Orban, Conservatism With a Heart and a Brain

Here is an article that dissects the policies Orban has used to win a dominant share of the electorate in Hungary.  Our Republican politicians could do much worse than copying what he is doing.

“Mainly, though, Orbán was just too good to beat even under the best of scenarios. He has designed a unique political model. American and British conservatives have been flocking to Budapest to study it. It combines basic ideas of the political right with basic ideas of the political left.

He has reduced social-policy spending (a conservative idea), but he pursues a strategically interventionist approach to the economy (usually associated with the left).

So taxes and unemployment benefits are low – that’s the conservative aspect. But where it really matters for citizens, the state intervenes.
Hungary is among the most investment-friendly countries in Europe. But only in sectors where the Hungarian economy cannot do what foreign investors can do. Hungarian companies can’t build cars. Germans can. But banks? The service industry? Hungarians can do the job just as well. And so the government makes it a priority to strengthen domestic entrepreneurs and innovative startups.

Orbán’s argument is that GDP matters – but what matters more is how much of it remains in the country and ends up in households.

Another crucial reason for Orbán’s dominance is that he has established a firm presence in the countryside, down to the last village. No party before Fidesz even tried to do this. The opposition is urban. Fidesz is rooted in rural Hungary, tapping a voter base that didn’t even exist before Orbán. In the past, many villagers simply would not vote at all. They support Orbán because he has made it a priority to minimise the wealth gap between the countryside and the big cities.”

Can you imagine if the stupid party (Republicans) were this smart?  We might even still have a country.