Addressing a crowd of international, conservative opinion-leaders in Budapest this morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that following the April 3 parliamentary elections, we can safely conclude that Christian conservatism has prevailed in Hungary. Focusing on the concrete steps he recommends that conservatives around the world take if they want to succeed, PM Orbán laid out his “open-source,” 12-point recipe.
“The first point,” PM Orbán began, “is that we must play by our own rules.” According to him, one can only rise to victory if they do not accept the solutions and directions put forward by others. “That is why we must not be discouraged by being shouted at, by being labeled unfit, or by being treated as troublemakers abroad. In fact, it is suspicious if none of this happens. Please note that anyone who plays by the rules of his opponents will certainly lose,” PM Orbán said.
Getting to the second point of his recipe, PM Orbán said that we must implement national conservatism in domestic policy. “The cause of the nation is not a matter of ideology, nor even of tradition. Churches and families must be supported because they are the building blocks of a nation. It also means staying on the side of the electorate,” he said.
According to the PM, his government decided to put up a fence on Hungary’s southern border because Hungarian people said that they do not want to live together with illegal migrants. “They said, Viktor, build a wall. And three months later, the wall was standing. The secret of it all is not to overthink it,” PM Orbán said.
The third point is keeping national interest at the center of foreign policy.
“Progressives have always believed that foreign policy was a battle of ideologies, a battle of good and bad, where the course of history is decided. But as far as I can see, my dear friends, there have been at least four of these great battles in the last 100 years. Something is wrong with the formula. Our response should be a simple and clear antithesis to the progressives. Hungary First, America First. We need interest-based foreign policy. This is not always easy because foreign policy is often a complicated world,” PM Orbán said.
“The fourth point is,” he continued, “that we must have the media because we can only show the insanity of the progressive Left if we have the media to help us.” According to PM Orbán, left-wing opinion only appears to be in the majority because the media helps them amplify their voices. The problem is that the modern Western media is aligned with the left-wing view. Those who taught reporters in universities, the prime minister added, already professed progressive Leftist principles.
“I am familiar with the old ethos of Western democracy that party politics and the press should be separate. That is how it should be. But, my friends, the Democrats in America, for example, do not abide by these rules. Have you ever tried to count how many media [outlets] serve the Democratic Party? CNN, the New York Times, and I could go on and on. I would not get to the end even by the evening,” PM Orbán said.
The fifth point: Expose your opponents’ true intentions. According to the prime minister, the existence of conservative media is a necessary but not sufficient condition for victory. “You also need to be a taboo-breaker,” PM Orbán said, adding that “perhaps I don't need to explain this to our American friends, because who would be a bigger taboo-breaker than President Donald Trump himself.”
Point number six is the economy. PM Orbán said that only economic policies that benefit even those who did not vote for you should be pursued. “People want to get ahead in life. If a right-wing government cannot deliver that, it is doomed to fail,” the PM said.
“Our seventh point is that you must not get dragged to an extreme,” PM Orbán said. According to him, while extremist views resurface time and time again on the Right, as well as on the Left, if we look closely, we will find that people don’t really want anything to do with them. “But my friends, what is the difference between far-right denial of science and the LGBTQ movement's denial of biology? The answer is simple, there is no difference. We must give to God what belongs to God, to the emperor what belongs to the emperor, and to science what belongs to science,” PM Orbán said.
The eighth point is that we must read every day. “I know it sounds strange, I'm not a scientist, but the fact is that books are the best way to understand and communicate complex things. And the world is getting more and more complicated, so you have to take the time to understand it. For example, I myself set aside a day every week just for reading,” the PM said.
“The ninth point is that you must have faith,” the prime minister said, adding that if someone does not believe in the Final Judgment, they think they can do whatever is within their power. “Their lack of faith is therefore dangerous,” PM Orbán observed.
Point number ten: Make friends. According to the prime minister, “our opponents, the progressive liberals and neo-Marxists, are endlessly united. They have each other's backs.” Conservatives, on the other hand, are capable of squabbling with each other over the smallest issue, PM Orbán said. “And then we wonder how our opponents are able to surround us.”
“If you want to succeed in politics, never look at how you disagree with another person, but look for where you have common ground,” PM Orbán said.
Getting to the eleventh point of his recipe for Christian conservative success, Prime Minister Orbán said that it is vital to build communities. “My friends, I have also learned over the years that there is no conservative political success without well-functioning communities. The fewer the communities and the lonelier the people, the more voters turn to the Liberals. Whereas, the more communities there are, the more votes we get. It is as simple as that,” PM Orbán said.
Concluding with the final point, Prime Minister Orbán said that building political institutions is conducive to success. According to the PM, while politicians come and go, institutions stay with us for generations.
“It is they, the institutions, that can intellectually renew politics. We need new ideas, new thoughts, new people again and again, and when they run out, we run out of ammunition,” PM Orbán said.