According to Hungarian media reports, denied by some members of the ruling Fidesz party, but confusingly, confirmed even by some pro-government newspapers, Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, told his supporters at a party meeting that there was an international conspiracy attempt, led by CNN (!), to carry out a coup d’etat against his government.
If these reports are true, they prompt me to ask three questions.
First, to Mr. Orban: My good man, have you gone stark raving mad?
Second, to the leadership of Fidesz: Why do you allow yourselves to be led by a person who has obviously gone stark raving mad?
To supporters of Mr. Orban and his party who actually believe his cockamamie conspiracy theories: have you all gone stark raving mad?
Well, perhaps the reports are false after all. As a matter of fact, I’d certainly like to believe that they are false. But they ring true. In recent months, Hungary’s government dismissed all Western criticisms as mere results of an organized liberal or socialist conspiracy by “enemies of Hungary” in the country and abroad. Support for Mr. Orban within his party is unwavering; indeed, support for Mr. Orban seems to have been the central program theme of this party for the past two decades. And Mr. Orban’s supporters recently held a pro-government rally, holding up signs protesting attempts to turn Hungary into a “colony of Europe”.
Colony? No way. Insane asylum of Europe, perhaps.