All these pictures appeared on his all-important Facebook page.
There are a number of things that dominate Orbán’s reelection campaign. The most striking one is that he is truly campaigning this time, sparing no taxpayer money in either campaigning or election spending – while also preparing for his possible exit.
The other change is that he is advertising policy on his own, personal Facebook page, the most relevant campaigning platform in his media empire (assuming that its follower numbers are not artificially pumped with fake profiles).
On September 4 he received a new logo and a new official color.
The events have gained speed from then onwards – and the new visual theme will be apparent. (Blue-red-white-green for Orbán, grayscale fade-out for enemies.)
The enemies of his campaign are many – showing a sign of improvisation and unpreparedness that hasn’t been present since the early 2010s. But that theme has been retired into being just one of the numerous enemies we have today. It still has a lot of representation of Orbán’s Facebook, thanks to its renewed relevance.
Enemy Nr. 2 – The former prime minister
…who is not even running at the elections.
Also note the money-populism, the anti-corporation theme and and “profiteering” accusations. These are the things western conservatives simply don’t believe about Orbán because it wouldn’t fit into their narrative that Orbán is a conservative.
We are admittedly very used to this kind of imagery – but the sinister nature of it is undeniable. Follow this for a decade and see if there is anyone around you who comes to the conclusion that other parties are the enemy and should not exist.
Policy announcements on Orbán’s Facebook
Policy announcements are not preceded by public discourse or even parliamentary discussion these days. Orbán (or one of his designated ministers) simply announce them when they please and the parliament rubber stamps it the day after. Hanging on the radio to hear Orbán’s Friday morning radio sermons became a thing – like it used to be before WW2. Except now we also have his Facebook announcing his precious declarations in real-time, including the elements of his breathtaking election giveaway.
To this he gives his face.
Apart from election spending and enemy-bashing Orbán also rubs himself to foreign dignitaries who still meet him (see Babis, Marine Le Pen and Mike Pence) and Orbán will use the Trumpist Republicans in his 2022 campaigns, maybe even hosts their CPAC in 2022.
Orbán also rubs himself to other people’s success, like Olympians, politically approved actors and Katalin Karikó, inventor of mRNA technology. For some curious reason he also mourned Jean-Paul Belmondo.
He also poses with the army a lot. It is not a usual image from a Hungarian leader, he got into this habit after February 2020.
Finally, some assorted weirdness.
Remember when Orbán kept saying that “we went until we hit the wall“, channeling the logic of a stereotypical bully who never stops pushing until he meets pushback (hence the futility of appeasement). Now he keeps talking about going through the wall and used the imagery of his last mass rally to make his point. Unhinged, desperate or nothing to lose?