Viktor Orbán’s Reelection: Another ‘King’ Secures His Reign
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán just secured his third consecutive reign. While other governments around Europe crumble, Orbán enjoys great success. He won not only a two-third majority in parliament, but also the admiration of populists and prominent politicians around Europe. His victory on April 8 represents a victory for all populists in Europe. It’s a sign of a soon-coming radical European leadership.
“Viktor Orbán is not an outlier but a forerunner,” George Friedman wrote for Geopolitical Futures. “We normally don’t write on elections, on the premise that politicians are trapped in the impersonal forces of reality and therefore personalities matter little,” he explained. “This election is somewhat different because it shows that the forces that want to reorganize Europe are strong and growing stronger.”
Yascha Mounk, lecturer on government at Harvard, titled his article, “Hungary’s Election Was a Milestone in the Decline of Democracy.”
Orbán’s Rise and Acquisition of Dictatorial Powers
Orbán is an unusually strong leader. Since his election victory in 2010, he has made great strides in Hungary’s transformation. He has gained much control over the nation’s media and has silenced various government critics. Gaining the two-thirds majority in parliament means Orbán will face little opposition passing laws or even changing the Constitution.
His popularity can only be explained by his stance against mainstream Europe. In 2014, Orbán began to outwardly oppose Brussels and European bureaucracy. He presented himself as a savior intervening for Hungarians. He claimed to uphold all that Hungary stands for. Most notably in 2015, he opposed German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policy, closing Hungary’s borders and refusing to take in refugees.
One of his boldest claims is that he seeks to defend Christian Europe.
Critics present Orbán as a populist, anti-Semitic dictator. This despite the fact that this “dictator” is very popular in his own country and notable Jews have spoken out supporting him. The United Nations human rights chief called him a racist. Others portray him as a political outcast who opposes all that liberal democracy stands for. He is accused of dividing Europe. Many fear that leaders like Orbán will make a united Europe impossible.
But will his ideas divide Europe in the long term? “To see what is ahead for European unity, look at what is behind,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry noted. Historically, we see that the basis of Orbán’s ideas has served as a unifying glue. A great deal of evidence points to the fact that history is about to repeat itself.
Popular With Populists and the Christian Social Union
Despite deep disapproval from the left, Orbán’s success has also been highly praised and admired. Populist parties around Europe celebrated his victory. Populists are on the rise across Europe. Many have entered the government or made governing extremely difficult, such as in Germany and Italy. Many populist leaders regard Orbán’s great success as a role model for their own campaigns. He is a critic of the European Union, battling against immigration and authoritarianism. But rather than representing Europe’s political outcast, he should be seen as the “forerunner” of a new era.
Besides the support of Europe’s populists and right-wing extremists, Orbán is also celebrated by Germany’s Christian Social Union (csu). The csu is a mostly Catholic party and, like Orbán, keen to defend Europe’s so-called Christian heritage. csu leader and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer shares some of the same passions. Both are strong critics of Merkel’s refugee policy: When Orbán was strongly criticized for refusing to accept immigrants, he enjoyed Seehofer’s support.
Orbán’s ideas have found favor with many of Europe’s dissatisfied citizens. Millions are upset that their political views are increasingly classified as radical and racist. The rise of leaders such as Viktor Orbán gives them confidence, while support from parties like the csu provides moral backing. A political-religious movement is rising. Though it is somewhat contrary to current mainstream Europe, nationalistic beliefs have united the Continent historically.
Beliefs That Unite East and West Europe
The refugee crisis has served as a tool to further unite East European countries against the EU. Poland, in particular, and Hungary represent a bulwark against the current government of the EU. While Hungary refuses to go along with various EU laws, Poland can veto any actions the EU might try to impose on its partner. Due to Europe’s rule of unanimity, Hungary goes unpunished. The Czech Republic, with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, is leaning in the same direction.
While Eastern Europe unifies, the rift with the West grows, and no end is in sight. This division is not a phenomenon of our time but a historical reality. And although the recurrence of its historic division is apparent, the historically unifying glue is also beginning to appear.
Consider Austria’s new chancellor. Sebastian Kurz is a strong advocate for Eastern Europe and believes that Europe’s Christian heritage needs to be defended. Orbán and Kurz share many political ideas and are often compared to one another, not least because of their strong opposition to Merkel’s refugee policy and the corresponding popularity they enjoy. Kurz has even been accused of a dictatorial power grab similar to that of Orbán’s. Kurz also enjoys political relationships with Western Europe; he sees Austria as the bridge between the two sides of the Continent.
Although heads of state on both sides of the Continent often couldn’t disagree more, the common people are finding more and more in common. West and East Europeans are concerned about immigration, border control, security and preservation of culture and religion. And their voices are being heard.
This has led to dramatic, radical, new leadership in Europe.
Historically, democracies have crumbled as crises intensified. We are witnessing the beginnings of this in Europe today. Strongmen are rising in Europe—they are no longer on the fringe, but are forerunners of a new age.
The Rise of 10 Kings
A prophecy in Revelation 17 describes 10 kings rising in Europe who will be of one mind and gain power at approximately the same time: “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast” (verses 12-13).
These are not normal heads of state. The Bible calls them “kings,” not because of royal lineage but because they act like kings and are admired for it. The late Herbert W. Armstrong taught that these “kings” would rule as dictators. Of all the current leaders in Europe, Orbán probably most resembles the description of a dictator. But many are hot on his heels. Read “Introducing Europe’s Eastern Strongmen” to learn more about the rising radical new leadership in Europe.
Orbán is likely one of the 10 kings who will dramatically change Europe. Today, strongmen are rising and changing the course of entire countries; tomorrow, they will change the course of the entire world.
But before that happens, these kings will have to unite. Mr. Armstrong’s newsmagazine, the Plain Truth, prophesied that religion will once again play the critical factor in Europe’s unification (February 1972):
One of the biggest roles desired by the Vatican is that of mediator between East and West. … The Vatican, you can be sure, will continue to do its part in courting the Eastern European countries. Its Ostpolitik has been to bring them back into the “fold” for a long time. And that is certainly the path it must continue to travel.
Many recognize great significance in Orbán’s rise, but fail to see the real power working behind the scenes. Request your free copy of our book The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy to learn how Europe’s history is prophesied to repeat itself one last time.