It fits with Paul Hollander’s thesis in Political Pilgrims about why leftist intellectuals supported communist dictatorships during the 20th century: Seeing the human-rights violations, imperialism, and general abuse of Western governments, the communists must not be so bad. The West has propagandized against the Soviet utopia (Or Cuban, Chinese, or Yugoslavian), lying about repression and prison camps to deceive the populace into remaining under the capitalist yolk.
Analogously, the thought process might be: The European Union is bad; therefore, when any country argues against the EU, they must be good. Orban was an anti-communist leader in Hungary, so the former communists must be trying to punish, restrain, and control him. It can’t be that Orban, like so many American politicians LRC loves to criticize, seeks to expand his power and control, so he’s making an argument about the EU encroaching upon Hungarian democracy and sovereignty.
The support highlights a problem with applying American political dichotomies to a situation such as Hungary’s. The political developments in Hungary aren’t favorable for individual rights or the rule of law. Especially considering that, according to NPR, “97 percent of Hungary’s development funds over the past years have been provided by the EU,” Orban’s political posturing that Hungary will not stand “to be dictated to by anyone from Brussels or anywhere else” doesn’t sound like principled opposition to the European Union.
Aside from a lack of information and general ignorance, I can’t understand why LRC would allow someone to propagandize for Orban in such a manner. Nor can I understand its argument about the importance of democracy and sovereignty, as LRC doesn’t desire democracy that much anyway.