Aha...the USA, the US of A, the US, the country that lies between Mexico and Canada.
All right. The States, the US of A, the US...oh, for God's sake, you know who I'm talking about, don't you? Yes, of course you do. You lot are smarter than a bag full of snooker balls, for one thing! All right, so, having ascertained your superior intelligence qualifications, let's have a gander at this US election situation, shall we?
Now, the thing is that, just as you might expect in Hungary and, in fact, across the globe, people are divided on where they stand. And here's the thing: the US elections are so important, their reach and the sway that they hold over the rest of the globe is quite...well, it's pretty impressive, isn't it? It matters not whether we choose to regard this positively or negatively...it matters not whether we consider that we should be concentrating more on the Indian elections or, for that matter, the elections in Brazil. But we can’t say that we’re affording the USA more than is really their due, can we? No. The USA is so important, as a global player, nobody can afford to, nobody even wants to not pay it the attention we are all paying it.
So, the USA...the 2020 elections. And, more importantly, the two men contesting the election. Because it’s become very personal, as one might have predicted. It seems to have less about the parties, and more about one man with a “hair-don’t”, and one of the oldest men still knocking about.
Say what you will about the elderly, but I know that I was taken aback somewhat when Biden introduced himself as his own wife.
You what, mate? OK, so maybe he’s very much down with the trans crowd, but even so…
Anyway, just as across the globe, a lot of people took it very personally when Trump was elected. The odd thing is that I’ve only seen this with two people: Trump and Orbán. I’m not going to allow myself to become sidetracked here, but let me just say that it’s rare that you have people who react with such overwhelmingly personal hatred for political leaders as you see with these two. We’ll come back to that soon.
So, what we need to consider is not how the global community sees the election, but rather how the Hungarian population sees this election. That’s what excites us.
Now, as far as the Hungarians are concerned, and here, obviously, time and age play their respective roles, so the younger generation(s) might well not see things the same way. Then again, isn’t that half the point of being young? But, back in the day, when Hillary Clinton was Secretary for State, she made it clear that she didn’t like conservative Hungarians. When she left office, John Kerry, the man with a face that would have made any mare proud, came in and picked up where Clinton had left off. Of late, however, things have changed.
Under Trump, the idea of exporting democracy, with all the demons that it brought to the world, has been shelved. And, the Hungarians are better appreciated by the USA than they have been for a while.
This is possibly best represented by the differences we can see in the behaviour of two men: André Goodfriend, a man with a seriously ironic surname, and the Chargé d’Affaires in Budapest when Kerry was in charge, and David Cornstein, present United States Ambassador to Hungary.
Now, obviously, it would be daft to read too much into the behaviour of these two men. They are, after all, under instruction from the State Department.
Goodfriend wasn’t an ambassador. He was the Chargé d’Affaires. That, in itself, is an insult: you’re not important enough for us to bother to find an ambassador. For all your worth, a Chargé d’Affaires will do. Goodfriend didn’t seek out the members of the democratically elected government of Hungary, but preferred to court that most immature of beasts; the Hungarian opposition. Again, Ray Charles could see what was happening, and he was blind, and…dead.
Now, compare that with the behaviour of David Cornstein, the man who is about to leave his post as Ambassador. He has interacted with the members of the Hungarian government. He has appeared on state TV, but he’s also appeared on opposition media, praising that same, democratically elected Hungarian government. Fine, he represents a conservative administration, which obviously brings the parties closer together, but there will always be points of dissent, even with two parties who broadly speaking, agree on most things.
Now, the Hungarians cannot hope to influence the result of the elections in the USA (historically, only the Russians can do that sort of thing), but hopefully, the Hungarians will be rewarded by Trump being re-elected. It’s a selfish thing: we know that the Democrats have, for whatever perverse reason, got a bit of a permanent hard-on for Hungary when there’s a conservative government in power. This only leads to trouble…for us. A minor representative in place of an Ambassador? That’s a slap in the face that nobody deserves.
Now, nobody apart from the US electorate can ensure the victory of either Trump or Biden…and then, of course, in a few months, Harris, so to some extent, to us, sitting on the sidelines, watching, this is academic. All we can do is wait and see. But, like me, a lot of people are going to be rooting for Trump, simply because we prefer dealing with people who look to economics, not hair-styles as foundation stones for policy.