Hungarian Viktor Orbán has become a hero for the American right. – Rolling Stone
Orbán has made Hungary a laboratory for the conversion of a liberal democracy into a white, Christian authoritarian state to maintain minority rule. – Rolling Stone
– Crackdown on the press
– Depict Holocaust survivor George Soros as a diabolical financier
– Assault the rule of law
– Finish off any political opposition by gerrymandering it out of existence
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) met in Dallas. Orbán has set off culture wars. From demonizing George Soros with dog-whistled anti-Semitism to fighting immigration as a global plot to mix races to campaigning against gender fluidity and LGBTIQ equality and using Nazi terminology to refer to those who are not Christian Europeans as belonging to completely different species. – The Hill
How fascists rig elections
Understand the fascist playbook
Understanding how Orbán won his latest supermajority shows defenders of democracy what they are up against when autocrats lock in their power by law.
“In free and fair elections, commentators focus on the candidates, the campaigns, and the issues. In structurally rigged elections whose outcomes are foreordained, these things matter far less. Still, even autocrats cannot win elections without votes. As Orbán has consolidated his grip on Hungary, his control of the media is now nearly absolute. He cut all state advertising funds to critical news outlets and threatened to sever contracts with private advertisers that continued to support targeted media. He established a media council with the power to levy bankrupting fines against news outlets that did not favor him. Orbán’s close friends snapped up many of the media outlets at fire sale prices.“ – Journal of Democracy
Designing election rules to guarantee victory
Behind the culture wars façade, however, lies another threat to democracy, one that CPAC’s leaders may value even more than Orbán’s anti-wokeness. Orbán has demonstrated how to translate roughly one-third support in the polls into overwhelming election triumphs by designing election rules to guarantee victory. Orbán provides proof of concept that elections are won or lost by rigging the rules at least as much as they are won or lost on actual voter support. – The Hill
Billionaire owned media outlets support autocrats
“Fox News Chairman Rupert Murdoch emailed CEO Suzanne Scott in November 2020 to say then-President Donald Trump was toast, and that the network should focus on boosting Republican U.S. Senate candidates in Georgia,” Mediaite reports. “These people should be watched, if skeptically. Trump will concede eventually and we should concentrate on Georgia, helping any way we can. We don’t want to antagonize Trump further, but Giuliani taken with a large grain of salt. Everything at stake here.” – Political Wire
TakeAway: Understand the playbook fascists use to overthrow democracies.
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