The Italian Elections
The latest, and most grave, example of the current tide of right-wing populism can be found in Italy.
We should be paying attention to Italy. Via the NYT: Why Italy’s Insular Election Is More Important Than It Looks.
The entire piece is worth a read, as there are a lot of details, but the first several paragraphs will give one the basic idea:
The campaign before Italy’s national elections on Sunday has been self-obsessed and often petty and unedifying. But it has been instructive about one thing: The political forces that have torn at the global order and the European Union have settled into the mainstream.
Fascists rallied in large numbers in Italian piazzas. The country experienced its worst political violence in years. Formerly unthinkable suggestions, like the mass deportation of migrants, became virtually routine.
The reanimation of Italy’s political ghosts is a worrying harbinger for a European Union already weakened by Britain’s decision to leave the bloc, the electoral setbacks of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, the long shadow of Russia and the rise of an illiberal bloc of nations in the eastern part of the Continent.
In elections in the United States and elsewhere in Europe, the far right had shifted the debate within the political establishment. But in Italy, the birthplace of fascism, they are a full partner in it.
UPDATE (James Joyner): John Oliver’s take is worth a look as well: