The Lawfare Podcast: Zack Beauchamp on the American Right’s Embrace of the Hungarian Regime of Viktor Orbán

Jen Patja, Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Zack Beauchamp
Wednesday, August 18, 2021, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
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Earlier this month, Tucker Carlson, whose nightly news show on Fox has become the most popular show in U.S. cable news history, traveled to Budapest to record a special version of his show. The centerpiece of his visit was an interview with Hungary's authoritarian leader, Viktor Orbán. But far from criticizing Orbán or questioning him on Hungary's increasing move away from liberal democracy, Carlson was all compliments, praising the fence that Hungary has built along its border and allowing Orbán to lash out against his critics at home and abroad.


Carlson is not the only one with kind words for Hungary's would-be strongman. In the past months, an increasing number of conservative media and intellectual elites have praised Hungary, as well as earlier models like Portugal under the post-World War II right-wing dictator António Salazar, for what they view as its willingness to use state power to fight for conservative social, cultural and religious values.


To discuss what this embrace of foreign authoritarianism means for the American conservative movement, Alan Rozenshtein spoke with Zack Beauchamp, a senior correspondent at Vox, who has written about the right’s embrace of Orbánism and what it means for the future of American democracy.



Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Alan Z. Rozenshtein is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, a senior editor at Lawfare, and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, he served as an Attorney Advisor with the Office of Law and Policy in the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland.
Zack Beauchamp is a senior correspondent at Vox, where he covers challenges to democracy in the United States and abroad, right-wing populism, and the world of ideas.

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