I am no expert on Italian politics, and don't play one on the internet. I, however, suspect that many, if not most, of the journalists commenting in the US media on yesterday's elections in Italy aren't experts either. That, of course, doesn't stop them from referring to Giorgia Meloni's electoral coalition, headed by her party Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d'Italia), as "far right," having "roots leading back to Mussolini," "proto-fascist," and so on. All nonsense.
It seems Meloni will become Italy's next PM. This has lead to a freak-out in the establishment on both sides of the Atlantic. That, my friends, can only prove a good thing.
I went to the Brothers website in Italian and read their program--my ability to read Italian is not bad. Pretty tepid manifesto for fascists.
The party seems concerned about Italy's economy, especially as how recent events have affected small businesses; it wants to promote "Made in Italy"; expresses anger about rising violent crime; is aghast at energy prices; seeks to preserve the traditional family; and wants to end the wide-open immigration policies forced on Italy by the EU and the Italian elite. The Brothers want, in other words, much like the conservative coalition in Sweden, for politicians to make their country "first." What a shocker! Italian politicians should think of Italy's interests first. Oh, the horror!
While they don't make it explicit, I suspect the Brothers would not be adverse to Italy's exit from the EU.
As stated at the opening, I don't claim expertise on Italian politics. The last time I spent much time on Italy's politics was as a grad student in Brandeis in the 1970s. I wrote a paper, now thankfully lost to posterity, looking at how southern Italian villages, often very close to each other physically, and with nearly identical demographic and social strata would vote radically different from each other. One, for example, would always vote Christian Democrat, and the other always Communist. I had great insights now lost to the world of scholarship. The tears flow.
Italian politics, of course, are now much different and more complex than fifty years ago. There appears a growing sense of nationalism among ordinary folks--Italy's "Deplorables"--and rejection of the elite politics which we see dominating the Western world. Italians simply want Italy back; they want to preserve their ancient culture; they resent the elite Woke politics which force Italy--along with Europe and the USA--into lowered standards of living, i.e., poverty, in the name of "equity" and saving the planet.
As my son noted to me today, if the elite media keep calling that "fascism," they not only white-wash real fascism, but make it more acceptable to get called "fascist."
I don't know if Meloni's coalition will hold, and if she can fight the huge forces marshalling against her. I hope she proves a better fighter than Boris Johnson who greatly disappointed; he folded like a cheap cardboard box.
All the best to PM Meloni.