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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/10/20

How Four More Years of Trump Could Send the U.S. Down the Path Toward Corrupt Oligarchy

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Now that we've entered an election year, there is a lot of speculation about what America could look like if Donald Trump gets another term, by hook or by crook. As Trump uses a crisis he created in the Middle East to distract us from impeachment, increases his chances of reelection, and boosts the fortunes of his buddies in the Military-Industrial Complex, it's important to understand how other demagogic leaders consolidate their power.

Steve Bannon has said that Hungary's strongman prime minister Viktor Orba'n was "Trump before Trump."

In August of 1989, my best friend Jerry Schneiderman and I spent the better part of a week sitting in outdoor cafes on the Buda side of the Danube River, eating extraordinary (and cheap!) food, staying in a grand old hotel, and generally exploring Budapest.

Two months earlier, there had been massive pro-democracy demonstrations involving hundreds of thousands of people, demanding that the Soviet Union let Hungary go. The summer we were there, over a quarter-million showed up in Heroes' Square for the re-interment of the body of Imre Nagy, a hero of the ill-fated 1956 rebellion against the USSR. The final speaker was 26-year-old Viktor Orba'n, a rising politician who would soon be a member of Parliament. To an explosion of enthusiastic cheers, Orba'n defied the Soviets (the only speaker to overtly do so) and openly called for "the swift withdrawal of Russian troops."

Nine months later, in March of 1990, Hungary held its first real elections since 1945; in 1999, it joined NATO; and in 2004, it became a member of the European Union.

For 20 years, Hungary was a functioning democracy; today, it's a corrupt oligarchy.

In nine short years since he was elected in 2010, Prime Minister Viktor Orba'n, now fabulously wealthy by Hungarian standards and an oligarch himself, succeeded in transforming his nation's government from a functioning European democracy into an autocratic and oligarchic regime of single-party rule.

Orba'n took over the Fidesz Party, once a conventional "conservative" political party, with the theme of restoring "Christian" purity and making "Hungary great again." His rallies regularly draw tens of thousands.

He campaigned on building a wall across the entirety of Hungary's southern border, a promise he has largely kept.

He altered the nation's Constitution to do what we'd call gerrymandering and voter suppression, ensuring that his party, Fidesz, would win more than two-thirds of the votes in pretty much every federal election well into the future.

He's now packed the courts so thoroughly that legal challenges against him and his party go nowhere.

His party has rewritten grade school textbooks to say that refugees entering the country are a threat because "it can be problematic for different cultures to coexist." Using this logic, he has locked up refugee children in cages.

When the Hungarian Helsinki Committee said "the indefinite detention of many vulnerable migrants, including families with small children, is cruel and inhuman," Orba'n said the influx of Syrian refugees seeking asylum "poses a security risk and endangers the continent's Christian culture and identity." He added, "Immigration brings increased crime, especially crimes against women, and lets in the virus of terrorism."

Five years and one week before American Nazis rallied in Charlottesville and murdered Heather Heyer, a group of some 700 right-wing "patriots" held a torchlight parade that ended in front of the homes of Hungary's largest minority group, chanting "We will set your homes on fire!" Orba'n's police watched without intervening. In 2013, Zsolt Bayer, one of the founders of Orba'n's party, had called the Roma "animals" unfit to live among people." Orba'n refused to condemn him or the anti-Roma violence.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)
 

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8 people are discussing this page, with 9 comments  Post Comment


Lance Ciepiela

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Representative democracy is a fragile form of government. It cannot be taken for granted. It requires special conditions and constant vigilance to exist and to last lest it perish in the hands of dictators or of different types of oligarchies.

Submitted on Friday, Jan 10, 2020 at 9:30:16 PM

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Stan Crawford

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Such a travesty to see what is happening today being eerily similar to what happened one hundred years ago, yet many don't seem to connect these events. The droning of Soleimani with the USA having prior knowledge that he would be in Iraq to discuss a peace proposal over the Saudi/Yemen conflict is Criminal. click here


IMPOTUS disregard to inform those on the Committees of Congress and other prior obstructions to how the Checks & Balances within the three Branches of government keeps the Republic functioning effectively is ignored. Cocaine Commie Mitch and the GOP's refusal to consider an Obama Supreme Court nominee was deliberate obstruction for political gain. Stacking the Courts with non-qualified Federalist Judges and Barr's refusal to monitor the administration, instead effectively its protector hijacks the AG Dept. for its intended purposes.


tRumps mentally-challenged base on social media call for the reduction of Congressional powers and even consider allowing him to control the White House for a third term, with the excuse the investigations kept his first term from governing. With IMPOTUS getting the corporate/wealthy tax cuts, diverting military funds for Border Wall construction, cutting multitudes from various government Social Programs and getting taxpayers to fund his golf habit. mpgolfcount.com/displayfaq


IMPOTUS first wife said IMPOTUS kept AH speeches by his bedside. click here Watch AF rallies and see the similarities IMPOTUS incorporates into his own. click here Scapegoating certain groups of people for the country's self-created problems has touched the nerve of scared, mostly middle-aged whites who fear for their progeny to become a minority in the country of their birth.


I for one am just thankful I chose not to have children after the unpatriotic, amoral, unethical Reagan was elected in 80, having an inkling of an idea of what would happen, but gobsmacked my predictions pale into comparison of the events to actually have transpired. Now in my slow-downward slide in life saddened to see how a New York turncoat Democrat and serial Con-Man, duped Midwest/Southern Republicans into voting for him. Believing IMPOTUS "MAGA" tripe, as he, his family and the GOP have done more in three years to destroy the USA than the globalist stooge Obama did in eight.



Submitted on Friday, Jan 10, 2020 at 9:51:29 PM

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Dennis Kaiser

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As Trump is always attempting to out-do Obama the solution to eliminating Trump is simply to tell him Obama could hold his breath for 20 minutes.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 11, 2020 at 4:27:26 PM

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Allan Wayne

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click here

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 11, 2020 at 7:19:05 PM

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Dennis Kaiser

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Interesting, but I don't think Trump could last, but would like to see him try.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 11, 2020 at 8:17:55 PM

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Don Smith

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Whether Trump wins or loses in November, I predict social unrest.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 11, 2020 at 7:33:10 PM

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kappie

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a very safe prediction.trump has united the jackels so they will never be happy until they get an outright fascist dictatorship.Just like in the old pre civil war south the radicals in this country are ready for revolution to achieve their aims and think they are being patriotic to achieve them through violence.they have had a taste of power under trump and don't want a little thing like democracy to hinder them in achieveing more

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 11, 2020 at 9:12:08 PM

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Lois Gagnon

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If you're waiting for the Democrats to save us from Trump, you'll be waiting a long time. This country is already an oligarchy and thoroughly corrupt. It was before Trump arrived in Washington. It will take more than an election to dislodge the usurpers. The sooner we accept that reality, the better.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 11, 2020 at 9:23:25 PM

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nelswight

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Exactement, Madame Gagnon.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 11, 2020 at 10:58:48 PM

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