America’s popular US News website has highlighted this week why congressmen are up in arms over the United States' interference in in the upcoming parliamentary elections in Hungary.
In a piece written by Peter Roff, titled “Why is the US interfering in Hungary's election?”, he says that given the outcry over alleged Russian interference in the last US presidential election, it's a wonder more people on Capitol Hill are not up in arms over plans to influence the media in Hungary.
Last week, Republican congressman Andy Harris was joined by ten of his peers in signing a letter urging the State Department to axe funding for independent media outlets in Hungary.
In the letter, Harris denounced actions by the US to fund so-called "opposition media" and said it amounted to meddling in the domestic politics of a democratic ally.
The congressmen railed against the State Department's plan to provide as much as 700,000 USD in funding to "supporting objective media in Hungary". He urged the US to scrap the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), calling for it to be "suspended immediately".
"Instead of collaborating with our ally," they wrote, "the State Department's actions still seem to focus on influencing the domestic social and public policy choices of Hungary, creating an impression (and perhaps even the reality) of undue interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign allied country."
Roff adds that Hungary is a member of NATO with a flourishing multiparty system. “It's no more than the American system is but the elections there are by most standards free and fair,” he writes.
“There are people who don't like Orbán, particularly for his refusal to follow the dictates emanating from Brussels and his refusal to allow unrestricted immigration into his country by those fleeing unrest in the Middle East even on what is supposed to be a temporary basis. He's a nationalist who believes borders matter, something that puts him on the same side of the issue as President Donald Trump,” he writes.
The problem appears to be Soros – a man who transferred 18 billion USD in personal wealth to his network of Open Society organizations. “Soros has his fans inside the US government as well – which may be why on November 7 of last year the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor announced a 700,000 USD taxpayer-funded opportunity for those wishing to establish "objective media" in Hungary or, in simpler terms, to influence the outcome of the upcoming election,” Roff writes.
The members of Congress who signed the letter along with Harris include California Republican Dana Rohrabacher, who heads up the House Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats. If Tillerson doesn't rescind the proposal for Hungary, then Rohrabacher would be well advised to call him up to Capitol Hill to testify as to why.
Roff writes that no matter what the Russians may have tried to do to America in 2016 the United States should not be inserting itself into the electoral affairs of other democratic nations. Under the Trump policy of pragmatic realism, our role is to lead by example.
Read more here.