Giorgia Meloni is the rising star of the Italian right. Will she make us dance or cry?
Last week, a brand new song entered the Italian hit parade: Io sono Giorgia (“I am Giorgia”). Its title sounds like something not particularly exciting, but I guarantee you it made people dance. A lot.
The thing that’s special about this song is a remix of a speech made by Giorgia Meloni, leader of the national-conservative political party Brothers of Italy, during a rally held in Rome in October. She says:
My name is Giorgia. I am a woman. I am a mother. I am a Christian.
The sentences you hear seem uttered by a professional vocalist at a techno music festival, and are a distillate of the banal and overly-repeated slogans of the Italian right: with her remarks, Meloni indirectly attacks the left, the LGBT+ community and Islam, which she sees as the enemies of the nation, and evokes the disintegration of the Italian identity — which is the biggest threat that makes conservatives quake in their boots.
And to make the politician’s words more appealing to the masses, they have been mixed in an ironic way by two DJs from Milan, MEM & J. The video went viral, reaching 4 million views in no time, and even the famous and mysterious, anonymous singer MYSS KETA performed Io Sono Giorgia during her most recent concert in Bologna.
Leaving aside the funny sides of this story, we need to point out that, when it comes to the current center-right coalition, according to the polls, Giorgia Meloni has taken over in consensus Forza Italia leader Silvio Berlusconi. And it is now fair to say that probably this video — which could be argued was made to ridicule her speech and her political stance — will increase her popularity even more among the Italians.
As a matter of fact, Meloni, as well as Berlusconi and The League leader Matteo Salvini, could now reach around 50% of the votes combined, showing that the initial (little) enthusiasm for the new Italian government has already finished.
Meloni and Salvini could be considered quite similar figures, as they share analogous political views that many analysts recognize as belonging to the far-right movement. However, although they are both long-experienced politicians, Meloni has taken the role of minister ten years before Salvini did, serving under the premiership of Berlusconi at the age of 31. This made her the youngest minister in the history of the Italian Republic.
After Berlusconi’s fall in 2011 and the following technical government led by Mario Monti, Meloni voted for the so-called Fornero Law, which would have reformed the retirement system by increasing the pension age for workers. During the years that followed her move, she has become one of the most passionate opponents of said law — showing that, like Salvini, coherence is not her strong suit.
Another issue that surrounds Meloni’s character that is worth mentioning is her personal relationship with Fascism. The politician nominated Caio Giulio Cesare Mussolini, Benito’s great-grandson, to run with her party in the 2019 European Parliament elections. The announcement was made through a Facebook video, and despite there was no explicit reference to the fascist ideology, it’s curious to notice that Meloni and Mussolini were standing right before the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana — a classical example of Fascist architecture.
For over a year the opposition against the Right has been made through irony and satire, from the banners against Salvini to the viral remix I am Giorgia to the most recent Movement of the Sardines. Given these examples, it’s undeniable that taunting politicians has become the trend when protesting against them. Surely, mocking politicians to expose and counter their ideals is something as ancient as the world; however, in Meloni’s case, it doesn’t really seem to work, as her appreciation among the general public has risen as well as the percentages of the right.
Maybe one day the masses will dance to this remix to remember with a smile that sad times have gone, but as of now, there is still a lot of work to do in that direction.