting the blame. Psychologically and strategically.
The immediate reactions by individual Fidesz comrades were uncoordinated (a rare sign of disorganization within party ranks) and mostly psychological. It was amusing to watch what they told themselves, whom they instinctively chose to blame. It was definitely going to be someone else, anyone else, but never us. It was enlightening to watch as they scrambled to assign blame all over the place with a clear desire to escape it. But these were just mindlessly flapping around.
The strategic angle took longer to take shape. It was the organizational conclusion they eventually drew from the results. Heads falling. New directions taken. New communication flash bombs thrown around.
It took some number crunching and the approval of the Boss (because such a thing can never be divined without the highest approval) and by the time they came up with it it was December. But now it appears to take shape as they are sending comrades into studios to recite the new message:
The new enemy is Youth. Fidesz needs to talk to young people
But without we get into that – here are the things various Fidesz strongmen chose to blame for their non-victory:
Almost as soon as the ballots were counted and Fidesz comrades who lost their juicy seats have stopped crying there was word that pollsters have been way out of the ballpark.
The natural explanation is hiding non-Fidesz voters. After 9 years of Orbán’s rule, and the entire society saturated by fear of consequences, there aren’t many people who are reckless enough to report a non-Orbán political sympathy to a caller who claims to be a pollster. Especially since we have fake pollsters.
But that is not the explanation Fidesz comrades embraced, for obvious reasons. They chose instead to accuse the pollsters of being lousy. It feels better than admitting that they were too intimidating and complacent at the same time. That they were more feared than adored. It feels better than considering the fact that their enrichment might be called corruption by another name. It is certainly less complicated than to think about why pollsters (everywhere) tend to measure their favored parties higher than others and whether loyalty of pollsters is really such a good idea. After all, even surveys commissioned for internal use (the fact that there is a different result for internal and public consumption should alarm everyone) predicted victory.
2. The Centrum (i.e. Orbán himself)
Almost simultaneously to blaming pollsters, Fidesznik were blaming “the centrum”, meaning the headquarters, the decision-making brain of Fidesz. After all, nothing is permitted without their say-so and all their centrally issued commands must be executed to the letter and without delays. So if they failed to send out the mayoral candidates to do door-to-door, or didn’t write them better speeches – it is up to them.
Actually, they may be up to something here. In a radically top-down organisation like Fidesz, responsibility really is always at the top. Consequences are not, but all the decisions have to be approved from above. No one can even reach “the center” with bad news. Or worse, “the center” orders three positive success stories per district/hospital/town per month. No place for naysayers and complainers in the system of top-down loyalism – but it comes at a price.
3. The end of the Central Force Field theory
The Central Force Field means Viktor Orbán himself and he called himself that. More about that in a separate post…
4. Foreigners (read: Jews) in the city
There was a very self-serving – if statistically impossible – theory that blamed the ignorant/globalist/treasonous votes of “foreigners” who live in the inner city of Budapest. Not only does it not explain the other cities Fidesz lost, there aren’t even enough non-Hungarian citizens resident in Hungary to sway the elections – and there is absolutely no way to know legally how or whether they have voted. But as I said, this was more of a psychological response to the defeat and it tells more about those who came up with this theory than it says about reality. As closed, ethnically motivated minds sworn to gang fight tend to do everywhere, these Fideszniks merely projected their frustration at their imaginary scapegoat – but it tells a lot about their minds what their scapegoat was.
The government’s top pundit also helpfully pointed out on his blog that by foreigners they mean Jews, of course.
5. Those unprincipled non-Fidesz voters!
A Fidesz minister and a few party columnists and talking heads were angrily lashing out at opposition voters for daring to join forces and vote at each other’s candidates.
Fidesz’ self-serving election system only gives a running chance to a candidate of a centralized, big party – leaving space for just two contenders. But the non-Fidesz political side is fragmented – often at the bidding of Orbán himself, who is famous for employing the favorite election tactic of both nazis and communists: the so-called salami-tactic. By slicing up his enemies into ever-smaller bits, they essentially drop out of the party system. Orbán used it to occupy the entire “right” of center before 2010. And now he is slicing up the non-Fidesz parties, buying up members to wreak havoc and saw discord, making others run just to splinter the non-Fidesz votes, and finally by incentivising the running of fake parties for the campaign money.
In this system it is almost impossible to unite non-Fidesz voters to support the same candidate, it is even a coordination issue to avoid losing votes to fake parties on the ridiculously crowded ballot sheets. The chances of that happening had been low – but whenever it happened, there was smashing and shocking defeat for Fidesz.
So when we heard the minister sneering on camera and comparing opposition voters who united behind a common candidate to Jews who voted for nazis “maybe even enjoyed it”, this is what he was his little mind was desperately trying to express – albeit very incompetently.
6. Not enough climate talk
This is self-explanatory. The “communists” occupied the climate agenda globally, so the nationalists must occupy a viciously anti-environmentalist position. Because it is about trench warfare, not about policy, not about solution, not even about real problems, and definitely not about usable definitions of said problems. It is just digging trenches to gain power and then use it to steal public money – while using communication instead of policy.
Naturally, Putin’s army cannot ever take sides against fossil fuels – at least not until Putin finally figures out a way to have something like an economy that is not based on primitive forms of resource mining. There may be millions of Russians who might have better ideas – but sadly they won’t get a chance as long as they have a ruler who thinks it is his job to innovate or not. Putin’s global stooges and clients will follow that line or else.
7. The video of a coke-fueled orgy of a Fidesz mayor leaking weeks before the election
As spectacular and tacky as it was, it didn’t really influence anything. The guy even got reelected in his hometown! And when King Orbán was faced with the problem of solving the PR catastrophe, he still didn’t remove the Mayor-Whose-Ass-We-Know-Better-Than-His-Face. No. He just dropped him from Fidesz. Like that cleared things up…
But that didn’t stop other Fidesz mayors and strongman complaining that the leaked sex tape was to blame for all their troubles, in all the towns they lost.
8. Definitely NOT corruption. Come on…
More about this later…