Italy’s liberal media erupted into open hysteria Wednesday morning after the announcement of Donald Trump’s victory, calling the outcome the triumph of “American rage.”
Unwilling or unable to see any good in the widespread, vibrant populism at the core of Trump’s success, journals of the Italian Left such as L’Espresso descended into bitterness and vitriol, saying that America first “invented globalization and now has retired behind its own borders, frightened at what it had created.”
Trotting out the usual litany of disparagement, L’Espresso called President-Elect Trump “a billionaire of dubious public morals, tax evader, liar, xenophobe and racist.”
In apocalyptic tones, the journal warned that “Donald Trump will hold in his hand the suitcase with the nuclear codes, and along with it the destiny of the United States and a large slice of the planet.”
The Italian version of the Huffington Post, on the other hand, wrung its hands in disbelief over the Presidential overturning of the status quo, warning Europeans of an impending breakdown in American foreign policy and a betrayal of her North Atlantic allies.
“The vulgar billionaire, with his winks to Putin and even to North Korea, and even more with his crass ignorance,” gives absolutely no guarantees of good continued relations with America’s western friends, the journal declared.
But the horror of the Italian and European Left does not spring merely from what they consider an “upset” by a political outsider in the United States, but rather from another key victory of an international populist movement that began with Brexit and could well end with the overthrow of the entire old political order.
Globalism has suffered a series of powerful blows, especially with the continuing rise of populist parties in France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Great Britain, Hungary and elsewhere. As in the case of the Brexit referendum, the establishment—including its sounding box, the mainstream media—stand in defiant denial of the facts and then rend their garments when their predictions prove illusory.
For Western Europe, Trump’s election doesn’t just mean a change of direction for their most powerful ally, it also lends further credence and support to the movement that threatens to undermine “the way things are done.”
While some find this exhilarating and long overdue, for the Leftist establishment, it is a nameless nightmare.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter