Theodore R. Malloch, Guest Commentary
9:30 AM PT – Friday, September 30, 2022
Dante’s famous poem, Inferno, described that poet’s vision of Hell.
To be great again, Giorgia Meloni, a Roman herself, said, Italy needed new leadership, inspired vision, and pragmatic plans that serve the Italian people.
It was time for a fix—a new governing coalition—based on populism and led by her right of center political party, The Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d’Italia), in coalition with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia Party, and Matteo Salvini’s, Lega Party.
Meloni has set the framework for a new way forward, free of the shackles and personalities of the past. She is not a fascist and her platform was simple and straightforward right of center conservatism. The media call everyone who is not a liberal “far-right,” which amounts to a smear and untruth.
She is dynamic, bold, courageous, and patriotic. Her platform was: God, family, nation.
Italians now have a popular government that will give them a sound footing and a better, growing economy—with more jobs, lower taxes, safer streets, and an end to open immigration.
Today, Italy has found a new Virgil to find its way forward in the dark political woods and underworld to a brighter place. That person is Giorgia Meloni.
With her as the new prime minister, Salvini will return as minister of the interior. Together the two, along with Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, are the brightest leaders in all of Europe in the Trumpian model.
The ideologies of the past are moribund, and the personalities of the past are mere skeletons.
To be great again, Meloni says, Italy needs new leadership, inspired vision, and pragmatic plans.
The Brothers of Italy, who garnered more than 26 percent of the total electoral votes in Sunday’s balloting, is Meloni’s right-of-center party. The Right, after so many decades in the wilderness, now have a chance to govern the unstable democracy.
She is dynamic, bold, courageous, and patriotic. Meloni, who I know personally, is the most charismatic politician on the European continent. She is down to earth, all business, and will get things done.
Earlier this year, Meloni outlined her priorities in a raucous speech to Spain’s right of center, Vox party: “Yes to the natural family, no to the LGBT lobby, yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology… no to Islamist violence, yes to secure borders, no to mass migration . . . no to big international finance . . . no to the bureaucrats of Brussels!”
Move aside, EU, and get out of the way. Your plans for European integration are over. You are past tense and can no longer dictate the future of a Europe of sovereign nations.
Skepticism of the EU and the Euro and enthusiasm for reasserting national sovereignty in devolved decision-making cements this movement.
Yet it was only by moving through the various stages of hell that Italy is now arriving nearer to the paradise they desire.
In other words, “Follow Dante.”
First Circle—Limbo: The electoral stalemate demonstrated a limbo that showed nothing but uncertainty and chaos. Italy pushed through.
Second Circle—Lust: Past leaders, from Renzi to Draghi, lusted after a return to power. They were all rebuffed.
Third Circle—Gluttony: The corrupt system is sinking under its own dead weight and must itself be overthrown.
Fourth Circle—Greed: Too many in the past had their hands out and their palms greased, making Italy a poorer place and hurting its people.
Fifth Circle—Anger: The protest rooted in anger with the entire system and its players suggests it is time to jettison the past to move on.
Sixth Circle—Heresy: Bad ideas and rigid socialist ideologies have failed Italy. It is time for reason, common sense, and pragmatism to come to the fore.
Seventh Circle—Violence: On the Left and on the Right violence needs to be avoided. It leads nowhere. Italy demands a truly free and safe public space, ruled by law and free of burdensome illegal immigration.
Eighth Circle—Fraud: Too many old tricks and shady schemes have led nowhere. They were dead ends. It is now time for truth and transparency.
Ninth Circle—Treachery: The treacherous ways of governmental intervention, payoffs, EU power grabs, and a fake currency required a turning.
This electoral victory demonstrates that Italy passed through all of these circles and is now showing the world what practical wisdom and common sense can do.
The new rulers themselves are fair and just.
Not only do they allow, they encourage prayer and religious freedom. And this encouragement provides for faith, love, and foremost hope—especially a hope that Italy can again be built on the foundations of God, the family, and the nation.
It appeals, like Dante, to the “better angels” and will soon lead to a better life here on earth, across all of Italy.
This government re-imagines Italy and sees it as a beacon to the rest of the sovereign European nations.
It is giving power back to the people.
Such a vision is not unfounded or impossible.
The Brothers of Italy and its partners share the common elements and are forging a unique and historic constellation. They are for the common good and national sovereignty. With Meloni and Salvini, we see a new kind of people’s leader: one who says Italy can be great.
Meloni is bending the arc of modern history in her native land and with other partners will do the same across all of Europe, as popular sovereigntists have now won the 2022 elections in Poland, Hungary, Sweden, and Italy.
Dante would demand nothing less.
Ted Roosevelt Malloch is CEO of Roosevelt Global Fiduciary LLC. He served as Research Professor for the Spiritual Capital Initiative at Yale University, Senior Fellow Said Business School, Oxford University and Professor of Governance and Leadership at Henley Business School where he co-led the Director’s Forum. His most recent books concern the nature of virtuous enterprise, the practices of practical wisdom and “virtuous business,” the pursuit of happiness, the virtue of generosity and the virtue of thrift. His latest book is Common Sense Business, co-authored with Whitney MacMillan, former Chairman and CEO of Cargill, the world’s largest privately held company. He has served on the executive board of the World Economic Forum (DAVOS); has held an ambassadorial level position at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; worked in the US State Department and Senate; did capital markets at Salomon Brothers on Wall Street, and has sat on a number of corporate, mutual fund, and not-for-profit boards. He was very active in the Trump campaign of 2016. Ted earned his Ph.D. in international political economy from the University of Toronto and took his B.A. from Gordon College and an M.Litt. from the University of Aberdeen on a St. Andrews Fellowship.