The Lines on His Face

The official government photo.

The official government photo.

Prime Minister Orbán’s physiognomy: deep asymmetrical furrows, taught lines spreading like stress cracks across his face and forehead; glassy, bloodshot, bulbous eyes; incongruous primary features that defy the mind’s attempt to place them into a unified whole. 

What these facial characteristics might reflect about the prime minister’s disposition and personality: mistrust, insecurity, hostility, belligerence; the stress and tension of always feeling besieged; the physical and mental exhaustion of ceaseless struggle against ever-present enemies. 

The normal wear and tear national leadership? Or the disfigurations of excessive fear and misguided conviction? 

Judgment of physical appearance: always a dangerous game, always vulnerable to subjective interpretation and error; often mean-spirited and meaningless. 

But nonetheless: the evidence of physical and mental strain in Prime Minister Orbán’s facial expressions and features may suggest that the Fidesz revolution that has transformed Hungary from a westward-looking liberal democracy into an eastward-looking authoritarian democracy could culminate in the all-powerful leader’s incapacitation via crisis of the spirit, mind or body.   

One would hope that this does not prove to be the case: fellow-man, father of five, highly competent individual, Prime Minister Orbán would make for a model civilian, an excellent lawyer, perhaps president of the Hungarian Football Federation. 

However, it is an eventuality that those interested in the politics of Hungary should take into account.

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