Closing Thought–27Sep22

Move over Orban!

There is a new fascist leader in Europe…..and it is from a country that has a fascist past….Italy…..

The results aren’t official, but it’s a certainty that the far-right Brothers of Italy party has won the most votes in Italy’s election on Sunday, reports the AP. That means party leader Giorgia Meloni is now the favorite to become the next prime minister, which is notable on two fronts. She would be Italy’s first female prime minister, and she would lead the nation’s “farthest-right government” since Mussolini, per the Washington Post. It could be weeks before any new government takes over, however, and much political horse-trading will take place in the interim. Coverage:

  • About her: The BBC has a profile of the 45-year-old Meloni, who grew up in working-class Rome and was raised by a single mother. As a politician, her motto of “God, homeland, and family” speaks volumes. While women in Italy like the idea of a shattered glass ceiling, they also fear that Meloni’s conservative views on issues such as abortion will actually hurt women’s rights overall. She also opposes LGBT polices and is a staunch opponent of immigration. Her views are strongly nationalist.
  • Fascism: Her party “descended from the remnants of fascism,” writes Jason Horowitz in the New York Times. And the BBC story notes that Brothers of Italy, founded a decade ago, “has its political roots in the Italian Social Movement (MSI), which rose from the ashes of Mussolini’s fascism.” However, Meloni (who famously praised Mussolini as a politician years ago) today adamantly rejects the connection. “The Italian right has handed fascism over to history for decades now, unambiguously condemning the suppression of democracy and the ignominious anti-Jewish laws,” she said in a campaign video.
  • But that logo: Her party uses a tricolor logo of a flame, which the BBC notes is “often perceived as the fire burning on Mussolini’s tomb.” It’s the same one used by Giorgio Almirante, Mussolini’s last chief of staff, when he launched the above-mentioned MSI in 1946, per the AP. “You can make whatever you want out of a flame, but everybody understood that Almirante was making a deeply emotional appeal to keep the spirit of fascism alive,” says Rutgers University professor T. Corey Brennan.
  • Logo, II: Another political scientist, Gianluca Passarelli of Rome’s Sapienza University, tells the BBC that Meloni won’t drop the symbol because it’s too deeply connected to her own youth. But “her party is not fascist,” he says. “Fascism means to get power and destroy the system. She won’t do that and she couldn’t. But there are wings in the party linked to the neo-fascist movement. She has always played somehow in-between.”
  • Ukraine: Unlike leaders of other right-wing parties in Italy, Meloni has been a strong advocate of Ukraine and a critic of Vladimir Putin’s invasion. Still, she might face internal pressure on the subject once in power, and a big concern in Europe is whether Italy might eventually become the “weak link” in the EU’s unified opposition to Russia, per the Times.
  • Governing: The Local looks at the specifics of what a Meloni government might actually do. Think slashed taxes, strong anti-immigrant policies, less support for LGBT policies, etc.

Is this a trend for coming elections in Europe?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


Trumpian Threats

We all know the saga of the documents confiscated at the ex-president’s Florida residence….and of course all the other investigations swirling around our Orange Man from Florida…..

Trump has issued a warning…..

Donald Trump is predicting big, if unspecified, trouble in the US if he is indicted over his handling of classified documents. “I think if it happened, I think you’d have problems in this country the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen before,” he said on conservative Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Thursday, per the Washington Post. “I don’t think the people of the United States would stand for it.’ Hewitt pressed him on what he meant by “problems,” but Trump didn’t specify. “I think they’d have big problems, big problems,” he said, per the transcript. “I just don’t think they’d stand for it. They will not, they will not sit still and stand for this ultimate of hoaxes.”

When Hewitt told Trump the “legacy media” would accuse him of inciting violence, Trump responded: “That’s not inciting. I’m just saying what my opinion is. I don’t think the people of this country would stand for it.” Trump reiterated that he did nothing wrong, adding that an indictment would not bar him from running in the 2024 race, per the Hill. His comments on potential trouble echo those of ally Lindsey Graham, who recently warned of “riots in the streets” should the former president be indicted. The Trump interview came on the same day senators were briefed on the increase in threats to federal law enforcement officials since the Mar-a-Lago search, notes Politico.

Democratic judiciary panel chair Dick Durbin called the number of threats “stunning” afterward and criticized Trump for contributing to the problem. “Inviting a mob to return to the streets is exactly what happened here on Jan. 6, 2021,” said Durbin. “His careless, inflammatory rhetoric has its consequences.” But GOP Sen. Rick Scott said after the briefing that it demonstrated the need for more transparency about the reasons for the Mar-a-Lago search. “You have to give people good information so these rumors don’t continue,” he said. “I don’t know why they raided the former president’s house. … They know the conspiracy theories that are out there. So convince people that they’re not true.”

The big question these days is will he be indicted and will he be confined?

America’s democracy crisis will not end anytime soon. Donald Trump and his acolytes in the Republican-fascist party continue to incite acts of right-wing violence, including terrorism, on a nationwide scale as part of their plan to end American democracy and replace it with authoritarianism and one-party rule.

The Big Lie continues to spread across the United States. A majority of Republicans now subscribe to the repeatedly disproven theory that the 2020 Election was somehow illegitimate, that Trump is the “real” president and Joe Biden is a pretender and usurper. “MAGA” is American neofascism; it has fully conquered the Republican Party.

Will Donald Trump eventually be prosecuted, convicted and then imprisoned for his apparent high crimes, which may include violating the Espionage Act? Attorney and author Kenneth Foard McCallion believes that the answer is probably no.–but-hes-not-going-to-jail/

I believe this is correct….he will slip away from be held accountable in any form.


I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”