What do we learn from the 2020 US presidential elections

MATTEO SALVINI / Donald Trump

I do not intend to discuss the absurd electoral mechanism that the American Constitution has imposed for over two centuries, nor the liturgy attacked by Trump’s instrumental, childish and criminal lies, the cumbersome counting procedure, and the confused responsibilities of single States and Federal Government in its management. Nor I want to deal with the weakness of the democratic candidate. These are all aspects worthy of study, but not as important as the appalling facts that we learn from the US news today:

Just under half of the American voters (approximately 69.95 millions) voted for a candidate with a criminal profile, indecent male chauvinism (“Grab ’em by the pussy) systematic deceipt, tax fraud, responsibility for thousands of deaths from the incompetent management of Covid19,  partner and accomplice to the Russian mafia in illegal financial dealings. 

We knew from historical tragedies that the democratic process can bring criminals and horrific philosophies to power: Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, to name just two cases close to us in geography and history.  But the case of Trump and the presidential elections in the largest Western democracy, even if they were to end with Biden’s marginal victory, and the flawed mechanism of the US constitutional electoral procedure, is unprecedented, for the number of fooled voters and the criminal profile of the candidate. This is assuming that Trump is wrong in his current allegations, but it would be even more serious if he were right.

Keen attention should be paid to this phenomenon because something very similar is happening in Italy where a racist party, tainted by fascist apology statements by its leaders and supporters, responsible for the disappearance of public funds of tens of millions of euros and with a childish immaturity and whimsical political competence, is voted for by 25% of the electorate.

And where a “movement” without a shred of political platform, under the spell of shameful demagoguery, frayed in dozens of internal sects pushing for impossible populist issues, gets the votes of more than  30% of the electorate,  plus the feticist exhibition of the leaders publicly kissing crucifixes and rosaries, and drooling on false relics of saints to capture the votes of the catholic bigotry.

We must analyze why politically decisive shares of public opinion identify with such shameful models of political representation. How can the ethical paucity of these subjects capture the vote of decisive percentages of public opinion?

Why is Dimaio appreciated when he drools on the phony relics of San Gennaro, or when he claims to have “defeated poverty” with the (fiasco) decree of citizenship income?  Why is Salvini appreciated when he disguises himself as a policeman, carabiniere, financial police or firefighter or when, while drinking mojitos, he dances with the naked girls of Rimini to the mock arrangement of Mameli’s hymn and asks for “full powers”?  Why is he appreciated when he sends his minions to Moscow to guarantee the Italian foreign policy line in exchange for bribes on Russian oil or now when he supports Trump’s criminal lies?  In addition to this are the irresponsible, anti-Euro statements, that have cost the Italian Treasury tens of millions of euros?

Demagogy, lies, missing money, hubris:  the paradigm of Trump rewarded by half of the American voters and on a smaller scale in Italy rewarded by 53% of Italian voters.

There are three components of this shameful success, 

1. The lack of alternatives 

2. The exhausted electorate 

3. The messy political proposal

The lack of alternatives:

The Democratic Party, after years of nominalist games (PCI, PDS, DS, PD…), after a spurious association with the Catholics of the DC, without ever having denounced its Stalinist history, sets up a contradictory government with the 5S Movement.  The PD, split into dozens of trends, sects, personal circles without clear political identity, motivation, project and program is incapable of expressing a “line” with which to deal with one of the most difficult moments in our history.  The Democratic Party sails on sight, uncertain, dazed by internal contradictions, but still capable of gathering 20-22% of the voters: a solid base of loyal frustrated people who still hope for a more just, equal, and socially supportive society, waiting for the long overdue liberal development of the unequal ongoing capitalist heist.

After the blind massacre of social democracy carried out by the Italian  Judiciary in the 1970s, there were no practical proposals. Let us be clear on what the essence of “clean hands” has been.  Let us forget the hypocrisy of the soi disant left – the sleeping reason – the most squalid moralism elevated to a judiciary non-critical M.O.  The leading rule is the puerile“whatever” (neither right nor left) of Dimaio and Dibattista, and the conceptual nothingness of Crimi, Lezzi, Casaleggio et al. More dangerous is the political stage controlled by the crypto-fascist gorillas of the League.

The immigrant problem, which will be at least hemi-secular, is dealt with by weekly emergency vision. The immigrants, who are forbidden to work, are forcibly placed in seized condominiums, together with those who paid with their life savings for the “house” of their dreams.  All the basic assistance implemented by the weak Monti, Letta, Renzi, governments are cancelled.  Tens of thousands of unemployed immigrants are thrown onto the streets of Italian towns, forced into petty urban crime, burglary, drugs, prostitution, or as agricultural slave labor hired by the mafia controlled hitmen gangs.  With unbelievable success, a potential solution to the catastrophic problem of the Italian demographic decline is transformed into a tragic disaster, stirring the wrath, frustration, racism and hatred of the people: the fertile humus for future horrible development. 

A long-term vision, training, education, assistance, understanding, adequate cultural and social investments was needed to authoritatively manage selection, repatriation and right social control. Instead they delivered short term, obtuse police measures.  The outcome was segregation, racism, exclusion, isolation, if not explicit social hatred:   Salvini’s recipe that the culture of frustration appreciates so much.   Worse than this: they cancelled the ability of public opinion to conceive less coarse and shameful strategies, so much so that today many civilized and respectable people ask:  “what is the alternative, anyway?”.

There are hundreds of alternatives if you only see Salvini for what he actually is, a pathetic, racist Italian little trumpy, buddy of the fascist thugs of Casa Pound, who sends his minions to Moscow begging for Russian tips, clumsy and ridiculous in his firefighter disguises, when he doesn’t answer questions about the missing 49 million euros, or his pathetic habit of publicly kissing crosses and rosaries.   

With subjects of the caliber of Dimaio and Salvini, the opposition should have no problems whatsoever: instead, they stutter, quiver, mess-up;   the lack of alternatives.

Some have slept at the wheel for the last thirty years in government, wallowing in the self-satisfaction of a fake progressive left. How smart am I that I understand how smart you are …while the country was changing under their bums,  all intent on destroying Berlusconi and his blow-job babes while the country was grooming a generation of Dimaios and Salvinis – the difference between understanding history and reading the news.

The exhausted electorate:

In the confusion of the international political turbulent ocean, after the 2008 financial catastrophe, with the crisis of Italian exports, the country’s only fundamental resource, people expect the government to be competent, authoritative, with an internationally acknowledged leadership,  issuing effective tactical and strategic measures for the short and long term.

The government was unable to negotiate with the trade unions, had no control over the greedy arrogance of bankers and no control of US derivatives binge/theft. The country was at the mercy of national and international bullying, subordinate in European and world international institutions, delegated to officials with no mandate, neither scopes norstrategies.   Public and business opinion was stunned, while foreign capital was plunderingthe most qualified titles of our industrial park, grabbing markets, know-how, technologies, scientific knowledge and management skills.

In the long term there was dejection and frustration, with no effective authority or competence in charge, so that even the most arrogant noisy fool appears to be “a doer “.   This is what went on and climaxed in the “boobs and asses” shake at the Papeete beach resort when Mr Salvini demanded full powers (a fool’s dream: conceptually non-existent in the Italian institutional system), a demand suggested by the coarse hubris of somebody who conceives institutional democracy with the arrogance of a slums hitman.

This generated the stress of public opinion where the weakest followed the rant of the “captain” failing to see the fool he is, the frustrated most competent part withdrew on a hypothetical Aventine.

Here is my key to reading the surreal Trump/League success: the people mis-took“arrogance” for “leadership“, superficial and simplistic banter for “competence“, “bullying” for “deciding“, “showing off” for “presence“, abusive disguises for “participation”, hence the exhaustion of the electorate.  In my opinion, this is the the key to understanding the current shameful success of the Trump/Salvini illusion.

The messy political proposal

The third key to understanding, in part already mentioned in the previous two, is the messy, or non-existent, political proposal. On none of the classic Italian problems: justice, education/research, industrial policy, public debt, hydrogeological risk, the last two Italian governments have expressed any effective measure, as Trump in the US.  There has only been a great waste of spoken politics, no long-term vision and no position on the turbulent dynamics of the international situation and systematic absence of our representatives from the competent tables in the Brussels European headquarters.  Salvini was absent for actual personal deficiency and cultural inadequacy.  Because he did not attend the meetings, helost countless opportunities to defend the country’s interests on the central issue of immigration, justifying his absenteeism 

with arrogant offensive statements.  Again, the non-existent and confused proposal leaves space for arrogance, ignorance and falsification. The result of this dubious culture is that Italy is now marginal or absent from all the tables, institutes and places where decisive issues, financial interests and multi-billion dollars investments are decided for the next 50 years. We are absent in core cultural and political institutions or amateurishly represented by diplomatic tourists sent without a mandate by a government committed to bickering about petty issues.

To conclude:  What we can learn from the 2020 US presidential elections

The 2020 presidential elections in the United States prove how fragile the institution of democracy is today and how easy it is to attack its fundamental liturgy: the people’s vote. Trump’s lies and slanders are enough to destroy the credibility of the results and undermine with doubt the legitimacy of victory. This we can learn from the 2020 US presidential elections and from the similarity of the Trump/Salvini political, cultural paths and character behaviors:  Italy is running a huge risk in the current situation, very similar to the risk post-Trump America is running.

There is an urgent need in the two countries to set up an alternative political project capable of restoring values, behaviors, programs and projects in the short, medium and long term, to be entrusted to solid democratic institutions that cannot be attacked/controlled by criminals.

After the havoc of these elections it will be necessary to vigorously  handle the problem to rebuild the dignity of Italy and the United States in the international arena, entrust it to representatives with a solid institutional profile, c competent and rigorously block access to places of representation to adventurers tainted by dubious histories and criminal associations.

A fundamental issue:

One of the tenets of democracy is that the vote of the people is always right. Thus it is legitimate to ask whether the vote cast by tens of millions of voters can possibly be wrong. 

The manipulation of information, the demagogic falsification, the leveraging of the negative shadows of ignorant prejudice, the memory of horrible historical precedents regrettably dictate one answer only:  YES the popular vote can be wrong.   

Whole populations of millions of people can be led into error and vote for criminal characters and shameful programs. 

It happened in our history and it can happen again, which is the inherent weakness and risk of democracy.

lorenzo matteoli

Informazioni su matteolilorenzo

Architetto, Professore in Pensione (Politecnico di Torino, Tecnologia dell'Architettura), esperto in climatologia urbana ed edilizia, energia/ambiente/economia. Vivo in Australia dal 1993
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