Pence in Hungary: You Can Be for Working-Class Families or Open Borders – Not Both

Pence
ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Mike Pence has praised the efforts of national conservative governments in Central Europe to reverse demographic decline through pro-family policies over mass migration in Budapest.

Speaking at the 4th Budapest Demographic Summit in Hungary, President Trump’s former running mate was effusive in his praise for the country’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, and other national leaders in attendance for their efforts to rebuild the family, observing that “the leaders of government who are gathered here… know strong families make strong communities, and strong communities make strong nations.”

Pence referenced many crises facing the West, including the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, the economic ruin which followed in its wake, and a “crisis of confidence as citizens lose trust in our traditional values, in our traditional institutions, and in leadership” — but all, he suggested, pale in comparison to the “crisis that strikes at the very heart of civilisation itself: the erosion of the nuclear family, marked by declining marriage rates, rising divorce, widespread abortion, and plummeting birth rates.”

“For our civilisation to prosper, if we’re to pass on the rights and the freedoms and the values that we cherish to the next generation, our highest priority must be to preserve renew and strengthen the families upon which our nations and our civilisation have been built,” saying that the positive results of family support policies in Hungary, in particular, were “proof that with leadership and right policies demographic decline can be reversed.”

“I believe it’s no coincidence this restoration of the family is taking place in Hungary and in Poland and in countries throughout the region; I think it’s happening here for a reason,” Pence opined.

“The consensus opinion, we know, of the global elite, for too long has been that the institution of the family is in many ways an anachronism, outdated and even unnecessary,” he lamented, excoriating the left-liberal worldview in which “the family is secondary to the state… the demands of raising and educating children must be met with the ever-growing reach of government, supplanting the role and the primacy of parents and families from cradle to grave.”

“But the nations of Central and Eastern Europe, so well represented here, have heard these empty utopian promises before,” Pence observed.

“Many here still remember what it was like to live behind the Iron Curtain, to live under the oppressive fist of progressive tyranny, with its unworkable social experiments, and with thought police driving their agenda against the common sense and common values of the people,” he said, commending the Hungarian “freedom fighters” who challenged Soviet communist domination in 1956.

“From where I stand I see the people of Central and Eastern Europe rejecting the modern left’s vision of a post-Christan, post-national, post-family world,” he declared, saying that they were instead choosing a vision of “a world of strong, sovereign, independent nations built on thriving, happy, and healthy families.”

Turning to particular policies, Pence recalled the old economic axiom that “what you subsidise you get more of, what you tax you get less of,” adding that he wanted “to applaud Prime Minister Orbán for choosing to make family the central focus of Hungary’s government policy.”

“Two-hundred thousand newlyweds, I’m told, have benefited from lower taxes already; families with children have seen their taxes decrease by 10 billion [American] dollars… working mothers with four children or more are completely exempt from income taxes here in Hungary, and over the last decade 200,000 families with children have received taxpayer support to buy their first home,” he marvelled.

“The result of these reforms have been truly astonishing. With birth rates dropping precipitously throughout Western Europe, Hungary is benefiting from the highest birth rate in two decades, more young people are getting married, starting families, and abortion is in steep decline,” he celebrated.

The Trump-Pence administration, he said, had also put the “restoration of middle-class American families” at the heart of its agenda, as well as a Hungarian-style emphasis on border control, saying that the pre-Biden government had “cut illegal immigration by 90 per cent” because “you can be for working-class families or you can be for open borders — you cannot be for both.”

“Americans are learning once again about the absolute need for nations to protect their borders and their sovereignty” amid the current crisis on America’s southern border, he added ruefully.

“As we speak now about reversing population decline, we must be honest about the incalculable impact of abortion across our nations,” Pence concluded, going on to describe the historic and contemporary contribution of the mass termination of the unborn to the West’s demographic crisis — and his hopes for reform — at some length.

“The truth is, legalised abortion has contributed enormously to the demographic change that we’re seeing and the destabilisation of our societies,” he said, speaking of “Single-parent households, a decline in family formation, an increase in unplanned pregnancies, and an explosion of sexually-transmitted diseases.”

Abortion, he said, was being “used around the world as a tool of eugenics by those taking a cold, calculated economic view of life,” and he denounced the use of abortion “to eliminate ‘excess’ unborn children, those with what is determined to be the ‘wrong’ sex, or those with disabilities.”

He reserved reserving particular ire for Communist China’s “forced abortion policies”, which he branded “an abomination”.

“When it comes to China, I urge the leaders here to be prepared to stand with us… hold China accountable, for obscuring the truth about COVID-19, for decades of trade abuses, and hold China accountable for decades of human rights abuses in the name of population control,” he implored.

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