Photo by Meghan Hessler on Unsplash

Young Republicans Love Orban

As Much As They Love Trump

In Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass,” little Alice has an epiphany when she realizes that things were getting “curiouser and curiouser.”
She would probably have the same sentiments if she heard that the New York Young Republican Club, full of stuffy, outdated traditions, and young, stuffy outdated people who were old before their time, have endorsed the reelection of Viktor Orban, the far right wing Prime Minister of Hungary, “to help preserve Western Civilization.”
And poor Alice wouldn’t know what to make when a former president and failed authoritarian had glowing words in support of Orban, a far-right, nationalist, authoritarian leader who has defied America’s allies in Europe and moved to consolidate control over the media and judiciary and been criticized as being xenophobic and anti-Semitic. And young Alice girl would have been utterly flabbergasted and gobsmacked that the host of the most watched show on Fox News was promoting Orban and Hungary “as a model for America’s future.”
What is going on and why is there a growing level of support from the Republican right wing for an extremist like Orban? It is part of a wave, a movement toward authoritarian rule as a solution to the troubles that white Americans and whites in Europe are feeling over being “replaced” by non-Americans and non-Christians.

The best way to understand the drift is to understand the many groups like the New York Young Republicans. I understand that an organization like the New York Young Republicans would endorse right wing, GOP candidates in the U.S., but I cannot fathom why the organization is urging voters in Hungary to support Orbin. It’s like Slovokian newspapers editorializing about an American election.
In their first ever foreign endorsement, the Young Republican group said on Jan. 24 that Orbán has been “a great defender of Western Civilization and the rights of the family” and that he has “stalwartly defended the people of Hungary and pushed back against globalist encroachment on his nation’s sovereignty.” Where have I heard that before? That is rhetorical, I hope.
The endorsement said that Orban has worked toward “national sovereignty, family-centered policies, full employment, and the preservation of cultural heritage” and that Orbin “built an effective wall along Hungary’s border in which all Hungarians should take pride.” The endorsement also applauded Orban for having “engineered the eviction of the George Soros-funded Central European University from Hungary, eliminating a toxic entity that fomented hatred of Western Civilization among Hungarian youth.” Soros, the billionaire Hungarian philanthropist, is a common target of anti-Semites in the U.S. and abroad.
The endorsement said Orbán is a member of the Calvinist Hungarian Reformed Church, his wife and their five children are Roman Catholic, and “he is a stalwart supporter of Christian values in his role as Prime Minister.” The endorsement called on all countries in the west to support each another to fight off “The ruling elite and political establishment’s failed leadership and ideology (which) have eroded the meaning and purpose of citizenship.”
If this all sounds familiar, it is, right out of the U.S. far right, trumpian playbook to purge the country of people of different cultures and to return to a time of authoritarian leadership. The New York Young Republican Club doesn’t sound very young in its stale politics and its strict, stuffy rules of dress requiring men to wear “a two-piece or three-piece suit of traditional color (black, gray, or blue with no pattern or a traditional pattern [e.g., narrow pinstripes, birdseye, nailhead].”
“Women are equally advised that professional dress includes a business suit or skirt-and-blouse combination with trousers or a skirt in dark, unobtrusive colors. Dresses of appropriate style may also be worn. Shoes should be close-toed and heeled. Sneakers and work boots are not appropriate. Hats and headgear are not permitted indoors.”
To understand the New York Republican Club’s endorsement of Orban, start with Gavin Wax, a 27-year-old New York-based far right, political commentator and columnist who is the 76th President of the New York Young Republican Club. Last August, the American Jewish Congress (AJC) fired Wax from a post in marketing for the organization, calling Wax “a political activist with ties to white nationalists.”
The AJC reported that since October, 2018, Wax has been listed as a partner in the Yorkville Group, a political consultancy firm “whose founder bragged about advising the anti-Muslim, Nazi-sympathizing German political party Alternative fur Deutschland.” Also, in October 2018, Wax called the Proud Boys a “patriotic fraternal group who like America and beer” although the ADL sees the group as a “violent, nationalistic, Islamophobic, transphobic and misogynistic” extremist group. Members of the Proud Boys militia have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6, 2020 attack on the Capitol.
A blog by the group, Angry White Men, said that in July, Wax appeared on a podcast run by VDARE, a white-nationalist and anti-immigrant website. On Twitter, Wax has praised Sen. Joseph McCarthy and Enoch Powell, the British politician who delivered the violently anti-immigrant “Rivers of Blood” speech in 1968, and has parroted conspiracy theories about Soros.
Wax also has tweeted that “Jesus was white,” called Black Lives Matter a “Marxist anti-white movement hellbent on destroying civil society,” and called for Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-N.Y., to be “deported.”
The New York Republican Club also announced that white nationalist Katie Hopkins would be its “first guest speaker” on NYYRC Live. Hopkins, who was banned from Twitter, once referred to another Twitter user as a “Jigga-Boo,” and called for a “homeland” for “white Brits.”
In mid-July, Wax announced a partnership between the Republican club and Lega Giovani — the youth wing of Italy’s far-right Lega Nord.
Wax is the former deputy political director for the 2017 mayoral campaign of Nicole Malliotakis, who has since been elected to Congress and is a strong trumper. Wax also was the New York State director for the 2016 Ted Cruz presidential campaign.
The New York Young Republican Club is open to Republicans between the ages of 18 and 40. It is the oldest and largest GOP chapter in the United States, founded in 1911, and affiliated with the New York State Young Republicans and the Young Republican National Federation, as well as the county, state, and national Republican committees.
New York City Republican organizations were once a bastion of moderate Republicans with liberal or centrist views on social issues, but no more. The organization has become strongly pro-trump and anti-vaccine. In December 2020, the club hosted a gala in Jersey City, where the participants flouted public health guidelines. Authorities ultimately shut down the party.
The club’s vice president, Viswanag B. Burra, said the vaccine mandates are communist and fascist, and compared her plight to those of Jewish people during the Holocaust.
“I don’t think it’s communism — I think it’s more like a dictatorship, like we’re living in a Nazi Germany and the only thing that’s missing is the camps and the gas,” Burra said.
Board member Pedro Gonzalez, an associate editor at “Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture,” wrote that the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol was “a riot” but not a “terrorist attack.”
“And though the word ‘insurrection’ (is) the one most commonly used by Democrats to describe that day, not one person has been charged with that crime,” Gonzalez said.
The club’s Board of Advisors include Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., who was censured by the House of Representatives and stripped of committee assignments for posting an edited clip of “Attack on Titan” depicting him killing a titan with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s face and attacking a character with President Joe Biden’s face on social media.
Another board member is Darren Beattie, a right-wing activist and conspiracy theorist, who President Biden forced out of his post on the commission that oversees US Holocaust memorials abroad. Beattie has been outspoken in pushing the conspiracy theory that the Jan. 6 riot was instigated by FBI agents. Trump praised Beattie for promoting the claim in a recent statement.
“It was the honour of my life to serve in the Trump Administration. I love President Trump, who is a fearless American hero, and continue to support him 100%. I have no further comment,” Beattie said.
Board member Pedro Gonzalez, an associate editor at “Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture,” wrote that the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol was “a riot” but not a “terrorist attack.”
“And though the word ‘insurrection’ (is) the one most commonly used by Democrats to describe that day, not one person has been charged with that crime,” Gonzalez said.



Journalist for 40 years and now a creative writer

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