Across the right-wing American landscape, pundits, politicians and influencers are extremely pleased by the results of Sunday’s elections in Italy. That’s because the country has thrown substantial support behind the Brothers of Italy, a party with roots in post-World War II fascism, led by Giorgia Meloni, who is poised to become the first woman prime minister in the nation’s history.
Much of the adulation was reserved for Meloni herself, a forceful 45-year-old who likes to rail against immigration, abortion, same-sex marriage, and the European Union. One clip from a notable speech she made in 2019 at the World Congress of Families — the Southern Poverty Law Center describes it as “an umbrella for a massive network of interconnected organizations” that want to strip back rights and protections for LGBTQ people — made the social media rounds to great approval.
In the address, Meloni argued that “those who would like us to no longer have an identity” won’t let her define herself as “Italian, Christian, woman, mother,” and vowed to “defend god, family and country.” This was a clear nod to her party’s motto, “God, family, fatherland,” retained from the Italian Social Movement, a neo-fascist precursor to the Brothers of Italy founded in 1946 by supporters of executed dictator Benito Mussolini.
Whether either member of congress realized they were resharing the footage and English translation from CassiusDX, a YouTube user who mainly curates far-right European political content and posts video complaints about “Diversity and female empowerment in film and TV,” was not immediately clear. But it’s doubtful they’d care in any event.
Other commentators went a bit further in their raptures. Benny Johnson of Turning Point USA incorrectly claimed that Meloni was already prime minister, said the viral WCF speech gave him “chills,” and anointed her as “based.” Far-right trolls including Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec cynically weaponized the fact that Meloni is female to accuse her critics of misogyny or not supporting feminist ideals. Talk radio host Jesse Kelly called her a “dime.” And more than a few Twitter users were happy to grant her “MILF” status.
The thirst was even more intense in conservative subreddits and far-right forums, where users have posted photos of the future PM, praising her looks as well as her policies. QAnon believers variously deemed her “cute and fiery” and flat-out “HOT.”
Meloni seems well-attuned to the public’s lecherous gaze: on election day, she posted a TikTok video of herself holding melons in front of her chest, a reference to the meaning of her surname, which is also slang for breasts. “September 25. I have said it all,” she said in Italian.
Still, some in the MAGA-verse aren’t quite ready to make Meloni into a pinup model. Said one skeptic in a pro-Tump forum: “I like her, but no one, and I mean no one stacks up to Melania.”