This article was published in The Bulwark. Below is a teaser. You can read the full article by clicking the link at the bottom of the post.
“When Hungarian armies invaded Europe around A.D. 900, shooting arrows from horseback and swirling like dervishes in their saddles, the terrified defenders of Western Christendom confused these “breeds of Satan” with descendants of Attila the Hun, the feared and famed enemy of the late Roman Empire. In truth, the Hungarians had just galloped in from the Russian steppes, where they spoke in a strange tongue unrelated to the other languages of Europe. Unkempt eaters of uncooked meat, they called themselves Magyars, but everyone else, not sure how to pronounce the name, called them Hungarians. Ever since, the misnamed Magyars have been an enigmatic people in the heart of Europe.
“Hungary’s obscurity, often a disadvantage, has worked to the benefit of Viktor Orbán, who has disguised his dismemberment of democracy through a package of laws written in impenetrable Hungarian legalese that only a handful of experts can hope to decipher. Beyond that, he’s spent billions of dollars trying to win friends and influence people by touting Hungary as a Christian conservative Disneyland where the dreams of those who oppose gay marriage really do come true.”
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