Earlier this month, Tucker Carlson, whose nightly news show on Fox has become the most popular show in U.S. cable news history, traveled to Budapest to record a special version of his show. The centerpiece of his visit was an interview with Hungary's authoritarian leader, Viktor Orbán. But far from criticizing Orbán or questioning him on Hungary's increasing move away from liberal democracy, Carlson was all compliments, praising the fence that Hungary has built along its border and allowing Orbán to lash out against his critics at home and abroad. 

Carlson is not the only one with kind words for Hungary's would-be strongman. In the past months, an increasing number of conservative media and intellectual elites have praised Hungary, as well as earlier models like Portugal under the post-World War II right-wing dictator António Salazar, for what they view as its willingness to use state power to fight for conservative social, cultural and religious values.

To discuss what this embrace of foreign authoritarianism means for the American conservative movement, Alan Rozenshtein spoke with Zack Beauchamp, a senior correspondent at Vox, who has written about the right’s embrace of Orbánism and what it means for the future of American democracy.

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