Follow Hungary’s formula to ‘break free’ from ‘overbearing’ leftism, says conservative legal institute head Miklós Szánthó

Conservatives can reverse the incoming tide of liberalism by following Hungary’s lead, the Budapest-based Center for Fundamental Rights director, Miklós Szánthó, told Remix News in an exclusive interview

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Thomas Brooke and John Cody

Politicians, academics, and conservative thinkers gathered from around the world in Hungary last week to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Budapest — now seen as the preeminent bastion of Western conservatism following Viktor Orbán’s landslide electoral victory last month — with many arriving in search for the secret that can account for Fidesz’s long-running electoral success.

As Orbán mentioned in his 12 rules for winning back the West during his keynote speech at the conference, one of the most vital elements is for conservatives to build institutions that last for the next generation. Although his conservative government is credited with a massive victory in April, a range of Hungarian institutions continue to actively work behind the scenes to promote conservative values, including the influential Center for Fundamental Rights ((az Alapjogokért Központ)), which sponsored the CPAC event.

The legal center plays a vital role in both forming and fighting for Hungary’s conservative ideological vision, and its director, Miklós Szánthó, spoke about its role in defending conservatism in the face of a liberal backlash, both in his speech at CPAC and now in an interview with Remix News.

Unity is paramount

A key pillar of the conservative defense against the left-liberal domination of the Western world, including its media and institutions, is unity, Szánthó told the conference as he expressed his delight that conservatives had united globally “to stand together at this CPAC in defense of our shared values,” a motif he elaborated on in his subsequent interview with Remix News.

“Conservatives have realized in recent years that if we wish to resist the attempts of the global Left to dominate us, we must join forces. In this spirit, the Center for Fundamental Rights has for years built relationships with various conservative think tanks and research institutions in Europe and across the world,” Szánthó told Remix News.

“This includes a very cordial and efficient collaboration with the American Conservative Union, the grassroots organization that is responsible for the original CPAC. In the course of our cooperation, which included me speaking at every CPAC event since 2020, it became evident that Hungary would provide the best possible venue for the first European CPAC.”

CPAC Hungary not only faced obstacles in terms of the war in Ukraine, but once the conference began, it immediately became the target of hit pieces from CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. However, Szánthó said he believes this is a sign that the left fears CPAC Hungary was able to achieve.

“Although there were many obstacles in the way, a pandemic and a war, we persevered, and CPAC Hungary became a reality. More than that, judging from the outrage the global Left feels, we can say it became a huge success,” he noted.

Expect “underhand, nefarious tactics” from the Left

Szánthó spoke of the frustration that is palpable from what he described as the “globalist-neo-Marxist-liberal elite” at the success of Hungarian conservatives, but there are serious threats to Hungary that exist down the road, including rule-of-law sanctions from the EU. When asked whether it was Szánthó’s belief that the left would now attempt to bypass Hungary entirely and retaliate through the European institutions, the Center for Fundamental Rights director suggested this was almost certain, noting that “the Left, since its earliest days during the French Revolution has been known for underhand, nefarious tactics. This has not changed, and will not change,” he remarked.

“Federalist EU institutions have been a favorite avenue of their attack. Currently, they are withholding EU funds that are due to Hungary in a manner that goes against all decency, the rules that govern the European Union and their given word — and would be necessary for instance to build and develop our energy infrastructure to transport and refine non-Russian fuels. It is perhaps ironic that as they dream of an ‘ever closer Union’ and clench their fists ever harder, they are undermining the integrity of the EU, since they discredit the very institutions they hope to base their future power on and alienate various Member States.”

The hypocrisy of the left-wing press in its blind rage of conservatives is unparalleled

Szánthó offered his views on the continuous blistering attacks by the left-wing mainstream media in the lead up to CPAC Budapest, including accusations in the Guardian newspaper that the event promoted extremist ideologies, a sentiment the Center for Fundamental Rights director dismissed as “a typical case of fake news, regurgitating a factually unsubstantiated claim that they themselves made against the Hungarian Right back in 2011.”

“Are we being smeared by the same Guardian, which is publishing articles on an assembly line about how anti-Zionism is not really antisemitism, and which regularly stirs up anti-Israel hysteria over the conflict in the Middle East?” Szánthó asked as he questioned the morality of a newspaper that continues to “accuse conservatives of extremism with no basis in fact,” and reminisced about a time when the U.S. mainstream media accused “one of Israel’s greatest friends, Donald Trump, of antisemitism, and Candace Owens was called a White supremacist.”

Szánthó went further, berating the fabrications conjured up by the liberal press against conservatives as “unbelievable hypocrisy.”

“They never ‘cared’ that there were growing signs of radicalism on the international Left. The Hungarian Left, for instance, teamed up with a party it had previously described as Nazi for the Hungarian elections of ’22. I did not read an article in the Guardian about the fact that the vice-chairman of this party called for the listing of Jewish members of the Hungarian Parliament a few years ago – only when they wanted to conflate this party with Fidesz. They didn’t care that the prime ministerial candidate of the left-liberal coalition said during the campaign that he was keeping track of who was Jewish and who wasn’t in Fidesz, that he had made jokes about black people who were blind, or that he had tried to demonstrate his coalition’s diversity by saying that they ‘represent fascists and communists too.'”

The liberal press can create fabrications, but it does not deal with the real antisemitism and racism on its own side, Szánthó told Remix News, and reiterated an instruction of the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán given during his CPAC speech: “We must not play by their rules.”

Plans to infect Hungarian schools with woke culture and LGBT ideology have been exposed

Szánthó disagreed with outside assessments that Hungarian culture had not yet experienced the levels of woke culture and LGBT ideology prevalent across much of Western Europe and the United States, instead insisting that Hungarian had simply not succumbed to woke culture and tackled the issue head on.

Whilst accepting that the West is more “sensitized” to progressive ideals, the “very same methods of brainwashing” — including the targeting of children — had been proposed by the Hungarian Left and aptly preempted and shot down by the Hungarian government in the form of the child-protection law.

“Hungary scored a huge victory against the Church of Woke through the child protection law and the child protection referendum,” he told Remix News. “We have managed to expose the Left’s plans to infect our schools and kindergartens with a malicious ideology that is rooted in Marxism and is sexual in nature. The progressives, once they cried out in outrage over the decision to ban gender ideology from targeting children, unveiled their true schemes for all the Hungarian public to see.”

Szánthó praised the recent “resounding reply” from the Hungarian electorate in relation to the child protection referendum held at the same time as the Hungarian general election on April 3, which he explained “received more votes from the citizens than any other proposition put to past plebiscites garnered.”

He vowed that Hungary’s conservative institutions, in tandem with an administration focused on delivering for its own people, will not allow the “Church of Woke” win in its attempts to derail the country’s traditional family values.

“They shall not pass,” he affirmed.

Conservative successes in Hungary can and must be emulated elsewhere

Szánthó also spoke with Remix News about his optimism of the Hungarian conservatives’ template of success being reproduced around the world, stating this was one of the main reasons for organizing CPAC Hungary in the first place.

“In many ways, we have become a beacon for conservatism, a proof of concept: building on local traditions and values, but learning from our friends and partners across the world, we have found local solutions to local challenges,” Szánthó told Remix News, highlighting the successes the Hungarian administration has had with protecting its borders and stopping illegal immigration, in addition to a family policy that “has become renowned all across the world.”

“We have shown that truth is a formidable shield in the fight against postmodern, hegemonizing leftism,” Szánthó added, and encouraged every country to break free from the “overbearing new imperialism of progress.”

When asked which countries had the best chance of emulating Hungary, Szánthó spoke of the countries of Central Europe, which he believes “stand a good chance of never falling victim to this new Marxism.”

We are on the right path, Szánthó vowed, making the liberal’s nightmare come true: the national, conservative forces have joined forces internationally.

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