Paul Krugman, writing on “Why Hungary matters,” tells it like it is
A quick note here: I’m actually kind of shocked at some of the comments on Kim Lane Scheppele’s latest post here. Not the ones accusing her of lying or getting her facts wrong; that’s part for the course, with my own experience being that the more solidly grounded in evidence I am the more hysterical accusations of dishonesty I get.
No, what shocks me are the complaints that there’s even a post on the subject, asking why bother with Hungary at all.
First of all, if you find the subject of a post boring, here’s a useful productivity hint: don’t read it.
But more than that, Hungary really should matter, both to Europeans — many of whom read this blog — and to Americans.
Look, there are currently two great democratic powers in the world: the US and the EU. The EU is not a state, but it acts as a unit in many ways, and is a powerful force making the world a better place. And the European idea has been a key driver of democracy and peace these past two generations.
So if you believe in democracy and peace, you have a stake in that idea’s success — which is why all of Europe’s current troubles are a tragedy for all of us.
And now we have a nation in the heart of Europe, a member of the EU, a nation that emerged from dictatorship, which is at the very least backsliding on democracy. This is terrible — and terribly important.
If you can’t see this, there’s something very wrong with your priorities.
On the subject, the Israeli journalist and blogger Dimi Reider has an important piece on the NYRB web site on how the right-wing controlled Knesset is undermining democracy in Israel. I shudder to think of the consequences for democracy in America if the GOP were to control all three branches of government—White House, both houses of Congress, and the Supreme Court. Quel cauchemar.