Recently, Hungary held a press conference with its Prime Minister Viktor Orban and government officials Laszlo Toketh and Zsolt Nemeth. In this conference Orban praised Trump, saying that he felt that United States presidential candidate Donald Trump would benefit Europe more if he became the president of the United States. His reasoning was that he agreed with Trump on some points, most of them having to do with immigration and how dangerous it is. As a Hungarian citizen who immigrated to the U.S. and is now also an American citizen, this makes me concerned about the future relationship between the U.S. and Europe.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. Many countries in the European Union have taken an unexpected right-wing turn in their leadership recently and Orban is not the first European politician to approve of Trump. Nigel Farage from Britain and Marina Le Pen from France have mentioned that they would vote for Trump. What makes Orban stand out, however, is the policies he agrees with.
Orban praised Trump’s proposed wall, saying that it was exactly what he would have done in that situation. The immigration crisis in Europe seemed to have made Orban hate immigration in general. He even went so far as to have razor wire fences built on Hungary’s southern border with Serbia to keep this new wave of immigrants out. This is reminiscent of Trump’s wall, but at least Orban isn’t asking Serbia to pay for the fences.
The problem with building walls is that it doesn’t exactly encourage communication, which is what Hungary will eventually need to do with the US and one of the things that Trump already doesn’t seem very good at. After extensive research and watching many painful interviews with Trump, I still don’t know how or why Mexico is going to pay for the wall or how much money it’s going to take. The amount that seems to change every time Trump talks about it. Trump either doesn’t really know or simply hasn’t communicated this well.
Another thing Orban likes about Trump’s campaign is his proposal to deport Muslim immigrants from the U.S. He stated that although he understands why US citizens are nervous about this since immigration is the reason for the USA’s existence, but “In this story, we are the Native Americans.” This statement made me laugh outright because it clearly shows that Orban only knows the basics of U.S. history, the type kids learn in their elementary schools because the education system thought it would be cruel to tell those poor innocent children that settlers have always been cruel and commanding to the Native Americans.
These refugees are not coming into Hungary and other European countries and claiming the land as their own, building whole new cities on European land and considering the Europeans barbarians as American settlers did. There is no point of comparison. People who immigrate to Europe don’t force native Europeans to travel to the other side of the continent because they need more space, nor do they bring new diseases that are killing off a large percentage of the population and wiping out whole cultures. They are not the ones in power. European governments are and whatever they decide to do in relation to the immigration crisis is what will happen. It makes me wonder what Orban really knows about immigration and world history and whether he’s qualified to speak on the matter.
Another thing that puzzles me about Orban’s praise of Trump is that Trump doesn’t seem to know much about what is going on in Europe either. After Brexit was voted on, Trump went to Scotland and gave a speech praising its citizens for “taking back” their country from the European Union. The only problem with that was that Scotland voted to stay in the EU. Additionally, Trump specifically stated that he would not protect European countries if Russia attacked them, something many Hungarian journalists seem to be concerned about recently.
To state that Trump would be better for Europe is laughable. Despite the fact that communications between some European countries and the U.S. might be less hostile with Trump in office, Trump could easily screw it up by saying something stupid because he is not a good communicator. Additionally, the policies Orban and Trump agree on all focus on oppressing people and keeping them away from each other.