WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Biden administration is snubbing the Hungarian government by not inviting it to an upcoming international forum on the state of democracy around the world.
The U.S. State Department has stricken Hungary from the list of over 110 invitees to the first-ever Democracy Summit, to be held in Washington, Dec. 9–11. Hungary is the only country in the European Union not invited.
Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjártó described the exclusion as "disrespectful."
"Hungarian–American relations were at their peak during the Trump presidency," Szijjártó told the Financial Times last week, when asked about the snub.
"We have a great deal of respect for the former president, a respect that is mutual," the minister noted. "We give the same respect to every elected U.S. president, regardless of what we get in return, but it is clear that those who were on friendly terms with Donald Trump were not invited."
Uzra Zeya, a U.S. State Department official, refused to offer an explanation for the exclusion, according to Népszava, a Hungarian newspaper.
When asked why Poland, for example, had been invited to the summit while Hungary was not (despite ongoing criticism of both countries by leftists in America), Zeya deflected.
The Biden appointee said the State Department's "intention was to involve all countries that are committed to supporting the summit's three core goals: combating authoritarianism, battling corruption and promoting respect for human rights at home and abroad."
She added that the "United States is inviting regionally diverse, well-functioning and emerging democracies that are interested in creating a fairer and more peaceful world to the summit."
Others offered more substantial takes on the omission.
American journalist Matthew Tyrmand — who has an ear close to the ground in Central Europe — said the "guys" in Budapest anticipated the snub. They're a little "chafed about it," he explained, "but at the same time they're taking it in stride, and they know what they're up against."
Tyrmand noted the sabotage Trump's ambassador to Hungary, David Cornstein, experienced at the State Department, where his every attempt to defend Hungary and its prime minister, Viktor Orbán, was thwarted.
The journalist added that the snub "only bolsters their [Hungary's] own case to their own voters and to the Right all over Europe that anybody who moves to the right at all, who deviates from the establishment's globalist left line, is going to be treated as a pariah by that establishment."
He also pointed to the fake news describing Hungary, under Orbán's leadership, as a "fascist autocracy." "I was on the ground there," he stated. "Freest country in the E.U."
Balázs Orbán (no relation to Viktor Orbán), Hungary's strategic state secretary, asked in a Tweet if the omission meant Hungary was actually a "preeminent democracy." The state secretary referred to Hungary's listening to the will of the people in a recently decided referendum:
The invitees of #SummitforDemocracy will discuss strategies to improve their democracies. HU was not invited: does this make us the preeminent democracy? Sure, we've know how to respect the opinion of the ppl, like with the recently decided referendum on child protection law.— Balázs Orbán (@BalazsOrban_HU) December 3, 2021
Journalist Milo Yiannopoulos, who recently gave a speech in Budapest at the invitation of the Orbán government, came to the defense of Hungary, telling Church Militant:
Mr. Orbán has seen American "democracy" for what it really is. He and his countrymen will not be weeping at missing out on one of the international community's endless, pointless "summits" — especially a gathering about democracy led by a banana republic that tolerates stolen elections. It's like being uninvited from a birthday party by the fattest and most unpopular kid in school.
Hungary is one of the few countries in Europe whose leaders are brave enough, and centered enough in Christ, to do what's right for its people. How mighty, how heroic and how eternal that nation seems today — and how small and vindictive, by comparison, America does, with these petty torments and revenges visited upon anyone who dares to defy globalist orthodoxy.
This is not the first time Hungary has been snubbed by U.S. government officials. In 2016, Bill Clinton scolded Hungary and Poland as he was stumping for his wife's presidential campaign. "Poland and Hungary, two countries that would not have been free but for the United States and the long Cold War, have now decided this democracy is too much trouble."
"They want Putin-like leadership: Just give me an authoritarian dictatorship and keep the foreigners out," Clinton said of the two former Soviet satellites.
Hillary Clinton herself recently slammed Hungary in an interview with Rachel Maddow, comparing it to "Trump and his enablers, and those who invaded and attacked our Capitol." Clinton went on:
They don't like the world we're living in, and they have that in common with, you know, autocratic leaders from Russia to Turkey to Hungary to Brazil and so many other places, who are driven by personal power and greed and corruption, but who utilize fears about change to try to get people to hate one another and feel insecure and, therefore, be easily manipulated by demagogues and by disinformation.
Despite Biden's snub, Hungary played a key role in another summit held in Warsaw, Poland, this weekend.
A number of Europe's conservative leaders — including Orbán, Poland's prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki, France's Marine Le Pen and the leader of Spain's Vox party, Santiago Abascal — met to discuss the future of the European Union.
The participants pledged to "put a stop to the disturbing idea of creating a Europe governed by a self-appointed elite" and to the "social engineering aiming at creating a new 'European nation.'" They instead placed emphasis on the role of "free and equal nation-states."
"We want to change the politics of Brussels," Orbán indicated ahead of the summit.
Ron Paul called Biden's Democracy Summit "a joke" and summed up what many think about Biden's passive-aggressive move:
The Biden administration does not like that Hungary resisted the mass invasion of refugees from countries and cultures absolutely alien to Hungary's history. Biden does not like the fact that Hungarians have voted time and time again for a conservative government that openly professes Christian values. But what they hate most is that when Washington says "jump," Budapest doesn't always ask "how high?"
The snub may actually give Hungary and its prime minister more time and energy to devote to planning for the upcoming 2022 election — predicted to be a tight one.