Thursday, April 13, 2017

Prime Minister Viktor Orban's State of the Nation Address

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán speaking at the "State of the Nation" address.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the State of the Nation address. Photo: About Hungary/PM Orbán addressing state
of the nation: "Tomorrow doesn’t cast a shadow on today"

On February 10, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán delivered his State of the Nation address; one of the most insightful, informative, and impressive speeches that I have ever read. Like all of his speeches they are well written and delivered with poise and composure.

The State of the Nation address was not only an uplifting message for the Hungarian people, but affirmation of Hungary's success story that began only seven years ago; the result of the many positive changes that Orbán and the Fidesz Party—Hungary's national conservative party that he leads—ushered into Hungary after winning the 2010 parliamentary elections.

At the core of Hungary's success has been God's many, continued blessings that stems in part from Hungary's respect for God and the acknowledgement of its Christian origins in the constitution, The New Fundamental Law of Hungary (April 25, 2011), which also includes Hungary's National Avowal; both of which are explicitly Christian and patriotic.

Prime Minister Orbán, the Fidesz party, and the Hungarian people have responded very positively to God blessings with hard work, dedication, and a determination to rebuild their nation, which has resulted in Hungary's emergence as one of, if not, "the" leading nations in Europe.

The State of the Nation address not only captures much of Hungary's success, but instills in the reader an understanding of the courage, certitude, and strength of the Hungarian people and their unwavering desire to reclaim their autonomy.

That is not to say that Hungary doesn't face any serious challenges ahead; it certainly does and some of the biggest challenges come directly from Brussels, what Viktor Orbán referred to as the "five major attacks."

Today's post not only lists and expands upon the "five major attacks," but includes: how 2016, was a year of uprising and revolt; the success of the Hungarian model; how tomorrow does not cast a shadow on today; and concludes with Orbán's intriguing question, "Did the Government lead the country well in 2016?" 

The year of 2016: a year of uprising and revolt

The State of the Nation address was in part a rebuke of the globalists, the media, and "the prophets of liberal politics," who did not expect the positive changes, that have occurred over the past few years, to have ever become a reality.

Hungary's recent history proved to be not some false narrative written by "clever people," but the existential reality of the Hungarian nation's will for self-determination in which autonomous decisions were made and implemented regarding its own political, economic, and social affairs. Orbán elaborated on this truth, "History is us – not just in Hungary, but throughout Europe. In our flesh-and-blood selves, with our thoughts and ideas, plans and hopes, we do not like – and will not allow – others to tell us or decide for us why we are on this Earth, how, why and what we should or shouldn’t do, or should or shouldn’t think."

This truth proved to be quite a reality check for the "arrogance and superiority" of the rich and powerful, which Orbán specifically highlighted:
A common mistake among humanity’s rich and powerful is to believe that they can act like God and be immune from the consequences. They declare supposedly incontrovertible facts; they push utopias onto other countries and peoples; they decide what others can or cannot say, and what they can or cannot believe in; they decide on membership of elite circles and they believe their global power is unquestionable. Money, the media, global governance and an open global society – in 2016 people in many places around the world had had enough of all this.
Citing the examples of Brexit, the election of President Donald Trump, the ejection of the Italian government, and the Hungarian migrant referendum, Orbán went on to state, "...[P]erhaps there is still more to come."

Indeed 2016, was a year of uprising, a revolt against political correctness, in which countries began to reclaim their autonomy. Here is how Orbán put it:
There has been an uprising by those who are not usually asked, whose voices are not usually heard: those who are not at home in the world of the media; who have been pushed aside by the wheels of the global economy; the seemingly weak and vulnerable; those who have been forced into economic and cultural straightjackets; whose mouths have been gagged in the name of political correctness; who were promised a share of the profits of the global economy and global governance. They demanded the return of their homelands, of their economies and social opportunities. They demanded the return of the world in which they once felt at home: the wide and diverse world of nations.
Orbán went on to state that this was the message of the American, French, Italian, Dutch, and Austrian elections.

The Hungarian model is working

Well into the address, Orbán asked the question, "But what is the state of Hungary's affairs, and those of the Hungarian people?" Making a comparison to other European and Western nations, Orbán distinguished Hungary's state as one in which the people have already put their uprising behind them.

Drawing from its recent history, Orbán made reference to 2010, the year in which Hungary announced its own political and economic system, and after seven years of hard work, has created a successful model. It is a model catered to Hungarian tastes, created from Hungarian traditions, instincts, and a national way of thinking: a system of national cooperation. Here is how Orbán elaborated on this:
...It is national because it springs from within us. It is cooperation because we want to prosper not at each other’s expense, but while helping each other. And it is a system, because its foundations, walls, roof, components and fabric are held together by the rules of common sense, while the timberwork was produced under the iron laws of economy and history...The mortar which binds the walls of the Hungarian model is courage: something without which no political structure can remain standing...
Reclaiming its autonomy meant in part that Hungary took control of its finances which resulted in: sending the International Monetary Fund (IMF) "packing"; called the banks to account; taxed multinationals; and scraped forex loans. Orbán highlighted how Hungary's effort to regain financial control proved to be very successful when he stated, "We rose up when they told us it was impossible to put our finances in order while also jumpstarting economic growth. We set out to do so, and we have shown them a Hungarian economy that has been continuously growing for the past four years."

Hungary's success story can also be expressed as a function of its efforts to seek full employment. Seven years ago, the Hungarian government sought to create 1 million jobs; today that target has almost been met with the creation of 700,000 new jobs. 

In its continued effort to help families, Hungary also reduced families' household utility charges.

Hungary has also built a border fence in 2015, which has proven to be very effective, staving off the flow of migrants coming from the Middle East and other parts of the world. In addition Hungary has recruited and is in the process of training 3,000 border-hunters, of which 462 have recently been sworn in by Prime Minister Orbán. What I found particularly noteworthy was how Orbán clarified Hungary's position on genuine migrants: 
And with the migrant referendum we barred others from deciding whom we should and shouldn’t allow into the country. We will of course be letting in genuine refugees: Germans, Dutch, French and Italians, terrified politicians and journalists, Christians who have been forced to leave their homes and who here in Hungary want to find the Europe they have lost in their homelands.
Other positive changes in Hungary include: credit rating agencies have upgraded Hungary; increased wages; a decrease in family debt; a rise in consumption; and the benefit of hard working Hungarians who have been remunerated for genuine performance of their jobs.

If all this isn't impressive enough, Orbán went on to express his commitment to protecting the Hungarian work force from "cheap outside labour," as well as highlighting the importance of everyones' contribution to nation building:
It would not be good to bring in cheap labour from outside to fill such jobs, as is the fashion in the West. Instead I call on us to value each and every job, every job done well, and the workers who do them. We must be capable of sustaining and running our own country. We need everyone to contribute, meaning that in future we must continue to respect Hungarian cleaning ladies, road workers, dock workers, hod carriers and labourers. This is why we are increasing the minimum wage by 15 per cent and the minimum wage for skilled workers by 25 per cent. We are one nation and one country, and they too have a place in our common future.
Tomorrow does not cast a shadow on today

About mid-way through the address, Orbán continued with what is essentially a very positive report on the state of the nation; so positive that Orbán confidently stated, "Despite all difficulties, with due caution what I can tell you is that the future of Hungarians – including that of schoolchildren and pensioners – is assured." 

Orbán highlighted that Hungary's progress was achieved through hard word and determination.

One of the most fundamental responsibilities of a nation's leader is to ensure the safety and security of the citizenry. Orbán has taken this responsibility seriously by tightening up border security, and through the use a dedicated police force, maintained law and order within. In case of disasters, natural or otherwise, Hungary has disaster management personnel on standby and in position.

Orbán understands that the family is the vital cell of society, and has acted accordingly with a wide-ranging and diverse family support system, which he declares as "...[P]ractically unique in Europe."

Recognizing the importance of children in the "vital cell," Hungary has set out to provide support and assistance to children: nursery school begins at three; 318,000 children have received free meals; free textbooks have been given to 730,000 school children; and the government compensates children who are disadvantaged.

In addition to education, children also receive: guidance; physical education is given on a daily basis; and religious studies and ethics remains very much apart of the curriculum.

Hungary has taken concrete steps to improving health care. In addition to recognizing the importance of health care professions with increased salaries and wages, Hungary has also renovated seventy-one hospitals, constructed twenty-three clinics and renovated fifty-four others, built twenty-seven new ambulance stations and renovated another thirty-five.

Hungary has secured its continued economic development with the conclusion of its foreign affairs and foreign trade agreements. Hungary recently received Russian President Vladimir Putin, soon to be followed by the Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In July, Hungary will be directing the work of the Visegrád Group (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia), and hosting the leaders of sixteen Central European states in Budapest.

Orbán also expressed his concerns for the distant future of Hungary—in fifteen-to-twenty years from now—and the important role its population demographics plays in that future. Simply put, a country cannot seriously hope for a better future with a declining population. In this regard, there is good news for Hungary; that is, marriages are increasing and Hungary is seeing the highest birth rates since 2010. To further encourage population growth, Hungary provides assistance to those who decide to have children.

Hungary takes it one step further and ensures that children are raised to love their homeland, to be patriotic and to have a patriotic frame of mind. Here is what Orbán expressed about this:
Will Hungary be their shared passion, as it is ours? Will they too have a sense of national justice, which is fuelled by patriotism? Will they understand that the only way we can avoid being the slaves of other peoples – and the only way we can remain an independent nation – is if, first and foremost, we declare ourselves to be Hungarian? These are all things that we should take care to teach children in school, because it is only through this that our children can understand what links and binds us together.
Hungary's future progress is by no means without its challenges. Orbán identified those challenges: the five major attacks.

The five major attacks that Hungary must deal with in 2017

Hungary's self-determination has been met with opposition from Brussels, and in 2017, and that opposition has grown and become increasingly hostile. The result of which leaves Hungary with five five major attacks to defend from.

First, the European Commission seeks to prohibit Hungary's own mandated utility price cuts to make way for multinational corporations to set their own prices. Brussels wants to replace individual countries' independent energy policies with central regulation, which essentially removes Member States' right to determine the price of energy. 

Second, the issue of migration. Migrants freely travel across Europe, which Hungary adamantly opposes and seeks to remedy by detaining all illegal migrants until their individual cases are decided upon.

Third, the need for Hungary to defend itself against international organizations, who through their covert actions, seek to influence Hungarian politics. The threat is not from non-government organizations fighting for a cause, but from paid activists of international organizations and their branch offices in Hungary. Orbán specifically referred to the transnational empire of George Soros, who despite Hungary's rejection of the European Union's quota referendum, is working tirelessly to bring hundreds of thousands of migrants into Europe.

Fourth, Brussels' attack on Hungary's tax reduction policies. It is an attempt by Brussels to remove the decision making process and competence from Member States, which Hungary opposes. Orbán asked the very simple question, "Should nations be free to decide on their own taxes?"

Fifth, Brussels' attack on Hungary's job creation subsidies. Such subsidies are used as a tool for economic development to which Orbán asked, "...[S]hould nations be able to decide whether they want to give employers incentives to create jobs, or should this right also be transferred to Brussels?"

Orbán went on to state that, "If we want Hungary to continue being a winning country in 2017, we Hungarians must provide a clear response to these five questions." That response is a matter of self-determination in which Orbán stressed the importance of the government's need to reach an agreement with the people and ask for their support. Here is what he had to further say about the five questions:
In fact behind all five questions there is the issue of national self-determination. So we have returned to the starting point: nations against globalists, sovereigntists against federalists. If we want sure and solid answers, we must come to an agreement with the people. We must ask them and gain their support, as we have done on every important issue so far. It is not enough to state that we shall not allow these things. What is important is that the people of Hungary also shall not allow decisions affecting them to be made over their heads.

"Did the Government lead the country well in 2016?"

At the last segment of the address, Orbán asked the question, "Did the Government lead the country well in 2016?" From the reading of this blog post, one would think the answer to that question is rather obvious, "Yes." As I continued to read the remainder of the address, I was somewhat surprised by what Orbán pointed out to be the typical Hungarian mindset; that is, no matter how well things are going, Hungarians still want to see a government that they are satisfied with.

In my view, the State of the Nation address is proof positive that in fact, Hungary has been led well in 2016. The State of the Nation is a testament to the leadership of Viktor Orbán, the work of the various Ministers, and others in the administration, that the challenges to nation building have been successfully met.

Orbán pointed out what are perhaps two of the most significant indications of Hungary's success: that Hungary is no longer is a nation that is held back by failed leadership; and over the past few years, it has emerged as a country transformed from a "culture of self-pity" into a "culture of action."

Orbán ended his address by providing his opinion on what he considers to be a successful leader and administration:
Sándor Márai taught us that we don’t know the meaning of mediocrity. This is also the cast-iron rule for Hungary’s political leadership. The Hungarians can never be satisfied with mediocre leadership and a mediocre government: we need more, and we deserve more. But the question is this: what makes a good administration and what makes a good leader? In my opinion, good administration takes people to the finish line so that that when they get there, they feel that they hadn’t needed leaders at all.
May 2017 be a year which, when it is over, we feel that it went by like a charm.
Go Hungary! Go Hungarians!

May God continue to bless Hungary with success in 2017 and beyond.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to share your thoughts. Please keep in mind that any disrespectful and improper comments will not be posted.