The Hungary PM made a ‘rivers of blood’ speech … and no one cares | Cas Mudde | Opinion | The Guardian – My main point is not that the rise of the radical right is unimportant, but that these groups are often not that relevant. We devote far too much attention to relatively irrelevant groups and often ignore more significant phenomena. Think about the hype around the English Defence League or Pegida in Germany, neither of which has had any serious effect. Or how about the enduring fascination with neo-Nazis and skinheads? Both are, at most, a criminal justice issue in a few European countries.
Misguided emphasis on the most extreme and photogenic radical right groups also plays out in Hungary. As the international media continues to give little or no attention to the increasingly radical right rhetoric of prime minister Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party, they continue to publish alarmist articles and op-eds about the rise of the radical right Movement for a Better Hungary (Jobbik) – despite the fact that Fidesz probably has a more radical discourse (though not ideology) than Jobbik.
I am not claiming that Orbán is a radical right politician. Given his many ideological swings, who knows? What I am saying is that it doesn’t matter anymore. Whether he is inspired by a genuine ideology, or has adopted an opportunistic strategy in order to fend off the Jobbik challenge, Orbán has transformed Fidesz into a party that seems increasingly driven by a combination of nativism, authoritarianism and populism – hallmarks of radical right ideology.