The EU not-so subtly threatens harming Italy if it votes in a traditionalist candidate
The European Union transformed from an economic alliance into a bureaucratic overlord micromanaging all facets of every European’s life. Europeans meekly accepted its dictates about the size of vegetables and the minutiae of household remodeling. In 2015, when Angela Merkel forced the EU to accept millions of anti-Western Muslim migrants, Europeans virtuously sucked it up. Now, though, with the economy collapsing and a long, cold winter on the way, Europeans are pushing back. Italy may even elect a conservative—and that has caused the EU to drop the benevolent mask and reveal the tyranny behind it.
As a predicate to this discussion, you need to keep in mind that European conservativism is not the same as American conservativism. The latter reflects the liberal tradition that once controlled the Anglosphere: It centers on individual liberty, small government, and the free market. That notion of liberty has never really caught on in Europe. In Europe, it’s always a matter of who will rule: the Marxists or the anti-Marxists; the transnationalists or the nationalists.
In the case of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, who seems poised to become Italy’s first female prime minister, is a classic example of the European right wing. She opposes Marxism and all that comes with it: unlimited abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage, and multiculturalism. Her values represent traditional Italian values and, indeed, track with traditional values across the West, including in America. American conservatives could readily support her candidacy. (Funnily enough, although a traditionalist, she’s not married to her child’s father.)
However, typically for the totalitarian nationalist streak that runs through all European conservatives, she also embraces ideas that should have stayed buried in the rubble after WWII ended. She admires Mussolini, who was not a hardcore antisemite, and Giorgio Almirante, who is. Many in her train support fascism (a subset of socialism) and she hasn’t made much effort to distance herself from them.
Image: Ursula von der Leyen (edited). YouTube screen grab.
In other words, she’s a classic example of European conservativism, which isn’t very nice but is certainly nicer than European leftism. Both always have the stench of antisemitism in their wake, and both want big government, but the conservatives have more faith in the free market and are less likely to yield the continent to Islam.
The solons at the EU are terrified—so much so that the EU, which is supposed to be a sort of unifying oversight body has issued an open threat to punish Italy if the Italians freely exercise their choice in the upcoming election:
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is being accused of election interference after threatening to use “tools” if the wrong election result is achieved in Italy’s national elections, set to take place this Sunday, Sept. 25. She added that those same tools are already being used against Hungary and Poland.
“We will see the result of the vote in Italy,” said von der Leyen. “If things go in a difficult direction — and I’ve spoken about Hungary and Poland — we have the tools.” Von der Leyen made the comment while responding to a journalist after a talk she gave at Princeton University in the United States.
Von Der Leyen was making a clear reference to the European Commission’s ability to cut funding to member states it views as violating “rule of law,” a powerful tool Brussels can use to punish any democratically-elected government in Europe. Just last week, the commission proposed cutting €7.5 billion in funding to Hungary, with the country’s conservative government having long been a thorn in the side of the EU over its opposition to mass migration and support for traditional values.
Naturally, Putin was the scapegoat to justify this threat, but the reference to Hungary and Poland shows the real issue: Challenge the EU’s leftist approach to politically Marxist, culturally left, open border, trans-European governance, and you will be destroyed. Just call it “Big Mother is watching you.”
What’s really funny is the way von der Leyen touts democracy as the be-it-and-end-all, at the same time saying that any country that exercises democracy in a way the EU dislikes will be punished.
Europe is gorgeous. Its natural beauty, which humans have cultivated and sculpted for thousands of years; its millennia of glorious architecture; its dazzling art collections art; and its delicious cuisine all make the entire continent one of the great treasures of humankind. One wishes that modern Europeans could ally that beauty with a simultaneous commitment to individual liberty and the traditional values that made the West a juggernaut that, at one time, raised most of the world out of poverty.