Recent quotes:

Does Hungary Offer a Glimpse of Our Authoritarian Future? | The New Yorker

Lauren Stokes, the Northwestern historian, is a leftist with her own radical critiques of liberalism; nonetheless, she, too, thinks that the right-wing post-liberals are playing with fire. “By hitching themselves to someone who has put himself forward as a post-liberal intellectual, I think American conservatives are starting to give themselves permission to discard liberal norms,” Stokes told me. “When a Hungarian court does something Orbán doesn’t like—something too pro-queer, too pro-immigrant—he can just say, ‘This court is an enemy of the people, I don’t have to listen to it.’ I think Republicans are setting themselves up to adopt a similar logic: if the system gives me a result I don’t like, I don’t have to abide by it.”

Does Hungary Offer a Glimpse of Our Authoritarian Future? | The New Yorker

Carlson told Dreher that he had already thought about visiting, but that he’d been encountering some bureaucratic hurdles with the Hungarian Embassy. A few days later, Dreher met Balázs Orbán—not related to Viktor, but one of his closest advisers. (Many Hungarians I spoke to described him as a sort of Karl Rove figure.) “I tried to convince Balázs that Tucker was somebody who could be trusted,” Dreher recalled. He offered personal assurances that, on the big questions, Tucker and Orbán were in alignment. By the summer, the red tape had cleared. (Carlson declined to comment.)

Does Hungary Offer a Glimpse of Our Authoritarian Future? | The New Yorker

The system that Orbán has built during the past twelve years, a combination of freedom and subjugation not exactly like that of any other government in the world, could be called Goulash Authoritarianism. Scheppele contends that Orbán has pulled this off not by breaking laws but by ingeniously manipulating them, in what she calls a “constitutional coup.” She added, “He’s very smart and methodical. First, he changes the laws to give himself permission to do what he wants, and then he does it.”

Does Hungary Offer a Glimpse of Our Authoritarian Future? | The New Yorker

He enlisted Arthur Finkelstein, a political consultant from Brooklyn who had worked to elect Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond, and Ronald Reagan, among others. “Try to polarize the election around that issue which cuts best in your direction, i.e., drugs, crime, race,” Finkelstein wrote in a 1970 memo to the Nixon White House. In 1996, Finkelstein put this principle to work on behalf of Benjamin Netanyahu, a candidate for Prime Minister of Israel who was then about twenty points down in the polls, and who started alleging that his opponent, Shimon Peres, planned to divide Jerusalem. This was a lie, but it stuck, and Netanyahu won. In 2008, Netanyahu introduced Finkelstein to his friend Orbán; Finkelstein became so indispensable that Orbán reportedly came to refer to him, dotingly, as Finkie. One of Finkelstein’s protégés later told the Swiss journalist Hannes Grassegger, “Arthur always said that you did not fight against the Nazis but against Adolf Hitler.” Orbán had been running against globalism, multiculturalism, bureaucracy in Brussels. These were abstractions. By 2013, Finkelstein had an epiphany: the face of the enemy should be George Soros.