December 24, 2009

The winter of our discontent? No, it's Christmas time...

It has been snowing these last few days in North-Eastern Italy, and Christmas is a-coming. And to be sincere I would have no wish to talk about politics, but, just like nature, politics has its own times and seasons, and these are special and challenging times—no way to escape from the battlefield (believe me, you people who don’t like war movies, the term is not exaggerated!), nor would I wish this, neither should anyone else in my opinion. So here I am with an end-of-year thought.

While I was reading what Steven (The Metaphysical Peregrine) had to say right here in this very blog last Friday about the US at the end of the year 2009, sometimes I wondered whether he was talking about America or Italy. He denounced what he calls the Obama tyranny, but that’s just the way the Italian and European leftists talk about Berlusconi, the media tycoon who owns or controls most of Italy’s major national newspapers and magazines, TV stations and radio…, which is only partially true, but it doesn’t matter because nobody listens, except for the usual haters.., masters in the art of lying and deceiving, proscribing and despoiling, under a cloak of legality. And that’s what both makes Berlusconi stronger, beyond his real merits, and “the haters” more and more unreliable, beyond their faults (which aren’t exactly child’s play, though). It’s the Nemesis, or, as the old proverb goes, “The devil makes the saucepans, but not the lids.”

What is certain is that both Obama and Berlusconi are not uniters but dividers. Which makes life difficult for us moderates of both trenches (I mean, I consider myself a conservative on many issues, and a liberal on a few, but overall I support conservative parties around the world). In fact, moderates dislike the way some people tend to extremize their views, which often leads them, in the worst cases, to what I would call the intellectualization of political hatred (you know, it’s always the same story: never concede an inch to your opponents, whom must be seen as inherently “evil” or “stupid,” whatever they think, say and do, etc.). But I concede that both in Obama’s case and in that of Berlusconi a certain Manichaeism is somehow more understandable. They are symbols, “representative men,” and that’s what can make them automatically worthy of love or hatred, without half-measures.

Yet, there is a difference between those who target Obama as an American traitor and a “tyrant,” and those who have a similar attitude towards Berlusconi: while the formers fight a political war (which I believe to be well-founded, by the way), the latter prefer ad hominem attacks to serious analysis and a sensible discussion of the issues, which is something I cannot stand, nor do I believe such a “political” approach should ever be acceptable in a civilized country.

So if my American conservative friends have the right to be furious, there are even more reason why their Italian counterparts should be so. That’s why I might say, along with the Poet, “Now is the winter of our discontent,” if it were not that Christmas is so close, and Christmas time
comes once a year… a time to be joyful and happy. So Merry Christmas everyone, conservatives and liberals alike! May God bless you and keep you from harm’s way!