USAID wants to help independent media thrive and increase civic engagement in Hungary.Continue reading
The Center for Fundamental Rights (Alapjogokért Központ) hosted a panel talk on Tuesday with Shea Bradley-Farrell, the director of the Counterpoint Institute, who joins the conservative think tank as a senior visiting fellow. We sat down with the national security and foreign policy expert to discuss US-Hungarian relations.
– In your articles, you harshly criticized US Ambassador David Pressman and the Biden administration’s attitude towards Hungary. Why did Washington revert back to the same attitude we witnessed during the Obama era?
– Because Hungary is a successful country that follows a different path. Your government has a different position than the US administration, for example on the EU wanting to push the LGBTQ curriculum in your schools. Your refusal to accept this makes our administration angry. Because for some reason, the liberal far left holds on to pushing the ideology to your country as well that teaching children to cut off their body parts and change who they are before they even have any idea who they are is okay. It is a common way to call this woke, but I think it is quite frankly, just sick.
– Samantha Power, the head of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), recently visited Hungary. What does that say about their tactics?
– Samantha Power is doing exactly what Pressman did at his confirmation hearing. He mischaracterized the state of rule of law, human rights, and media in Hungary. According to him, Hungary is authoritarian, not democratic. Samantha Power used the same language. In a tweet, she basically said that they were going to protect these things in Hungary. But this is all baloney as neither the rule of law nor human rights or the media is in danger in Hungary. There are countries in the world where people are being arrested, imprisoned, or even pushed off buildings for being gay. Those are real human rights abuses and we should say no to that. But Democrat administrations are going into countries with a program to desensitize people about homosexuality and especially transgenderism, while it is none of their business. This is a type of imperialistic behavior, also followed by Samantha Power.
– As a Senior Fellow at the Center for Fundamental Rights, your work is focused on Hungary. What is your main message, your main goal?
– I want to explain what Hungary’s story is really about, that the national identity of Hungary is important to the success of Hungary, the success of the European Union, and the success of all of Western civilization. I also want to explain Hungary’s very pragmatic position on the war in Ukraine.
The reason Hungary is opposing energy sanctions against Russia is not that they are poor allies, but because the country could not survive without Russian energy.
Most people in the US do not understand that and they do not know Hungary’s history either, that being occupied by the Soviet Union is part of its very recent memory. To summarize, many people do not know anything about Hungary and often do not really want to know either. But I believe that Americans, especially conservatives, are learning more and more about what Hungary is doing and it resonates well with us because it is similar to our own idea of freedom.
– Are you staying in Hungary for the duration of the fellowship?
– I will be going back and forth because as president of the Counterpoint Institute, I have work to do in the US too. But I will be in Budapest quite a lot this year, for example, I am coming back for CPAC. This week, and also later this year, I am doing many interviews for the book. I have already met Justice Minister Judit Varga, Fidesz MEP Kinga Gál, Márton Békés, the research director of the House of Terror Museum, and also János Csák, Minister of Culture and Innovation. Later I also hope to do focus groups with people who are not in support of the government, to get their perspective too.
Featured photo via MTI/Soós Lajos