Donald Trump wasn't Vladimir Putin's first bromance. That honor goes to Hungary's Viktor Orban. Much like Trump, Orban is an egomaniac that would sell his soul and first born for money and power. And like Trump, Orban lets Putin get away with literal murder without ever saying a word.
In fact, the Orban/Putin story is almost identical to the Trump/Putin story!
Hungary joined the European Union (EU) in 2003, and thus became highly attractive to Russia. If Putin could control Hungary, he could gain unfettered access to the EU countries. Russian FSB (former KGB) agents could enter the EU through Hungary. Once there, they could then travel throughout all EU member nations without having to go through any customs inspections.
Russia also needed to control Hungary because it required buyers for its oil and gas. EU members attempted to discover ways around using Russian fuel supplies. If they became dependent on Russian fuel, Russia would be able to control them easily. With Hungary under his wing, Putin would have an advocate for selling his oil and gas.
Hungary already had many Russian sympathizers in it's government ranks since it was a former member of the Soviet Union. The Hungarian people however, were not as pro-Putin as some of their leaders. Changing their minds would involve changing their viewing habits. Specifically, their news viewing habits.
In 2007, Russian FSB (former KGB) agents worked with those sympathetic politicians to develop media outlets that promoted right wing, pro-Russian ideas. Orban, then prime minister of Hungary, and others would rail against the media saying that they were biased against the right. Like Trump, he refused to answer reporters he didn't like and called them fake. Orban's Fidesz party, just like the Republican party, would be given talking points to attack the media.
They would then have their members send complaints to the government about the media being partial to left leaning causes. This gave them the excuse to clamp down on the media. The Fidesz party then started fining news outlets that didn't tow the line. Many were fined into bankruptcy. Many just gave in. Soon the airwaves and internet were filled with Fox News like stations and Breitbart organizations that claimed to be news organizations, but were really just fronts for pro-Russian propaganda. Russia also began controlling their internet.
Orban's Strategy Mirrors Trump's
In 2008, Ana Szilagyi studied the rise of Orban. This was a few years before he would be elected president. The methods used by Orban and the Fidesz party were exactly the same as Donald Trump and the Republican Party's schemes used in the 2016 Election.
In 2007, Orban and his gang claimed to be the only party that could help the Hungarian people out of their recession. They threatened to jail their opponents, and called them "sick, pathological, psychologically unfit, neurotic and paranoid," just as Trump did with Clinton. According to Szilagyi, the following is another Orban scheme that I noticed Trump uses time and time again:
"...they endow their rivals with the very attributes that are much more characteristic of themselves than of their rivals. This is a classic method of politics:
the one who frightens others acts as if he himself were threatened by those whom he threatens. An authoritarian politician who is beginning to build an undemocratic regime suddenly discovers a conspiracy against democracy by the very people who are trying to stop him in his efforts to do away with democracy.
She further pointed out that Orban always needed to seem stronger, bigger or more powerful than his opponents. Similar to how Trump would say that Clinton was not "presidential looking" or did not have the "stamina" to be president.
Orban began holding rallies in 2007 where his followers were encouraged to shout, "VIKTOR, VIKTOR, VIKTOR!!!" This had an effect of creating what seemed like an uncontrollable phenomena. He also would encourage violence at his rallies and courted the racist white supremacist crowd just like Trump did.
Orban and Trump both use speech that is more of a suggestion than an absolute. Neither men ever offer actual plans or policies for their goals. "Nothing is clearly defined in linguistics. If a certain phrase or a certain sentence implies a certain meaning, the answer can always be that it was simply misunderstood." This tactic is not only used by both leaders but used by their parties and cabinet members. You can see this in con game at any one of Sean Spicer's press briefings or any time KellyAnne Conway opens her mouth.
Another common ploy is the use of the nation or their followers as victims. Both Trump and Orban have used the rallying claim that their constituents cannot say racist things without being labeled racists. Both have claimed their countries are victims to other countries like the way Trump claims Mexico and China take advantage of the U.S. There's always someone else to blame for their problems and always someone keeping them from succeeding in life.
Both presidents' supporters will attack anyone saying anything negative about their leaders. Though Hungary is further along in strangling its press, Trump is not far behind as evidenced by the FCC now investigating comedian Stephen Colbert for making a joke about the sensitive leader. Szilagyi also stated that leaders like these two will show 2 sides of an issue to confuse their opponents on purpose. This explains why Trump will hire a cabinet full of anti-Semites even though his daughter and son-in-law are Jewish, or how one day he's threatening nuclear war with North Korea and the next he says he'd be "honored" to meet its leader.
Orban and Trump both use anti-immigrant racist bait to strike fear into the hearts of their naive followers. Putin, of course, is the designer of this strategy. It is Putin's actions in Syria that have caused a wave of innocent refugee families to flee to Europe. Many are landing in Hungary allowing Orban to stoke the terrorist fears though there's been no evidence of refugees being terrorists. This can be seen on the Hungarian Ambassador's Twitter page:
The same thing you see here is now happening in Italy. The migrant crisis is far from over. It continues silently, without cameras. pic.twitter.com/h0UlTSKVrB
— Voice of Europe (@V_of_Europe) May 1, 2017
Orban was not always a fan of Russia. He was in fact openly anti-Russian until 2009 when he suddenly showed up in Moscow at a party for Putin. The former prime minister of Hungary, Ferenc Gyurcsany, has claimed that Putin has compromising material on Orban. This material is supposed to be so damning that Orban would do whatever Putin told him to do "5 times over."
What the material may be is not known. Perhaps it is a pee pee tape like the one that rumors say Putin has on Trump. The only one who seems to know is Gyursany, and he has said publicly that Orban should sue him for making such statements so that he could then release the documents.
Trump Loves Hungary
Recently I wrote an article about the close ties between the Hungarian Embassy in D.C. and the Trump administration. It cannot be mere coincidence that both Trump and Orban use the exact same methods for manipulating their voters, that both have ties to Russia and Putin, that a top Trump adviser, Sebastian Gorka, is a Hungarian native and former Hungarian politician with anti-Semetic ties, etc. It's no coincidence that the Trump administration celebrated their election at the Hungarian Embassy. There's a reason why the Hungarian Ambassador tweets more praise for Trump than she does for her own country.
Too bad the Republican held congress is too busy twiddling their thumbs.
To follow politics in Hungary, please follow the Hungarian Spectrum.