Going Against the Flow

Advocates of conservative values and common sense are becoming increasingly popular in the West

Public opinion appears quite fragmented both in Europe and the United States these days. Besides, the more mainstream media and politicians impose leftist liberal values, the more we hear the voices of those who call for alternative ways of social development. The emerging code of ethics has led to an existential crisis in the West; as a result, common sense is in greater demand than ever before.

When Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban recently addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas, his keynote speech created quite a stir. Prompting a standing ovation, Orban said, "To sum up: the mother is a woman, the father is a man, and leave our kids alone. Full stop, end of discussion." This warm welcome in Texas is unsurprising given that American parents are fighting with state officials to ensure that libraries remove sexually explicit comics for children featuring oral sex among boys. The Hungarian prime minister's address came as a true revelation for the Western audience used to hearing and seeing nothing but LGBT propaganda.

Going against the flow
Viktor Orban was the headliner at the opening of the Conservative Political Action Conference 04.08.2022 in Dallas, Texas. Photo: Emil Lippe / The New York Times.

Needless to say, Viktor Orban’s speech received extensive media coverage on both sides of the Atlantic. "Why American conservatives love Viktor Orban," wonders The New York Times. Elaborating on the same issue, The Economist asks: "Why is the American right obsessed with Viktor Orban?" The most obvious answer is that Orban has been very successful in his defence of traditional values in the face of mounting pressure from international institutions.

During his trip to Texas, Orban called for "fewer genders, more rangers, fewer drag queens and more Chuck Norris". His words were music to the ears of all Americans who share conservative values and distrust such "pro-democracy" media outlets as CNN and MSNBC.

Going against the flow
American actor Chuck Norris as Texas Ranger. The Southern Rangers have always been the epitome of masculinity and conservative values. The film "Cool Walker" (1993).

"I can already see tomorrow's headlines," the Hungarian prime minister said. "Far-right European racist and anti-Semite strongman, Trojan horse of Putin, holds a speech at a conservative conference. But I don't want to give them any ideas; they know best how to write fake news."

In the eyes of conservatives all over the world, Viktor Orban is a political superstar and the perfect embodiment of the myth about the American dream. He grew up in poverty in a small town west of Budapest. Orban entered politics when he was young and worked his way up to become Hungary's prime minister at the age of 35. Strange as it may seem, at the outset of his political career, Orban advocated liberal values. However, four years later, he lost an election to the opposition, reconsidered his ideology, and shifted to the right.

They say that Orban is fighting against globalism as well as market and social freedoms. Reportedly, he also limits the freedom of the press and prevents foreign financiers and bureaucrats from influencing Hungary's foreign policy. In 2014, he even said he wanted to build an "illiberal democracy" by working to bring back Hungary's major businesses sold to Western investors after the collapse of communism. Clearly, such policies are appealing to Americans and Europeans who have lost their jobs following the relocation of manufacturing industries to Asian countries.

In addition, Orban has consistently opposed immigration, warning Western countries of the threat of having their culture destroyed. In his opinion, countries that let in migrants are bound to end up with a mixed population consisting of a Christian element and a non-Christian element with a strong religious identity.

Going against the flow In July 2022, Viktor Orban stated that the Hungarians "are not mixed race" and do not want Orban to become one. Photo: ripost.hu

"If my assessment of the laws of biology and mathematics is correct, the relationship between these two elements will continuously shift from Christianity to non-Christian religious communities," Orban said in one of his speeches on immigration. "How this will end can be predicted mathematically." According to Orban, there is a global liberal plot to dilute the white population of the United States and Europe through immigration.

"I see the great European population exchange as a suicidal attempt to replace the lack of European, Christian children with adults from other civilisations – migrants," Orban pointed out in a speech to mark the start of his fourth term in office. Referring to the spread of LGBTQ+ rights in the West, he defined the process as "gender madness".

Even President Biden was compelled to react to Viktor Orban's statement, calling it "a perverse ideology" and "a lie". The Hungarian prime minister, for his part, said that Biden had weak leadership skills and went on to attack former US President Barack Obama, George Soros (one of the largest contributors to the Democratic Party) and all "globalists" in general.

"We must take back the institutions in Washington and Brussels. We must coordinate the movements of our troops because we face the same challenge. You have two years to get ready," Orban added in a clear reference to the US presidential race in 2024, an election campaign in which Orban is certain to support Donald Trump.

The Hungarian prime minister and the former US president have a lot in common, including methods Orban and Trump have both used to protect their countries from illegal migrants. Under Orban, Hungary built a fence along its border with Serbia, while Trump built a wall on the US-Mexico border. Orban and Trump also speak in unison about the new ethics.

 Hungary erected a fence on the border with Serbia in 2015 to combat the flow of illegal migrants. Photo: hungarytoday.hu

"We believe in two genders: there are men, and there are women. Two genders", said Trump. The incompetence of people governing the United States could lead to World War III, he told CPAC attendees, calling America "a nation in decline". 

"We are in many ways a third-world nation… We are a nation whose economy is floundering, whose stores are not stocked, whose deliveries are not coming," said Trump. "I'm the worst thing that ever happened to Putin. Look at what he's doing now. He's knocking the hell out of everyone because he has no respect. That would have never happened with me … We could end up in World War III because we are being governed by incompetent people," he warned. According to Trump, if you could take the five worst presidents in American history and put them together, they would not have done more damage than Joe Biden has done to the US in less than two years.

Blasting the Democrats' race and gender agenda as well as citing the country's sluggish economy, Republicans plan to win a majority in Congress and reclaim the White House in 2024. Incidentally, Donald Trump has already made some progress on this score. As reported by Ballotpedia, 173 out of 230 candidates endorsed by Trump have been nominated for Congress and other elected offices.

Going against the flow
45 US president during a speech on CPAC in august 2022. Photo: Stephen Yang.

Donald Trump dominated the Conservative Political Action Conference's 2024 straw poll, indicating that he remains the first choice of Republicans for the party's presidential nomination. The poll showed that nearly 70% of CPAC attendees were willing to back his candidacy. In addition, during the first half of 2022, Trump raised USD 36 million in donations, accumulating financial resources to launch his re-election campaign. 

Trump's voters like the idea that he is not afraid to stand up to the deep state and admire his pledge to drain the Washington swamp. In fact, the more pressure Biden and the Democrats bring to bear on the former president in an effort to implicate him in the so-called January 6 insurrection, the stronger becomes his popularity among his Republican supporters and allies. The recent raid by a federal agent on his mansion only worked to further reinforce his status of an anti-establishment rabble-rouser.

Going against the flow
Secret Service agents stand at the gate of Mar-a-Lago after the FBI executed a search warrant at the Palm Beach, Florida, estate, August 8, 2022. Photo: Damon Higgins / AP

In the face of Biden's foreign policy failures, Trump has been positioning himself as a leader who is capable of fixing the nation's current problems. For one, he is of the opinion that Ukraine's President Zelensky should have abandoned his country's ambition to join NATO and recognised Crimea as a piece of Russia's territory. Trump believes that this would have allowed averting the conflict with Russia.

Speaking on the subject of the situation in Ukraine, he assures his listeners: "This would have never happened. We would not have had to even negotiate something. Somebody said: "well, what would you do?" We wouldn't have had to do anything. Putin would not have done it with me. At a minimum, they should have made a deal. They could have given up Crimea; they could have done smoothening with NATO: okay, we're not going to join NATO. And you'd have a country because I believe Putin wanted to make a deal."

The second most popular Republican after Trump is Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis. The 43-year-old politician, who is considered fairly young by the standards of Washington's gerontocracy, has been described as a scion of the former US president who has adapted the ideology of Trumpism to suit his agenda. DeSantis has signed a bill banning critical race theory (teaching about white privilege) in Florida schools, limited discussion of LGBTQ issues in schools, and barred transgender females from competing in women's athletic tournaments. Although he is yet to make public his aspiration for running for president, he has already raised USD 100 million for this campaign.

Going against the flow
Ronald DeSantis. Photo: AP / Evan Vucci.

Governor DeSantis' campaign against the Democratic party's LGBTQ agenda was recently joined by his wife Casey DeSantis. Speaking out against the exposure of minors to inappropriate sexual content, she tweeted: "Speaking on behalf of A LOT of moms across the state, we do not want our children exposed to inappropriate sexualized content."

According to an article that appeared in The Hill, should DeSantis make up his mind to run for president, the GOP strategists could suggest to him that he could use an ingenious tactic of picking Tim Scott, a conservative black senator from South Carolina, as his running mate, to help offset any risks associated with the BLM agenda.

Blake Masters, an investor in cryptocurrencies and another one of Trump's followers, has managed to win the Arizona Republican Senate primary largely on the strength of his pledge to stand up to the D.C. bureaucracy. He is averse to democracy and has been calling for switching to an authoritarian market economy model, similar to the one followed by Singapore under Lee Kuan Yew. Until very recently, it would have been utterly inconceivable that a candidate like that would be vying for a place under America's political sun.

Views that represent an alternative to the mainstream line of thought are becoming increasingly appealing. Those who advocate such views earn the support of their sponsors, while the media that advance them see their readership and viewership grow consistently. As an example, Fox News has already outstripped CNN five- or six-fold along a range of key performance indicators. According to the New York Times, the network drew 27% fewer viewers this year than it did a year ago, in 2021. As advertisers keep leaving, CNN is on a pace to drop below USD 1 billion in profit for the first time in six years.

Instead, comments and statements that run counter to the liberal narrative tend to draw animated responses for the audience, which seems to be a growing trend on both sides of the Atlantic. Conservative media pundit and author Ann Coulter recently fired the media with the comment she made while appearing on Britain's TalkTV, saying that instead of fighting Russia, the West should focus on dealing with its problems. Coulter went on to accuse the Atlantic establishment of provoking Russia for a long time in the lead-up to the Ukraine crisis.

Going against the flow In 2015, Ann Coulter was ridiculed on television for talking about the possibility of a Trump victory. Photo: wallofcelebrities.com

Roger Waters, a co-founder of the British rock band Pink Floyd, expressed a similar point in his interview with CNN.

Waters believes that US President Joe Biden "is fueling the fire" in Ukraine and calls him a war criminal. "Why won't the United States of America encourage Zelensky to negotiate to negate the need for this horrendous war?" In response to his interviewer's comment that he was blaming the wrong party, Waters said that Russia's actions in Ukraine were a reaction to NATO's pushing right up to the Russian borders, something NATO had promised they would not do and suggested that the journalist consider the question of "what the United States would do if the Chinese were putting nuclear-armed missiles into Mexico and Canada".

Noam Chomsky, an influential American intellectual, offered a similar example in one of his recent interviews. When responding to his interlocutor's suggestion that only the Ukrainians themselves and not Russia or anyone else should be able to decide whether to join NATO or any other military alliance, Chomsky said that in the very same way, Mexico should be able to decide that they want to join to a Chinese-run military alliance thereby enabling China to place its weapons on the US southern border. "But we all know what the next step would be – so no need to even talk about it". In addition, Chomsky expressed his puzzlement at why the moral dimension is never mentioned in the context of aggression perpetrated by the West. This is the question that the whole of the South has been pondering of late.

Among other things, the 93-year-old Chomsky is known for his book titled Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, that he co-authored with economist Edward S. Herman. The book argues that the mass communication media of the US "are effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function".

Going against the flow
Noam Chomsky, author for his book titled Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. Photo: AP / Hatem Moussa.

It is obvious that, in recent years, this function of the liberal media in the US and worldwide has started to falter. Reporters and politicians alike seem to be finding it increasingly more difficult to persuade the populace that there exists only one vision for the global future. At a time when the advancement of green energy has led to skyrocketing energy prices, when multiculturalism and tolerance toward illegal immigration threaten to undermine national cultures, and when gender freedoms drive children insane, people start turning toward common sense and traditional values, an urge that is becoming increasingly evident in Western countries. As a result, those journalists, politicians, organisations, and governments who can satisfy this urge are becoming enormously popular.

Main photo: Flagships of Western conservatism. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and former US President Donald Trump held talks at Trump's estate in Bedminster, New Jersey © Orban Facebook.

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