If you don't get involved in politics, a Jobbik supporter will

April 16, 2015

Newly initiated members of the Hungarian Guard, the paramilitary group founded by Jobbik chairman Gábor Vona

Translation of a post by András Jámbor appearing on daily political blog Kettős Mérce (Double Standards) on 14 April 2015.

Results of the Tapolca by-election did not come out of the blue. Jobbik has been working for ten years to achieve the results it finally achieved on Sunday. The left, on the other hand, has been doing nothing for the exact same period of time. Hungarian citizens who believe in fairness, equality, humanity and humanism lost at least five years.

Parties on the political left did not collapse on Sunday.  The only thing that happened is that it became apparent once again that, like every time in the past years, they were again doing something wrong. Previously the classic Fidesz system provided them with an excuse: an overwhelming media majority on the side of the government, and government propaganda. However, as the power structure in Hungary slowly becomes tri-polar, this no longer serves as an explanation.

This left, lacking thought, fervor and vision can, of course, sustain itself. It sustains itself as there is no challenger on the left. Minor parties struggle with the same kind of credibility and financial resource problems.  And LMP (Politics Can Be Different – a green leftist party that entered parliament in 2010 – ed.) has also lost its way, seemingly unaware of what they want to do. There is no new party surfacing either. But this old left sustains itself also because there is no new generation of political pundits (from the Central European University to the Lutheran vicar of Ajka and the baker from Tiszavasvári) willing to say out loud that simply telling Orbán to “sod off” is not enough any more.  There is nobody with the professional experience to offer something different from mainstram leftist ideas (apparently, this includes the author of the present post, who is admittedly much closer to the old intellectual line of thinking than to something new and freshly challenging.)  These people are simply not around, because doing politics became something awkward, or has been presented as something that could only be done by experts. Admitting in public that we are leftists is considered to be a lame thing to do these days, as well as talking about politics.

Today, the work that should be done by the leftist intellectuals of the country is silently done on the right, and by Jobbik. The result is something else than what we want. Today, when we do not do politics any more, when we are skipping these topics in our friends’ circle, when we avoid conflicts, when we simply turn the television off, every single time a Jobbik or Fidesz supporter is the one deciding what should happen to our country instead of us.

A change will only come – as evidently it will not be brought by replacing Fidesz with Jobbik – if we realize that politics does not belong to the gentlemen’s club. We are politics, our tax money, the schooling of our own children, our street, our square, our life!

We have to take responsibility.  Do not put your head in the sand waiting for “them” to solve your problems, and then wonder and get outraged if they never solve them. Politicians will solve as much as we force them to solve.

We have to take a stand, loudly and even louder, forcing political parties to find the right way, and if the parties are bad, find new ones, and doing it better. Apparently, this is not as simple as it looks like, not simple at all.  But we all are responsible for what will happen to this country.

Right now, we are at the zero point. From here the path leads either downward or upward. 2018 is still very far away. But where we are heading is only up to us. One thing is certain: if we continue to do nothing, than it will be a downward spiral. When we remain idle, a Jobbik guy will act instead of us.