In less than a week the major political parties of the Right in Britain and Italy scored unprecedented electoral victories by winning mayoral races in Rome and then in London. Since the end of the Second World War, the Right had never controlled those two offices.
To grasp what this means, consider that "Londonistan" is the title of an excellent book by Melanie Phillips which warns of the descent of that great city into a radical Moslem polity. The citizens of Londonistan have chosen an iconoclastic Conservative Party leader, Boris Johnson, who has campaigned on the need to reduce crime in London and who has condemned the academic boycott of Israel by British universities as "disgusting and one sided." Although Johnson is more an offbeat moderate than a strong conservative, in Londonistan the change is dramatic and sweeping compared to what it had been before.
His defeated opponent, "Red Ken" Livingston, was a blatant fan of every Marxist thug and radical Moslem in the world. Livingston's comments about the Holocaust, about Israel and about the suspect loyalties of young Jews in Britain are despicable. Goodbye to a mayor who said: "For far too long the accusation of anti-Semitism has been used against anyone who is critical of the policies of the Israeli government, as I have been."
Five years ago, Livingston was calling President Bush "the most corrupt American president since Warren Harding in the Twenties" and "not the legitimate president." He embraced Hugo Chavez, the Marxist thug who is trying to be a new Castro. Goodbye to that sort of extreme and robotic Leftism.
The last mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, had been the leader of the Left in the recent general election in Italy against Berlusconi. Veltroni was once a communist and remains a professed atheist who was proud to be called one of the earliest supporters of Barack Obama and who wrote the preface to the European edition of Obama's book, The Audacity of Hope. George Clooney was a big fan of Veltroni, saying that "Like Obama, I think Veltroni has a rare quality, a great oratory ability which can bring people together." Unsurpisingly, Veltroni has also taken potshots at President Bush.
Veltroni was not particularly hostile to Israel -- Italians and Americans have historically been very sympathetic to Israel -- but his support is not nearly as strong as Berlusconi, who was a rock solid supporter of President Bush in his war on Islamic extremism . Berlusconi also placed Fiamma Nirenstein, a Jewish author and anti-terrorism expert, a strong supporter of the war in Iraq and a solid friend of America and Israel, high enough on his ballot so that she will be in the next Italian Parliament as a member of the majority coalition. Communists in Italy pointedly tried to keep Nirenstein from winning, running blatantly anti-Semitic cartoons of her as "Fiamma Frankenstein" with a Star of David on one lapel and the Fascist emblem on the other.
Hatred of America and Israel lost.
The Berlusconi victory in Italy, a few weeks before the two big mayoral victories, means that one of the most pro-American major European leaders in modern history will be running Italy with a clear majority, and that one of the major nations of Europe will have a government as supportive of our efforts to win the war of global terrorism than we could reasonably hope to have.
Sandwiched between the Berlusconi landslide and the two big mayoral victories, the rest of Britain also held council elections. The governing Labour Party, whose leader Gordon Brown recently called for a revival of American greatness (just before his visit with President Bush), suffered massive losses in these local elections -- the worst defeat for Labour in forty years -- and with polls showing a Conservative Party lead of between ten points and eighteen points in the next general election, Brown suffered a double defeat which may make it impossible for this old school Leftist to stay in power before the next mandatory general election in early 2010.
By all accounts, an early election would lead to a Conservative landslide, and the next American president will be dealing with governments in the four major European democracies much more in line with a strong stand against terrorism and with America than could have been imagined four years ago when John Kerry talked about all the foreign leaders who wanted him, instead of President Bush, in office.
Although Sarkozy is facing a hostile French electorate, he was elected last year to a five year term and the President of France is an incredibly powerful office. Sarkozy can remain an unabashed friend of America and of Israel without worry over the medium term. The government of France has moved decisively in our direction.
Merkel in Germany remains very popular and so does her CDU/CSU conservative party. The coalition with the Leftist SPD is less popular, leaving the possibility that another unprecedented early election could give Chancellor Merkel an opportunity for an outright Right of Center government in Germany (and, almost certainly, at least a stronger hand in any coalition government.)
These European leaders or, in the case of David Cameron, the Conservative Party leader in Britain, soon to be European leaders, are also very much in synch with Senator McCain regarding the war on terrorism (Cameron is a big McCain fan.) What could this mean for the world? It could well mean that for the next four years the leaders of Europe and America could be united in a way seldom seen in modern history to protect Western Civilization from the threats it faces. Certainly the weeks from mid-April to early May have been better for the Right in Europe than almost anytime ever. Rumors of the death of Europe may, to paraphrase Twain, may turn out to be greatly exaggerated.