As an American ex pat in Italy, here is what confuses me about Italy’s recent electing of a far right party that traces its roots to fascism; In the US, the Nazis/fascists proudly proclaim themselves in their red hats with their guns and rallies, where they eagerly lap up lies spewed by a traitorous con man who grifts their money and for some reason is still walking free. In Italy, we’ve travelled north, south, east, west and met only outwardly kind, loving, helpful people. We moved here because of the PEOPLE. From old weathered men to young tattooed groups of guys, everyone stops to say “Buona Sera” as you pass. Everyone helps you with your language, packages, directions, car, everything everywhere. We have never gotten a dirty look or a brushoff in two partial years here. I’m not talking about tourist hot spots where it benefits them to be nice for profit. I am talking about us living here, when we’re in the hardware stores needing help, supermarkets, where we don’t know we weigh the produce ourselves and hold up lines at checkout, furniture stores, flower nurseries, outdoor markets, local restaurants, car mechanics. We’re shown only patience and kindness. Everywhere working people work, in local neighborhoods, where you would expect to see any evidence of dissatisfaction and anger, hate, prejudice, we have not. You put a Euro in the slot to get your supermarket cart unchained; when you come out of the market there is usually an immigrant waiting to “help” you unload your grocery bags and return your cart for you, meaning they get the Euro back. We and most people give them the carts, and always with a little extra money. When people ask us “Di dove sei?” (Where are you from?) and we answer “California” they beam in awe. Hollywood has done its job well.
If Italy was anti-immigrant, why offer one Euro houses to anyone who wanted to come here and help re-populate the country? Isn’t that the opposite of xenophobia? Italy is a Catholic country. The Vatican is here, the Pope lives here, yet abortion has been legal here since 1978. Divorce has been legal here since 1970. That is because there is respect for what the people want and need for quality of life. America is trying to be a christian country by outlawing the very things the most catholic country in the world protects for its citizens.
This election is a total surprise to us and a horrible face for Italy to present to the world. It doesn’t seem to us to be the real Italy and yet, it must be. Where were these many many voters? Who are they? I guess time will tell. I hope we don’t have to move again but we will if we must. It is very sad. But move where? With long time far right candidate Marine Le Pen coming in just behind Emmanuel Macron with 21.3% of the French vote in April, it seems like the whole world is moving to the right. Yet at least, unlike America, civilized countries still apply the law to criminals in their government. Silvio Berlusconi ran in this Italian election and got 7% of the vote. In 2013, at age 76, Berlusconi was convicted of tax fraud by the Supreme Court of Cassation. His four-year prison sentence was confirmed, and he was banned from holding public office for two years. When will America deal with its most dangerous traitor since Aldrich Ames? Why will an insurrectionist, unbelievably, possibly be allowed to run for president again? More than anything else; more than Mitch McConnell being America’s dictator, holding up legislation the majority of Americans support, more than fake christians hiding their hateful politics behind a bible whose tenets they have no knowledge of, more than women and marginalized groups having to re-fight the old fights, it is the spectre of TFG going unpunished, going free, continuing to spread his poison and wield control of the crooked, America destroying GOP that keeps us living happily far away. The GOP is America’s fascist party. The Nazis rounded up the Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, political opponents, asocials, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Poles, Soviet soldiers. The GOP with their illegitimate supreme court appointed by a traitor/insurrectionist and stacked by an illegally stonewalling Mitch McConnell is hell bent on turning America into a christian country, governed by the bible. They have already done more harm to the US than anyone can imagine Italy’s new government getting done with the time they will have in office. Do you know what it’s like to walk past a schoolyard full of children playing, yelling, laughing, knowing they have zero chance of being shot today? Do you know what it’s like to go to a theater, a mall, a concert, and have zero fear for your life? To drive on the highways and not fear being shot through your car window randomly? No you don’t, not any more. Okay, so some of our boxes from America “fell off the back of a truck”. Ya gotta pay some dues to your new country. We live with peace of mind every day. This election robs some of that, but all we can do is wait and see. In comedy and dictatorships, timing is everything.