All eyes were turned to Italy on September 25th, where the center-right party Brothers of Italy won an absolute majority in the Italian Parliament. The victory was expected despite record-low voter turnout, primarily due to their leader Giorgia Meloni being a well-liked firebrand populist figure.
Meloni is a 45-year-old woman born in the capital of Italy, Rome. As a young girl, she witnessed – like many Italians over the past few decades – the slide into mediocrity that has characterized the once-powerful nations of Western Europe.
Instead of merely complaining, Meloni became one of, if not the most proactive political woman on the right in Italy. From 1992 to 2022, she has known many controversies, such as her expressed support for former Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) in 1996. Her litany of mortal sins the liberal press and political machines have accused her of includes the likes of opposition to abortion, euthanasia, same-sex relationships, non-European migration, diversity, and Islam.
A damning indictment from Liberalism Inc. generally equates to passing the conservative verification check. In the EU, where a rising tide of right-wing political power is growing, many worried citizens look to the credentials of someone like Meloni and see their answer to the vermin-infested cities and malaise-stricken governments.
In her own words, Giorgia is much less intimidating of a figure. She calls herself a Catholic, a conservative, and wants to defend in her own words: “God, Fatherland, and Family.” God, Fatherland, and Family is a historical rallying cry of many Catholics from France, Spain, and now Italy. It is hardly radical or fascist, as Giorgia’s opponents claim she is.
Her sharp edge and dynamic oratory electrified Italy and galvanized the center-right coalition, which quickly swept the Brothers of Italy to power in the most recent election. The victory ensures Meloni’s spot as Italy’s next Prime Minister.
But does Meloni live up to all the fuss the liberal establishment raises about her? The Media, after all, tends to create bogeymen of anyone to the right of Karl Marx. While Meloni certainly has views that are rare even in America, it would be false to consider her the savior of Italy and debatable to call her a nationalist.
For instance, she joined the pro-Ukraine bandwagon this year, tweeting her support for Zelensky and reneging support for Russia. Support for NATO is increasingly becoming an unpopular position among European nationalists, with many viewing NATO as an outdated and costly burden. The real threat to European security comes from across the Mediterranean by unfettered African immigration, not the “ghost of the Soviet Union.”
While the media drew comparisons of her and Brothers of Italy with Mussolini, Meloni compared her views much differently.
“For years, I have also had the honor of leading the European Conservative Party,” she said in the video, noting that this European Parliament grouping “shares values and experiences with the British Tories [the governing Conservative Party], the US Republicans and the Israeli Likud.”
The Republican Party and the Conservative Party are both wishy-washy milquetoast parties known to cede ground to the Left. Likud is no friend of European nationalist parties, often boycotting them and supporting their opponents. Meloni claims to be a fierce enemy of homosexuality and a supporter of traditional marriage, yet she is a friend of Likud, which has its own LGBT wing, Likud Pride. Likud Pride claims to be a “conservative LGBT organization,” although “conservative” and “LGBT” are diametrically opposed to one another.
Meloni has taken the trip to Israel several times, which she described as “a conscience-shaking experience.” Her rhetoric towards Israel echoes the brazen Zionism of neoconservatism, not nationalism.
“Israel is and ought to continue to be a crucial ally of the European Union in the endeavor to eradicate this evil [antisemitism] worldwide. We support efforts to increase young students’ understanding of Jewish history, religion, and culture. This will support the elimination of societal prejudices and the full acceptance of Jewish customs in Europe,” she said.
Europe’s values, culture, and history are being dismantled aggressively, yet she cares more about a minority group’s status and a small Middle-Eastern country than her own faith and people. She claims to be a Christian yet is unmarried and has a child out of wedlock. It appears that she will only continue the status quo of mainstream conservatism. This includes banal platitudes in opposition to immigration, overusing the word “woke” and continuing the disastrous Middle East policies, destabilizing the region and creating an unprecedented immigration crisis.
The desire for revanchist leaders is genuine. Americans and Europeans are well aware of the political meteor hurtling their way. But the answer is not Giorgia Meloni. Indeed, she has yet to take office as Prime Minister; she could correct course, but her current stances are not promising. Politics is no stranger to smoke and mirrors, paper tigers, and false prophets. Meloni may be just another reality check for right-wing nationalists, but a crushed dream is preferable to a nightmare.