In an article in the New York Times, journalist Jason Horowitz discuses how college dropout Luigi Di Mario returns triumphantly to his hometown near Naples as Italy’s possible new president. His party, “Five Star” won the support of 1/3 of Italian voters, by far the most of any political party. While this is not enough to earn majority government, it may force another election.
As Horowitz mentions in his article, the Italian people seem to be thrilled with the election results, claiming that Di Mario is “one of us” and “part of our generation.” However Italians should be cautious with what happens next. While the Five Star campaign may seem appealing to the public (which is the point) its populist tactics are problematic.
Horowitz talks about how the party has been strategic about its vagueness on issues ranging from Russia to vaccines. Taking this further, the Italian campaign has been problematic for more than these reasons. The rise of anti-immigration, electronic misinformation and the decrease in the left could be a sign that Italy is following its own footsteps into choosing another corrupt president.
The Five Star party in its far-right beliefs is already resembling the ghost of fascism. While ideologically amorphous, its leader take to the stage chanting names to rile up the crowds with resentment. They have also been accused by leftist activists of beatings. The frustration in Italy, from immigration to youth employment creates the perfect environment for neo-fascist movements.