Why is Everyone so Angry at Orban Family Policies?


My article in Project Syndicate on Hungary’s new family policy proposals has already proven controversial. A lot of people hate Orban and don’t think anything he does is of any value. I get it. However, I was inspired to write this article defending his family policy proposals because a. they seem fairly reasonable to me, b. I believe they will be popular politically, as they target benefits at the median voter, and c. both the center-right and center-left have failed to develop their own policies for benefitting the median voter and the broad majority of Hungarians. Decades of allegiance to neoliberal or free market policies that have caused massive job losses and outmigration has left the mainstream parties identified with dysfunctional, pro-Western, pro-internationalist policies that have not done enough for the average voter. Meanwhile, Orban identifies his radical nationalist agenda with pro-social family policies. Guess who has the better electoral strategy?

Mitchell Orenstein