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Whenever Italy elects a right-of-center Prime Minister, the international press labels them a fascist and links them to Mussolini (coincidentally, the only Italian PM they’ve heard of). What was true for Silvio Berlusconi and Mario Draghi is true of their latest PM, Giorgia Meloni, elected over the weekend. To wit:
Voters in Italy appear poised to elect a far-right prime minister tomorrow — Giorgia Meloni, the woman expected to win, leads a neo-fascist movement, reminiscent of Benito Mussolini’s own political party. pic.twitter.com/AzaD9SMRZC
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) September 25, 2022
Giorgia Meloni, who is set to become Italy’s first far-right leader since Mussolini, says she supports Ukraine and has moderated her harsh views on Europe. But European leaders are watching with caution and some trepidation.https://t.co/9QMiDl9nMi
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 26, 2022
Exit polls show that the first avowed fascist since Mussolini will be the next prime minister of Italy; the apparent victory of Giorgia Meloni, 45, is sending shockwaves across Europe tonight (NYT photo) pic.twitter.com/H94sYPmbG4
— West Wing Reports (by Paul Brandus) (@WestWingReport) September 25, 2022
I’m no scholar in Italian politics, nor have I invested much time researching the 317 parties jockeying for control from Turin to Taranto. But considering the news media’s coverage of U.S. politics, I didn’t fall for their latest imprecation.
They claimed Ronald Reagan was a fascist. As was Bush Sr., Bush Jr., McCain, Romney, and Trump. As I type, the press is pivoting from “Trump is literally Hitler” to “DeSantis is even more Hitlery than Hitler.” Hell, they thought Liz Cheney was a fascist until a few years ago.
So, their track record is, let’s say, spotty. And provincial. Which is why our political press called Jair Bolsonaro “Brazil’s Trump” and Viktor Orbán “Hungary’s Trump.” They view every election around the world as a proxy battle on whatever Beltway buzz is circling the cubicles this week.
Let’s hear from Meloni herself in the 2019 speech that catapulted her to national fame:
The left hates her because they reflexively denigrate family, faith, and patriotism. All of these are bulwarks against government power, transnational finance, and the NGO-driven international monoculture. That just won’t do. There is no world but one and Klaus Schwab is its prophet.
Meloni disagrees, as do a growing number of voters around the world. Sweden ousted its leftist government two weeks ago. As Vox mewled:
Giorgia Meloni and her far-right Fratelli d’Italia are expected to lead a far-right victory in Italian elections this weekend. That win, if it happens, would come shortly after the far-right Sweden Democrats won the second-largest share of the vote, helping to oust the center-left from power and giving the far-right a potential role in the next government.
The far-right is far-right and that far-right beat the center-left. Booo, far-right.
The left is always characterized as the natural center, while the right lurks on the fringes. The people of Sweden, Italy, Hungary, Poland, and Denmark disagree, but what do they know about Europe compared to an asthmatic spoon-chest filing reports from a Park Slope kombucharie?
The best part of Meloni’s speech was her quoting G.K. Chesterton, a personal favorite. Here’s the full quote, from his book Heretics:
Everything will be denied. Everything will become a creed. It is a reasonable position to deny the stones in the street; it will be a religious dogma to assert them. It is a rational thesis that we are all in a dream; it will be a mystical sanity to say that we are all awake. Fires will be kindled to testify that two and two make four. Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in summer. We shall be left defending, not only the incredible virtues and sanities of human life, but something more incredible still, this huge impossible universe which stares us in the face. We shall fight for visible prodigies as if they were invisible. We shall look on the impossible grass and the skies with a strange courage. We shall be of those who have seen and yet have believed.
Next, they’ll be impugning Chesterton as an extremist. Wait, it’s already begun…Published in