Hey, remember a few years back when you first heard about Silvio Berlusconi, and we got to sit back and laugh at how foolish he was, and how foolish Italy was for electing him multiple times? And then we elected the worst human being in the country, and it was our turn to play the fool? Well, Italy’s doing us a real solid by agreeing to have one of the worst elections in the developed world since the last time a major European power held an election.
A few scattered thoughts:
1) Let’s all keep in mind, as ridiculous as it might appear, Italians could do worse than having an engaged, smarter-than-average, late night host considering Oliver’s general humility would at least prevent him from running the country off a cliff. Most likely, the worst thing that Prime Minister John Oliver would do is consistently mock his citizenry for voting him into office.
2) “On Thursday riot-equipped police fired water cannons and tear gas as they clashed with far-left protesters marching against a nearby neo-fascist rally.” So what’s up there? I mean, I fully understand that the far-left can be filled with violent assholes. I’m just saying, that’s a real twist ending that sentence went with.
3) So, on the real, what exactly are we supposed to do about all this? Because it’s suddenly becoming apparent Europe is not the bastion of engaged and skeptical voters that many liberals love to pretend it is. (Please, for the love of god, no one inform Portland, OR about some of the actual policies and laws that France and the Netherlands have. It would break their poor hearts). And if other countries are as susceptible to cults of personality and “grab a beer” contests as us poor Americans rubes, how the hell are we supposed to stop the rise of fascism that seems to be popping up on all fronts?
This is not where I have any pithy lines about getting more involved or holding elected officials accountable. Partly because I’m hopped up on cold medicine and pure unmitigated fever, but mostly because it seems like an overwhelming question. We’ve seen how fascism started before and what it led to. And we’re still mostly unable to actually stop it because everyone is pretty sure that their guy isn’t a fascist, and they really, really like Silvio’s whole vibe. Shit, I just said that I think an American comedian who was raised in Britain would be a better Italian Prime Minister than a few of their current options, and I’m still not entirely sure I’m wrong. At the very least, Oliver is transparent enough to show us his volcano. That seems like a decent first step.