|It's darkest before the dawn? Perhaps. But sometimes it's just pitch dark.|
As an American of Italian descent, then as one with dual Italian citizenship, it was difficult to bear the election and re-elections of Silvio Berlusconi. To people around the world--and not least of all to people in the United States--this was often used as evidence that Italy was nothing more than a worn-out, corrupt old joke. Only a hopelessly rotten nation, such people said scornfully, a nation with neither any intelligence nor conscience, a hollow desperate nation in which puffed-up vanity had displaced any trace of dignity, could allow itself to be ruled by such a blatantly perfidious, debauched, ignorant, misogynistic, racist gas bag: a painful joke on the world stage, a disaster at home.
And now America--the self-professed "beacon" of the world--has outdone Italy....