Hungarian strongman Viktor Orbán was the toast of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this week, but that doesn't mean all conservatives are on board with lionizing him.
Writing on Twitter, American Enterprise Institute fellow Ivana Stradner warned her fellow conservatives about putting Orbán on a pedestal, while highlighting his authoritarian stances on a number of issues.
"Hungary is not even a democracy," she argued. "Freedom House classifies it as a hybrid regime, with mostly free but unfair elections, a politicized judiciary, and restricted media freedom. It is one thing to praise Hungary from the comfort of America’s constitutional protections."
Stradner then pointed to Orbán's alliances with both Vladimir Putin's Russia and the Chinese Communist Party as reasons for American conservatives to be wary of what he's peddling.
"Hungary remains one of the most pro-Moscow, pro-Beijing countries in Europe," she wrote. "Not only has refused to supply Ukraine with military aid, Orbán thought it an opportune moment to appoint a defense minister with extensive business interests in Russia, Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky. China? Hungary’s ties China are no less obvious. Hungary was among the first European countries to join China’s Belt and Road initiative and maintains a strategic partnership with Beijing in fields from vaccines production to digital industries."
In summing up, Stradner concluded that "Orbán's Hungary has been a fair-weather friend to the United States" and "the sooner Orbán-enamoured conservatives realize that they are being taken for a ride by an opportunist, the better."
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