'Trump's Mussolini': Orban's Mar-A-Lago Visit Signals Fascist Alliance

'Trump's Mussolini': Orban's Mar-A-Lago Visit Signals Fascist Alliance

Viktor Orban

This weekend, while President Biden championed the merits of democracy during various campaign stops in swing states, former President Donald Trump hosted far-right Hungarian autocratic president Viktor Orbán at Mar-a-Lago and even took him to a concert.

Trump's friendliness with the Hungarian prime minister is likely due to the fact that Orbán's central guiding philosophy and preferred method of governing are similar to Trump's, and could provide insight as to what a second Trump presidency would look like. Like Trump, Orbán is hostile toward immigrants, and notably built a massive border fence in the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis to keep asylum-seekers out of Hungary. His political party, Fidesz, has cracked down on press freedom and has sought to revise textbooks to exclude mentions of the LGBTQ+ community. And most revealingly, Orbán has made changes to Hungary's government that allow him to stay in power for an extended period of time.

While addressing a crowd at Mar-a-Lago, Trump extolled his leadership style publicly, saying "there’s nobody that’s better, smarter or a better leader than Viktor Orbán, he's fantastic... He says, 'This is the way it's gonna be,' and that’s the end of it. He's the boss."

Trump's comments caused significant alarm on social media, with journalists, commentators and elected officials urging voters to pay attention to the former president's praise of an "autocrat."

"How many different ways does Trump need to tell you he's going to rule as a dictator before you believe him?" Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will bunch tweeted.

Former federal prosecutor Richard Signorelli wrote on X/Twitter that Orbán was "Trump's Mussolini," suggesting the former president and the Hungarian leader could be the "new Axis powers' alliance."

"History is repeating itself but outcome not inevitable if we defeat our modern day Hitler & his deranged MAGA/Nazi cult at [the] ballot box," Signorelli tweeted. "Unfortunately, I do not see law enforcement timely addressing the menace so it's left to us again."

Others viewed the video as an illuminating preview of what Trump hopes to do if he retakes the White House. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) called the former president "the leader of a global fascist movement" and added his role as the catalyst for the global far-right should be seen as the "central historical context of the coming campaign." Journalist and lawyer Daniel Miller called on the New York Times in particular to publish a "massive headline about Trump wanting to be a dictator" every day until the election. And Sarah Longwell, who is publisher of anti-Trump conservative website The Bulwark, urged news outlets to not hold back in calling out Trump's affinity for far-right dictators.

"Just because it’s old news that Donald Trump loves autocrats doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve wall-to-wall coverage when he does things like this," she wrote. "Because it’s insane."

Columnist and podcaster Charles Adler tweeted about his firsthand experience with Orbán's brand of governing, writing that he "destroyed democracy in Hungary - land of my birth."

"Hungarians of my generation fled for the US and Canada to get the hell away from authoritarianism," Adler said. "Now this decaying Mar-A-Lago conman is huckstering Hungarian authoritarianism. It's as if [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is producing this s---show."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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