THE BLOG
12/14/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Silvio Berlusconi Doesn't Speak in My Name

I promised you a look into Italian habits. It will be the topic of my future posts: I don't write about Italian politics; but now I have to take a moment and comment on something that has been upsetting me for a week.

It was an unforgettable, wonderful night when Senator Obama was elected President of the United States and the morning after it felt like it was the new year: a feeling that things can be done, a great exhilarating sensation was palpable through the streets of New York. I felt proud to be in this country! After years of struggle to adapt to a different culture that, I have to admit, sometimes frustrates me, I finally felt rewarded and almost proud! I felt like at the end of a good Hollywood movie with a perfect happy ending.

The entire world cheered with us, and what does the Prime Minister of Italy do? He cracks a bad joke that he should have saved (if he really had to say it out loud) for the secrecy of her private residence, not for one of his official speeches. He described Senator Obama as "tanned."

What a disappointment and what a cold shower on us, on the Italians who were genuinely happy, on people all over the world who still admire and respect our country for the greatness of its past.

Unfortunately our glorious past is passed... nowadays politicians in Italy are generally used to loud comments, to the offensive boldness of someone who knows he can't be stopped... I don't know how to comment to Mr. Berlusconi's remark... I can only say that our country deserves better. We need a new hope that, frankly, I can't see anywhere. I am glad about the many initiatives on social networks like "I'm Italian and the Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is not speaking in my name". Will that help a new generation of more respectful politicians raise and govern the belpaese? I hope so.

For many years I was homesick and sometimes I couldn't even remember why I left Italy and came to the States in the first place... now I know: Americans surprised me, surprised the world and were capable of electing a great leader.

As for Italy, I don't know. I'm very pessimistic. I hope the future will prove me wrong. I hope we will have a great Prime Minister one day, a person who can speak in my name.