Italy has elected Giorgia Meloni, its first female prime minister, whose focus on protecting the institution of the family and national identity has caused some media outlets to compare her ideology to “fascism.”

The 45-year-old firebrand insists she’s no fascist, just a proud conservative and nationalist, comfortable nevertheless with some of the hallmarks of Italian fascism, like this motto: God, fatherland and family,” CBS’ Chris Livesay reported.

Meloni’s previous strategy of rejecting any participation in government and remaining true to being the only opposition party through three different governments now seems to have paid off. Dissatisfied with all the other parties, many Italians seem prepared to vote for her.

The politician’s supporters see her as committed to upholding the values of God, family, and country as European leaders increasingly embrace cosmopolitan and secular values of supranational organizations like the European Union as opposed to individual nation-states. However, mainstream media outlets have tied Meloni and her party to fascism. As conservative political commentator Ann Coulter pointed out, a New York Times article used the word “fascist” or “fascism” 28 times when discussing the possibility of a Meloni victory.

Meloni has elaborated on her philosophy in multiple speeches over the past few years. In a speech at the World Congress of Families in 2019, she asked, “Why is the family an enemy? Why is the family so frightening?” “There is a single answer to all these questions,” she suggested. “Because it defines us. Because it is our identity. Because everything that defines us is now an enemy for those who would like us to no longer have an identity and to simply be perfect consumer slaves.”

Meloni lamented what she viewed as attacks on “national identity,” “religious identity,” “gender identity” and “family identity.She expressed concern that “I can’t define myself as Italian, Christian, woman, mother” but instead must define herself as “citizen x, gender x, parent 1, parent 2.”

“I must be a number. Because when I am only a number, when I no longer have an identity or roots, then I will be the perfect slave at the mercy of financial speculators,” she added. Meloni stated that her opposition to serving as “the perfect slave at the mercy of financial speculators” is why “we inspire so much fear.” Meloni vowed to “defend the value of the human being,” stressing that “each of us has a unique genetic code that is unrepeatable.” “That is sacred. We will defend it. We will defend God, family and country, those things that disgust people so much,” Meloni said. The Italian politician cited the defence of God, family and country as necessary to “defend our freedom” and ensure that “we will never be slaves and simple consumers at the mercy of financial speculators.”

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