A truly decent and strong leader does not try to come across as infallible, but as one who is able to recognize, acknowledge and correct his mistakes.
Fidesz’s constant bellicosity and never-ceasing, violent success propaganda have completely corrupted the operators and faithful servants of this system. In addition to its appalling arrogance, Orbán’s so-called National Cooperation System (NER) has now shown its even darker and uglier face during the epidemic: its cold inhumanity. It was already abundantly clear that all the icing they put on themselves only serves to cover up their true selves: they talk of a nation while excluding anyone from it; they trumpet the slogan “the homeland before all” while robbing it blind and chewing all its flesh off its bones like a herd of hyenas, with no shame at all.
For the NER, even now, it is more important to maintain the propaganda of success, to keep on winning, to keep on showing the winner, than to face reality or simple human humility. It is their manic driving force to be seen as infallible, as being flawless, and that everything happens according to their plan and script. While the rule of law mechanism has entered into force, at home they say that they had it removed. The government’s registration verification portal collapsed spectacularly, yet they did not say that “we messed up, but we will fix it quickly.” Instead, they said that someone had launched a vile overload attack on it. They said that they had “dragged the epidemic onto the ground and it now went in defence mode;” in reality, the third wave had quickly struck after that, and it was deadlier than ever before. Although we have the highest number of people dying of the epidemic in proportion to the population, they say that it should not be counted as such, but by a larger sample projected over previous years. Excuse me? But there was an even more shameful twist when the record number of deaths was explained as „data jam”; For Fidesz, the thousands of people who have passed away are just a data jam. For us, there are human lives and human tragedies behind every number.
And let us stop here for a moment. I’m an old hand at politics; I’ve seen a lot, I’ve put up with a lot. I really like sharp debates, and when they hit me, I get even more hardened. But the government, the leading figures of NER, have now crossed a line with their inhumane attitude that was completely unimaginable before. And from which there is no turning back, only moral and humiliating failure. In recent months, more than twenty-six thousand people have died as a result of the epidemic. Just from the epidemic. Twenty-six thousand Hungarians have passed; so many families have been. shattered, so many destinies torn apart. This is not a statistic! This is not a series of numbers that the toffs of the propaganda ministry will bend until it is – as the head of the Fidesz government called it ‘tenable’! The self-satisfyingly sickening insistence of the governing parties on maintaining the image of ‘we are first in everything’; has now turned into something so inhuman that will render this crew utterly unacceptable. From the grumbling, frothing secretaries of state to the role-less, human- faced, but quietly assisting bridge men.
It is simply incomprehensible why they are incapable of even a modicum of humility, a second of humaneness and a sincere respect for the deceased. They are incapable of acknowledging that, as decision-makers with absolute authority, they are responsible for the fact that more than 26 000 people have already lost their lives in this epidemic. It is a testament to their cold immorality that they grasp at every straw, every mispronounced sentence, and the media poodles sent blow headline balloons promptly, chasing the easier prey of the opposition with cameras, to distract, to deflect, to blame it all on others. I have seen many things from Fidesz, and I admit that some of their political moves have even impressed me at times, but the kind of honourless dishonesty that they are capable of committing now, even in an epidemic situation that has claimed the lives of thousands of Hungarians, is simply disgraceful. There is room for many things in political games, in the competition for communication and power, but not this kind of vile behaviour. The Prime Minister of Fidesz recently said that he would measure the success of the epidemic management by the number of lives saved. And now, when the nation has already lost a city’s worth of lives, he is laughingly juggling with the statistics like a cardboard statesman. The least a true leader could do at such a time is to bow his head with dignity, stand up with humility and apologize to the nation he serves. Taking responsibility and acknowledging our failures is not a weakness, it is an exemplary virtue. There are 26,000 reasons why it should be done. The people behind the numbers would deserve it.