by Peter Franklin
Thursday, 22
October 2020
Spotted
07:00

Will Joe Biden come after Hungary?

He might want to put America's house in order first
by Peter Franklin
Joe Biden arrives to participate in a town hall in Philadelphia

Did Joe Biden really describe Poland and Hungary as “totalitarian regimes”?

Well, this is what he said at a recent ‘town hall’ event in Philadelphia: “You see what’s happened in everything from Belarus to Poland to Hungary, and the rise of totalitarian regimes in the world, and as well, this president [Donald Trump] embraces all the thugs in the world.”

Biden’s critics are convinced he’s made a serious gaffe — or has revealed his intention to punish countries whose elected governments dare to defy the liberal internationalist orthodoxy.

However, it’s important to note that Biden, like his opponent, is a rambler. The bit about Trump embracing “all the thugs in the world” was clearly the soundbite, which is what the mainstream media duly reported. The rest of what he said comes across as garbled filler and so shouldn’t be over-interpreted. It’s highly unlikely that a Biden administration would classify the Polish and Hungarian governments as “totalitarian” or even “authoritarian”. That would be rather awkward for US-EU relations given that Poland and Hungary are member states — and the EU requires its members to be democracies.

Still, can we expect a less indulgent attitude from the US to the elected populist governments of central and eastern Europe — and, if so, would this be justified?

There is some cause for concern in Hungary, where the government has an utterly dominant position over a weak and divided opposition. The situation isn’t remotely as bad as in Belarus, of course — and Biden was wrong to group the countries together.

So there’d be nothing wrong with a Biden White House that expected more from America’s closest allies. However, its moral authority in this matter would require that standards be applied consistently. Let’s not forget that the EU country that’s been locking-up opposition politicians of late is Spain, not anywhere east of the old Iron Curtain. America might also want to put its own house in order before lecturing others — for instance by sorting out its shambolic voting system and doing more to protect free speech on university campuses.

And then there’s the toughest test of all: China. It’s all very well Biden accusing Trump of embracing all the thugs in the world — but, as President, would he maintain Trump’s confrontational stance towards Beijing or would he soften it?

After all, if you want to see what totalitarianism really looks like then try Tibet, Hong Kong or Xinjiang.

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Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago

Joe Biden will go after any country that expresses any desire to be free or think for itself, while allowing China free rein. His son took 1.5 BILLION from the Chinese and Biden himself has taken a few million. The Bidens are owned by the Chinese.

Richard Slack
Richard Slack
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

evidence…apart from the story about the hard-drive?

Eugene Norman
Eugene Norman
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The whole anti China nonsense is part of the US deep state ploy to make Americans (and people like you who can’t think outside an American box) blame external actors for their internal ideologies. It’s Russia, it’s Iran, it’s china. In fact, it’s the US.

Biden opposes Hungary because he believes that countries should be “nations of immigrants” and subject to neoliberalism – in short American values should predominate. Unfortunately the US is at best a post-European nation and at worst an anti-European polity.

Hungary would be better off siding with China.

jim payne
jim payne
2 years ago
Reply to  Eugene Norman

Why do people like you always put anyone with a different opinion down. Do you think we are all thick-stupid-bigots?

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
2 years ago
Reply to  Eugene Norman

Eugene, I’m faintly surprised after you last rather conceited outburst, that you should speak with such vehemence against, our masters, the USA.
The US certainly has its problems, but in comparison to CCP China it is a model of respectability

Let’s face it, China is a toxic cesspool, a disgrace to humanity, and a dog eating hell hole that must be destroyed forthwith.

The planet just cannot afford to accommodate such a pestilential menace.

Andrew Russell
Andrew Russell
2 years ago

Yes, Hungary and Poland obviously require more immigration from the Middle East, perpetual rioting in their cities and more LGBT propaganda. I’m sure Soros is working on it.

Adam Makray
Adam Makray
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Russell

Yes, You are right. We definitely need some more migrants to share their tolerance and capability of adaption with us.

Andrew Russell
Andrew Russell
2 years ago
Reply to  Adam Makray

Good luck with that.

JohnW
JohnW
2 years ago

“As President, would [Biden] maintain Trump’s confrontational stance towards Beijing?” Surely his son’s harddrive has solved that particular conundrum?

animal lover
animal lover
2 years ago

I’m really disappointed in the way Unherd has not reported on the big Biden laptop scandal in the US. I expected to see a headline article about it. Would be nice to let the rest of the world know the truth about what’s happening in US politics. None of the other MSM outlets will run that story, but I expected better from Unherd

Richard Slack
Richard Slack
2 years ago
Reply to  animal lover

It did actually. Douglas Murray, who has the role on here of Trump’s Vicar on earth had a whine about it, or rather about how Twitter was not allowing it to be posted. In true Murray “sleepy” fashion the word “Woke” was used a bit, probably with the occasional “liberal intellectual elite” added. What Murray did not add was the bizarre way this scandal seems to have happened in that it involved Biden flying from California where he lives to Delaware to have his MacBook, (or maybe 2 or 3 MacBooks) repaired (must be so hard to get a computer repaired in California it seems) The man in the shop is not totally not sure if the person who brought it or them in was Hunter Biden or not as his eyesight isn’t to hot (though good enough to repair laptops).

The story has now been widened from Emails to indecent images of minors. This is serious, if such evidence does exist it should be in the hands of the police and the fact that it is not is highly suspicious. This is a typical Trump tactic of dropping little bits and pieces of a story over a period of time to keep it in the news. The person behind this appears to be Rudi Gulliani who, if Trump goes down, so will he. The New York Post is not regarded as a serious news outlet.

steve eaton
steve eaton
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Slack

Perhaps you are unaware that the famous laptop has been in the possession of the FBI for IIRC a year or so? And that some of Hunter Biden’s former employees/colleagues are on record affirming that the e-mails are real.

Perhaps you also missed the story that the FBI received the lap from the store owner, who then contacted Giuliani concerned that he had heard nothing about it after so long of a time..

Then there were the FBI sources who owned ip within the last day or so that the FBI did have the laptop that long and they were interested in it as part of an ongoing investigation into money laundering. (no other details released).

Maybe you should turn off MSNBC. It’ll make you stupid.

Angela Frith
Angela Frith
2 years ago
Reply to  animal lover

Because it’s fake news?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
2 years ago

How anyone takes Biden seriously is mind-boggling. The man is caricature of a caricature, repeatedly saying stupid things and now exposed for what he is by his own son’s emails. Yet, much of the press insists on carrying his water. Why? Do they really want the president to be a woman who was summarily rejected by Dems when they had the opportunity to support her?

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
2 years ago

Peter isn’t wrong in being concerned about US policy towards Visegrad countries should Biden win, but a bigger concern may be Biden’s policies in the Balkans. The Biden campaign has developed policy papers on relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina and with Albania and Kosovo, but not on relations with Sebia. This suggests that a Biden administration would specially favour Balkan Muslims. To keep this short, I will only consider the first issue, Biden’s relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina. (hereafter BiH). (My wife is the daughter of Serbs from Herzegovina and I have in-laws still living in Republika Srpska.) More information can be found in the 20 October post “Directed against Serbs: Biden announced a vision for BiH”.
BiH is split between Republika Srpska, a majority Serb entity and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where most Bosniaks and Croats live, which is subdivided into 10 cantons. Most people in Republika Srpska are opposed to membership of BiH in NATO, which Biden favours. The Biden policy paper mentions that under the Obama-Biden administration, Milorad Dodik was sanctioned. Dodik is currently the Serb representative in BiH’s tripartite presidency.
There is much broader support for BiH joining the EU than for BiH joining NATO and the country has entered into a number of agreements with the EU to enhance integration. Although not yet a candidate country like Serbia, BiH’s central bank operates as a currency board, maintaining a fixed rate of the currency, the convertible marka against the euro, so in the monetary domain, BiH is already more integrated with the EU and the euro area than Serbia is. A Biden administration might pursue policies like the dissolution of Republika Srpska, or, at worst, the integration of Serbia’s Sandjak with BiH that would disrupt this promising evolution. Instead there could be a renewal of ethnic violence in BiH that had largely ended with the signing of the Dayton Accords.