The New York Times’ Jason Horowitz never mentions that, but does use the word “Fascist” or “Fascism” in nearly every sentence about the (likely) next prime minister of Italy.
I only had to cut about five sentences. This proves that, if Horowitz had put in a little more effort, he could have gotten it up to at least 35.
From the Times:
With the hard-right candidate Giorgia Meloni ahead before Sunday’s election, Italy could get its first leader whose party traces its roots to the wreckage of Fascism.
By Jason Horowitz
Sept. 24, 2022
ROME — Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s hard-right leader, resents having to talk about Fascism. She has publicly, and in multiple languages, said that the Italian right has “handed Fascism over to history for decades now.” She argued that “the problem with Fascism in Italy always begins with the electoral campaign,” when the Italian left, she said, wheels out “the black wave” to smear its opponents….
More than 70 years after Nazis and Fascists nearly destroyed Europe, formerly taboo parties with Nazi or Fascist heritages that were long marginalized have elbowed their way into the mainstream. Some are even winning. A page of European history seems to be turning….
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But it is Italy, the birthplace of Fascism, that looks likely to be led not only by its first female prime minister in Ms. Meloni but the first Italian leader whose party can trace its roots back to the wreckage of Italian Fascism.
Unlike Germany, which was clearly on the wrong side of history and made facing and remembering its Nazi past a national project woven inextricably into the postwar fabric of its institutions and society, Italy had one foot on each side, and so had a claim to victimization by Fascism, having switched allegiances during the war….
There was a belief, the Italian writer Umberto Eco wrote in his classic 1995 essay “Ur Fascism,” or “Eternal Fascism,” that the “memory of those terrible years should be repressed.” …
Italy had ignored much of that advice during its postwar amnesty program that sought to incorporate post-Fascist elements. But it also kept the party established by the former Fascists, the Italian Social Movement — which pushed for a strong state, tough on crime and opposed to abortion and divorce — away from power in the following decades.
Meanwhile, Italy’s left, dominated by the largest Communist Party in Western Europe, had the advantage of being anti-Fascist, which allowed its leaders to have institutional roles, political influence and cultural dominance, which they used to wield the “Fascist” label against any range of political enemies until the term was drained of much of its meaning.
That wobbly status quo came crashing down after a sprawling bribery scandal in the early 1990s toppled Italy’s power structure — and with it the barriers that had kept the post-Fascists out of power.
It was around that time that Ms. Meloni entered politics, becoming active in the Youth Front of the Italian Social Movement, the heirs to Italy’s post-Fascist legacy.
She sought new symbols and heroes to distance the party from its unapologetically Fascist forbearers, but also to correct what she considered politicized history….
But it was not until 1994, when the conservative media mogul Silvio Berlusconi entered politics, that Ms. Meloni and her fellows in the post-Fascist milieu got their real breakthrough. …
Her proposals, characterized by protectionism, tough-on-crime measures and protecting the traditional family, have a continuity with the post-Fascist parties, though updated to excoriate L.G.B.T. “lobbies” and migrants. …
“The Constitution was born of resistance and anti-Fascism,” the leader of the left, Enrico Letta, responded, saying that Ms. Meloni had revealed her true face, and that the Constitution “must not be touched.”
The left sees in her crescendoing rhetoric, cult of personality style and hard-right positions many of the hallmarks of an ideology that Eco famously sought to pin down despite Fascism’s “fuzziness.”…
Just this week, one of the party’s top leaders was caught giving a fascist salute and one of its candidates was suspended for flatteringly comparing Ms. Meloni with Hitler. …
Ms. Meloni has also apparently shed a deep suspicion of the United States, rampant in post-Fascism, and staunchly aligned herself with the West against Russia in support of Ukraine. …
“A historical judgment,” of Mussolini and Fascism, Ms. Meloni said in an interview last month, could be done only by “putting everything on the table — and then you decide.”
If only Italians knew who David Duke was, the Times could have demanded that Ms. Meloni “disavow” him.