The incredible paucity of the self-styled leaders and the unbearable lightness of the alleged moderates transforms Cav Berlusconi into Sir Winston Churchill. Even in the era of global post-pandemic and post-digital democracy, the demiurge of pre-sovereign anti-politics and analogue tele-populism continues to be the only “suitable figure” of the Italian right. Having survived its unlikely misfortunes and its implausible dolphins, it continues to hold its allies in chains and the country hostage. Let’s face it right away, to be clear: it’s grotesque, or even crazy, but all of this is absolutely legitimate. Nothing stands in the way of his umpteenth “descent into the field”.
Berlusconi is perfectly eligible. It is legally suitable. Prejudiced and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for a very serious crime, he served his sentence. Not in prison, but to social services at the Cesano Boscone facility. And his original “incandiability”, applied on the basis of the Severino law of November 2012 and taken following the final sentence that found him guilty of tax fraud, was canceled by the Milan Supervisory Court, which “rehabilitated” him in May 2018. But it is also a candidate on a political level. He is and remains the founder of an anomalous tricolor right (a-republican, a-fascist, a-Europeanist), which in ’94 mixed the party-company forged by Marcello Dell’Utri on the Publitalia network, the fragments of the Christian-democratic diaspora. socialist, the former missini washed with water from Fiuggi and the Po valley from Bossi cleaned by Miglio. It is in turn the bearer of a gigantic and unresolved anomaly, the conflict of interest, embedded in the coalition and introjected by the system. He still remains the father-master of an even more anomalous wide field – in which the governmentism of blue ministers and green cacique coexist, the nationalism of the Salvinian leagues, the extremism of the Melonian Brothers – and yet probably the majority in the polls. All the polls say so, even net of the potential and further annexations of the Nazarene rite with what remains of Renzi’s party.
Therefore, it is no scandal that today the Knight, at the venerable age of 85, is once again trying to make his political biography coincide with that of the entire nation. To buy large voters and small peons no longer thanks to the money transfers of the moneymaker Lavitola (as happened in the days of Senator De Gregorio) but to the good offices of the telephone operator Sgarbi (as happens today with what has been renamed the “squirrel operation”). To electrocute Draghi on the Via del Colle, threatening to get out of the majority “of national unity” if the current prime minister leaves the government. The real scandal is that his allies allow it. Salvini and Meloni, irresolute children, do not want or cannot free themselves from the deadly embrace of the elderly parent, and thus indulge his senile whims. It is serious if they really believe in it, despite the empty talk about the “Sassoli spirit” that should characterize the non-partisan election of the figure called to represent all Italians and to pursue the common good. But it is serious even if they do not believe it, in spite of the official endorsement, and perhaps they delude themselves to solve the problem by letting the self-candidate fail to buy and sell in the squalid outlet of the mixed group or crash into the wall in the first three votes. In all cases, they underestimate the ruinous rubble that the collision will eventually produce. On the solidity of the institutions and on the credibility of the parties themselves, on the stability of the government and on the daily life of citizens.
And the real scandal is that even his opponents allow it. At this point, Letta and Conte would do well to make the only choice that could at least save what can be saved: to nominate their Draghi for the Hill, as they have not yet had the courage to do and despite the problems that this would create on the executive, downloading on the right the dramatic responsibility of saying no to the best resource available to Italy. Pd and Cinque Stelle cannot limit themselves to repeating that Berlusconi’s candidacy is “divisive”. This is not the point. In the annals of the Republic there have been several “divisive” presidents, because they are “biased”. But it is the function that develops the organ. Sergio Mattarella, an exemplary Head of State whom we will regret, except for surprises, said this in his end-of-year wishes: whoever enters the Quirinale and serves the institutions has the supreme duty to guarantee everyone, discarding the clothes of their past and present belonging . This noble process of depersonalization, in theory, could even venture the Knight, anxious as he is to see his titanic political adventure compensated by history. But here Pierluigi Bersani is right, when he argues that the Presidency of the Republic is not “a career Oscar”. The real point, as he wrote in our newspaper Montesquieu, does not concern the formal legality and political legitimacy of the candidacy, but its constitutional compatibility, which reflects the ideal sum between articles 49, 54 and 87 of the 1948 Charter: “Representation , defense of the Constitution, national unity, impartiality, equidistance between political positions, international reputation “.
With all the human and personal sympathy, Berlusconi is not a “suitable figure” with respect to any of these values and principles. It’s time to say it loud and clear. First of all to him, who as an irreducible fighter he is preparing for his last battle with the usual will to power: dear Knight, one day as a squirrel is better than another seven years as a caiman. And then to all those who, in the Palace and in the country, laugh and forget: dear Italians, remember who we are and where we come from. This is the lesson of Milan Kundera, and of his great novel: “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against oblivion”.