American Conservative Conference opens in Orban’s Hungary – WSB-TV Channel 2

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BUDAPEST, Hungary — (AP) — Dozens of prominent conservatives from Europe, the United States and beyond gathered in Hungary on Thursday for the American Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, being held in Europe for the first time.

The event represents a deepening of ties between the American right and the autocratic government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Now in power for 12 years, Orban has sparked controversy in the European Union over his rollback of democratic institutions under what he calls “illiberal democracy,” but has won admiration from some segments of the American right for his strong stance on immigration and LGBTQ issues and its rejection of liberal pluralism.

Delivering the keynote address for the two-day conference on Thursday, Orban called Hungary “a bastion of conservative Christian values ​​in Europe” and urged American conservatives to overcome “the dominance of progressive liberals in public life”, as he had done in Hungary.

“We have to take over the institutions in Washington and Brussels,” Orban said. “We have to find allies in each other and coordinate our troop movements.”

The CPAC conference is only the latest opening of partnership between the Orban government and the American right. On the conference website, CPAC names Hungary as “one of the engines of conservative resistance to the woke revolution” which aims to “confront the onslaught from the left”.

One American proponent of this view of Hungary is Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who broadcast from Hungary’s capital, Budapest, for a week in 2021, interviewing Orban and praising the country’s policies on immigration and of LGBTQ issues as a model for the United States to follow. States.

In his address on Thursday, Orban praised Carlson – who previously delivered a video message to attendees – as the only US media figure willing to oppose “liberal media rule”.

Orban urged the conservative movement to take more control of the media, as it has done in his country – despite widespread criticism from the EU and international watchdogs.

“We can only demonstrate the madness of the progressive left if we have media to help us,” Orban said.

Hungary faces financial sanctions from the EU for alleged breaches of the rule of law, including backsliding on judicial independence and media freedom and failing to adequately address Corruption.

The EU and human rights organizations have also expressed concern over recent policies seen as limiting the rights of LGBTQ people, which Orban on Thursday called “gender madness”.

Yet the autocratic leader has found common cause on many of these issues with those on the American right. After being sworn in for a fourth consecutive term as prime minister on Monday, Orban echoed controversial theories embraced by Carlson when he described a “suicide attempt” by more liberal European governments to implement “the grand European Population Replacement Programme”, which he says seeks to “replace missing European Christian children with migrants”.

Also appearing at the Budapest conference are many figures from the American right associated with the branch of the Republican Party aligned with former American President and ally of Orban Donald Trump.

President of the American Conservative Union Matt Schlapp and American conservative media personalities Candace Owens and Ben Ferguson were due to speak at the event, along with members of right-wing European parties such as Marine Le Pen’s National Rally in France and the Spanish party Vox. .

Mark Meadows, the chief of staff for former US President Donald Trump’s administration, will also speak at the conference via video link, alongside Republican lawmakers from Florida and Maryland.

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