No doubt all of you were just glued to your computers and televisions awaiting the outcome of yesterday’s Italian elections.
No, really. Italy had an election. Yes, Italy. It’s that one country in southern Europe that looks like the kind of boot worn by a transvestite or a hooker or a transvestite hooker. Italy is the country that makes Fiat cars (Fix It Again, Tony), towers that lean way more than they should, and some damn fine food if you don’t mind carbohydrates. It’s also Europe’s third-largest economy and pretty important if you want to keep the Euro, or at least the fiction of the Euro.
Back to the elections. Who won? Well, that’s kind of hard to say because no party won a clear majority of votes. The party that got the most votes is run by a former standup comedian named Beppe Grillo (yes, I know it sounds like a brand of $0.10 cigar). The party that got the second-most votes is run by a former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is currently on trial for fraud and having sex parties with under-age girls. The most recent prime minister, Mario Monti, actually came in fourth behind a center-left party and a three-legged dog.
So, why is this important to us ‘Mericans? Because more than half of Italy’s voters cast ballots for candidates that intentionally lied to them and allowed those voters to ignore the economic reality that their government was spending them into a grave. Both Grillo and Berlusconi are populists who have gained power by promising to spend money their nation doesn’t have and screaming “all is well” while Rome burns around them.
Italy’s election was such an egregious win for self-retardation that even other leftists are aghast. The following is from the German center-left newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung:
“Now populism, yelling and lies rule Italy once more. In the Greek election dramas of recent years it was the radicals who profited from the crisis. In Italy it has been the populists. They’re radical too in their ways: They deny reality, they pass blame for the misery to enemies outside the country, they witter on about the simple solution to all the problems. Italy won’t get a simple solution after this election. It will get a new election at most. And that wouldn’t be a blessing either.”
The majority of our nation’s voters chose to return to the White House a politician who uses the nation’s coffers to buy popularity he otherwise would never have earned. Obama takes from us to feather the nests of his supporters and pay for the bread and circuses that keep him in power and then accuses us of being cheap for refusing to accede to his every demand. Because the press has become the President’s willing sex toy, most voters don’t appreciate just how bad Obama is and the terrible destination he’s leading us toward.
What is the answer? It’s not easy. It’s hard work. It’s being wise enough to know that there is no free lunch and anyone who tells you differently is selling something. It’s having the guts to shout an unpopular message to a crowd that is complicit in it’s on delusions. It’s losing elections and living with the consequences. It’s telling those who supposedly stand for what you believe in that they actually have to stand for it when the going gets tough and not just pose like a mannequin in a store window. It’s all that and a dozen more difficult things.
But it’s the only way because the alternative is worse.