ART BY ANNA MACIAS
As if there have not already been enough stories of corrupt politics in recent years, the Hungarian election has riled up newsstands and protests in another seemingly unfair run for president.
The election in Hungary on Sunday, Apr. 8 yielded unsurprising results: the victory of Viktor Orban’s third term as president.
However, as the opposition roars in contempt and disapproval, more and more has been revealed about the vicious motives and nature behind Orban’s seemingly simple election.
Behind the two term incumbent’s facade was a scheming, deceiving candidate running to “better” the country yet a third time.
How did he win so successfully?
Perhaps it is because the voters never knew that their preferred candidate had not only based his entire campaign on racist, xenophobic and imposing propaganda, but had also convinced Hungary’s very own government to fund all of these shenanigans.
Notably, this practice of bashing the opposition is most definitely not a new approach to campaigning; nor is it condemned enough for the people to speak out about such a malpractice. This political device of shaming opponents in an attempt to gain popularity for oneself started predominantly in America with the Obama administration’s two-term campaign, leading to its drastic overuse in the Trump-Clinton campaign of 2016, but has obviously since spread its wings to dominate and demolish other countries around the world.
And it needs to stop.
There are no morally justifiable means for this tarnishing practice to continue; however, today, “morals” in and of itself have diminished profoundly, especially in the world of politics.
In this morally ambiguous world, politicians feel that exposing information about their opponents is perhaps the most effective and successful way to win campaigns and make headlines.
Unfortunately, this common, tried and true practice has so often proved to be powerful that voters tend to take such blows against politicians as a natural part of election season.
The concept of defaming people who are running against a specific candidate is simple: putting someone else down to gain popularity and approval allows the voters to see the “true” colors of a certain candidate, potentially swaying their vote for the other candidate.
In other words, mudslinging is political bullying. And when it is communicated or clarified in this way, people will be less likely to root for those who are bullying their opponents.
Obviously, bullying is frowned upon in school and in most career fields, so why is it suddenly acceptable when used on the political battlefield?
Some may argue that such controversial forms of campaigning sheds light onto an election, allowing voters to become aware of both the positive and the negative aspects of a candidate.
However, it seems that as the custom continues, candidates have begun spending more money on trashing other people, rather than promoting their own campaigns, in hopes that others’ dirty deeds will draw attention away from their own flaws.
No matter how just or upright politicians may believe themselves to be when using these dishonest tactics while campaigning, the sinister motives are clear to anyone who comprehends the implications of these demeaning forms of propaganda. People who win a campaign at the expense of others’ reputation are most definitely not fit to serve the entire country; if they can get away with such high-scale, long-term bullying, who knows what else they could get away with? After all, as a nation, we may or may not have elected a bully the last time we were at the ticketing booths.