The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), organized by the Centre for Fundamental Rights, will take place in Budapest today and tomorrow and opened with a speech by Viktor Orbán. The prime minister summed up in 12 points what has led the domestic right to success and what recipe the United States should follow.
The prime minister welcomed the participants to the conference, highlighting Václav Klaus, former president of the Czech Republic, and noting that the Czech Republic formed its fifth conservative-Christian government four days ago.
Orbán reminded the participants that „in the 1980s, we only learned about what was happening in America from samizdats illegally distributed in the former Eastern bloc. At that time, we envied the culture of democratic debate and freedom, we envied President Reagan for his charisma and dynamism, while Hungary was left with grey-suited communist functionaries, a stifling atmosphere and hopelessness.”
Orbán told the conference participants that „if you have seen the Chernobyl series, you may have an idea of what I am talking about,” and added:
„The ultimate condition for victory is that we must become the best.”
Orbán said that „the best way to contribute to the event is to tell us how the communists and liberals were defeated several times. How did Hungary become a bastion of conservative and Christian values? Battle brings out the best in everyone and purges everything that makes you weak.”
„Trump did in 2020 exactly what we did in 2002. We governed with excellence and were dragged down by the swamp of the left. Between 2002 and 2010, the Socialists spent people’s money, the economy went into recession,” Orbán said, recalling the reason for Fidesz’s 2002 election defeat.
The most important part of the speech was the PM’s 12-point recipe, „open for use and free for the taking,” which he said contributed to his party’s ability to „come back in 2010, after eight years of fighting brick by brick.”
Point 1: Play by your own rules. According to Orbán, “we must not accept the path offered by others” because „whoever plays by his opponents’ rules will lose.”
Point 2: Establish national conservatism. Implement conservative policies in domestic politics.
Point 3: Have a nation-first foreign policy: “The nation comes first, we need a foreign policy based on national interests, and this is often not easy,” Orbán said. He then added that „Hungary condemns the aggressor, Russia, and helps the invaded, Ukraine, but Hungary is defended by NATO and the Hungarian Defence Forces, not by Ukraine.”
Point 4: Have your own media. Because according to Orbán: „Modern Western media are aligned with the left-wing position. I know the old ethos of Western democracy that party politics and the press should be separate, but the democrats in America do not adhere to that”.
Point 5: Expose your opponents’ intentions. Orbán said, „We have to be taboo-busters, we have to expose what the left is up to before they come to power.”
Point 6: Focus on the economy. Orbán said that „we should pursue economic policies that benefit even those who did not vote for us.”
„People want to get ahead in life, if a right-wing government cannot deliver that, it is doomed to fail,” Orbán said.
Point 7: Don’t be pushed to the edge: „People don’t want either extreme.”
Point 8: Read every day. The PM said that „books are the best way to convey and understand complex issues” and that he himself reads every day.
Point 9: Have faith.
„A lack of faith is dangerous, if you don’t believe that there will be a final reckoning, you feel you are in a position to do anything in your power. I myself have learned that if you don’t practice a life of faith, then you will be lost,” he said.
Point 10: Make friends. Orbán said that conservatives can clash on the smallest issue because „we care about intellectual nuances,” but we should always look for common ground.
Point 11: Build communities. According to the prime minister,
„there is no conservative politics without functioning communities. The lonelier people are, the more they go to the Liberals.”
Point 12: Build institutions. „You need institutions and institutes for successful politics.” Orbán said that in the past the communists came from the East, „we never thought they would come back from the West.”