What's really interesting is Guv. DePutin seems to be almost carefully and deliberately following in Viktor Orban's footsteps. Not only is CPAC meeting with him, GQPers are imitating him.
Worth noting as DeStupid seems to definitely be positioning himself to be Trump 2.0.
Ron DeSantis is following a trail blazed by a Hungarian authoritarian
The Florida governor isn’t doing “competent Trumpism.” He’s inventing American Orbánism.
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics ... horitarian
In June of last year, Hungary’s far-right government passed a law cracking down on LGBTQ rights, including a provision prohibiting instruction on LGBTQ topics in sex education classes.
About nine months later, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill banning “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity” up through third grade. According to some knowledgeable observers on the right, these two bills were closely connected.
“About the Don’t Say Gay law, it was in fact modeled in part on what Hungary did last summer,” Rod Dreher, a senior editor at the American Conservative magazine, said during a panel interview in Budapest. “I was told this by a conservative reporter who ... said he talked to the press secretary of Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida and she said, ‘Oh yeah, we were watching the Hungarians, so yay Hungary.’”
It’s easy to see the connections between the bills — in both provisions and justifications. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán described his country’s anti-LGBTQ law as an effort to prevent gay people from preying on children; Pushaw described Florida’s law as an “anti-grooming bill” on Twitter, adding that “if you’re against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer” — meaning a person preparing children to become targets of sexual abuse, a slur targeting LGBTQ people and their supporters that’s becoming increasingly common on the right.
This is not a one-off example. DeSantis, who has built a profile as a pugilistic culture warrior with eyes on the presidency, has steadily put together a policy agenda with strong echoes of Orbán’s governing ethos — one in which an allegedly existential cultural threat from the left justifies aggressive uses of state power against the right’s enemies.
Most recently, there was DeSantis’s crackdown on Disney’s special tax exemption; using regulatory powers to punish opposing political speech is one of Orbán’s signature moves. On issues ranging from higher education to social media to gerrymandering, DeSantis has followed a trail blazed by Orbán, turning policy into a tool for targeting outgroups while entrenching his party’s hold on power.
Orbán’s political model has frequently employed a demagogic two-step: Stand up a feared or marginalized group as an enemy then use the supposed need to combat this group’s influence to justify punitive policies that also happen to expand his regime’s power. Targets have included Muslim immigrants, Jewish financier George Soros, and most recently LGBTQ Hungarians. Hungary’s version of the “Don’t Say Gay” law — which the government labeled an anti-pedophilia bill — expanded both government control over curricula and its powers to regulate programming on Hungary’s airwaves.
You see a similar logic in DeSantis’s Florida. Alleging that classroom education on LGBTQ topics somehow threatens children, the governor and his allies pushed through a vague and broadly worded bill that empowers both the state and private citizens to go after schools that teach about LGBTQ identity. A moral panic about alleged LGBTQ “grooming” serves to justify the imposition of ideological controls on public education — and the speech rights of progressive and LGBTQ teachers. (Relatedly, both Orbán and DeSantis have taken aim at curricula and textbooks used in K-12 schools on expressly political-cultural grounds.)
Higher education is another area where DeSantis, like Orban, has taken special aim. On April 22, DeSantis signed the “Stop WOKE Act”, a bill that, among other things, expressly regulates what professors are allowed to teach about race and gender in college courses. In a letter to Florida State University, the free speech advocacy group FIRE argued that the bill (also known as HB 7) was so obviously an unconstitutional abridgment of speech that administrators might simply “refuse to enforce” the bill.
“By barring any ‘instruction’ that ‘espouses,’ ‘promotes,’ or ‘advances’ a prohibited concept, HB7 chills vast swaths of academic discussion and inquiry protected by the First Amendment,” FIRE writes. “Florida’s new prohibition will silence discussions on (among other topics) systemic racism, the gender pay gap, affirmative action, [and] reparations for slavery or indigenous peoples.”
Orbán’s assault on higher ed has been even more striking. In 2018, his government issued a decree removing accreditation for Hungarian gender studies degrees, a move that effectively banned Hungarian universities from teaching the subject. Later that year, his government forced Budapest’s Central European University — a widely respected liberal arts college founded by Orbán’s foil, George Soros — to leave the country altogether.
For both men, the focus on academia is unsurprising: Universities are places where cultural liberal views flourish, and a forceful conservative agenda should take the fight to them. Conservatives believe state power can and should be wielded to prevent professors from “indoctrinating” students into a left-wing worldview (which doesn’t actually happen).
On another hot-button culture-war issue, social media, DeSantis has actually outstripped Orbán.
In February 2021, Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga proposed a bill to regulate “the Hungarian operations of large tech companies” to counteract what she earlier called their alleged restrictions on “Christian, conservative, right-wing opinions.” While Varga’s bill never passed, a version of it became law in Florida just three months after her proposal. Florida Senate Bill 7072 gave state regulators the power to fine social media companies if state authorities determined they improperly “deplatformed” a political candidate for office. (Shortly after its enactment, a court ruled that the bill violated the First Amendment; oral arguments for Florida’s appeal are set for mid-May.)