Washington DC – Italy’s Giorgia Meloni’s election victory this week has been cheered by US Republicans who admire right-wing European leaders, despite concerns that she will lead a party with neo-fascist roots. ing.
Meloni’s affinity in the U.S. is part of growing ties between conservative populists on both sides of the Atlantic, experts said, citing Republican activists’ support for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. was seen
Right-wing nationalists around the world are increasingly finding common ground in their fight against common enemies, including immigrants, progressive views on gender and sexuality, and what they loosely refer to as “globalists” and “elite.” I’m here.
And that’s exactly the message that helped Meloni get elected, said Lawrence Rosenthal, director of the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
“She took out her anger on gender politics. I would speak exactly the same way,” Rosenthal told Al Jazeera.
Rosenthal said at the heart of the grievances that unite these right-wing movements is the “great replacement theory” that the global elite seeks to replace the “native” populations of Western countries with immigrants.
Many scholars and social justice advocates see this theory as a conspiratorial pressure to fuel racial unrest against non-white newcomers to the West.
“All nationalist movements have the same ‘other’: they all agree that immigrants are the ‘other,’ and that is what they are against,” Rosen said. Tarr said. “Therefore, it is possible to unite across borders on that score, as the enemy’s objectives are the same across all borders.”
Meloni, 45, is poised to become Italy’s next prime minister after her political party, the Brothers of Italy, emerged as the biggest winner of the right-wing coalition that won the most votes in the country’s snap election on Sunday. are being arranged.
Founded in 2012, Brothers of Italy is the ideological successor to the far-right National Alliance, which emerged from the Italian Social Movement, a political party formed by supporters of former dictator Benito Mussolini after World War II.
Meloni denied her party was fascist, denouncing anti-Semitic laws and democratic crackdowns during the fascist era. But a video of the young Meloni, who was an activist for the National League, shows her praising Mussolini as a “good politician” who acted for Italy.
The Brothers of Italy logo – a flame in the colors of the Italian flag – also reflects the logo of the Italian social movement.
Congratulations @ Giorgia MeloniItaly deserves and needs strong conservative leadership. Buona Fortuna!
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) September 26, 2022
But despite the criticism, many Republicans welcomed Meloni’s electoral success this week, with Italian politicians trying to make people “perfect consumers” and notions of national identity and family under attack. It shared a viral video that claimed to have been.
Far-right Rep. Lauren Boubert wrote on Twitter that “the whole world is starting to understand that the awakened left will only destroy,” and Meloni’s victory is a positive sign heading into the US midterm elections in November. suggested that there is
“November 8th is approaching and the US will amend the House and Senate! Let Liberty Reign!”
Senators Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were among Republican officials who expressed joy at Meloni’s victory.
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, one of the most influential right-wing commentators in the United States, also praised Meloni’s victory as a “revolution”, calling her “smart” and what the majority of people think can be clearly expressed.
Some experts say Meloni’s messages about family, national identity and God resonate because they are tailored specifically for conservatives in the United States.
“Giorgia Meloni has made great efforts to create connections and respect within the US-dominated network of ‘national conservatism’ and Christian fundamentalists,” said the University of Georgia’s International Affairs Kas Madeh, a professor, told Al Jazeera in an email.
Earlier this year, Meloni gave a speech full of US references to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the annual gathering of right-wing US politicians and activists.
“That’s exactly what they want. Right wing on a leash, irrelevant, and trained like monkeys. But what do you know? We’re not monkeys. I We’re not even rhinos. I sent it to
Said so beautifully.
Congratulations to Giorgio Meloni and the people of Italy. https://t.co/XdM8U2mFgt
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green 🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) September 26, 2022
“Victory” on the far right
In that same speech, Meloni went on to argue that “everything” that conservatives stand for is under attack and that progressives are working globally to “destroy our identities.” She also likened refugees arriving in Italy to immigrants and asylum seekers at the southern border of the United States.
“I see incredible things happening at the border [the] We are thinking of the United States and Mexico, and of our own Sicily,” she said.
“Thousands of immigrants admitted into the country without permission are finally driving out the slums of our towns and cities. and are often involved in crime.”
Rosenthal said right-wing Republicans were already adopting anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies, so they didn’t look to Meloni’s message for inspiration. Rather, “from their point of view, it’s an opportunity to celebrate ‘our victory’ internationally,” he said.
Lula Gebreal, a Palestinian-born Italian journalist and current visiting professor at the University of Miami, warned that Meloni’s election would bolster far-right extremists not only in Italy but also in Europe and other parts of the United States.
Jebreal, who has previously publicly debated and clashed with Meloni, said she and other critics of the Italian politician have received death threats since Sunday’s election. “I think these people have been inspired and encouraged,” he said, referring to it.
“This movement is a global movement and people are organized,” Jebrell said.
Over the past decade, there has been an active effort to unite right-wing movements around the world. Notably, Steve Bannon, a former adviser to former President Donald Trump, launched an organization called “The Movement” in 2018 to support anti-European Union populists in the European Parliament elections. failed.
Trump’s allies were particularly active in right-wing parties in France and Italy.
“Italy is the beating heart of modern politics,” said Bannon, who now faces a flurry of legal challenges and criminal charges in the United States. Daily Beast At that time. “If it works there, it works anywhere.”