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Ceará URCA 2012.1 Questão: 35 Inglês Interpretação de Texto 

Not Just Any Old Charlatan
Silvio Berlusconi embodies Italy’s greatest weaknesses and its worst instincts.

 


PART 1

 

They are going to miss him when he’s gone. Though few Italians may admit it openly, Silvio Berlusconi is quintessentially one of them. For better or worse, his departure will leave a scar on the national psyche. It’s not so much his massive wealth or media influence that has kept him in power for the better part of 17 years. His edge lies in tempting the population to believe that they could live his dolce vita an equivalent of the American Dream of prosperity with the addition of scantily clad women.
The fact that it has taken a catastrophic near collapse of Italy’s (and Europe’s) economy for Italians to finally let him go is a testament to the country’s love of its rogue in office. Berlusconi´s not just any old charlatan. He is the great enabler who, for nearly two decades, has allowed Italians to feel they can cheat on anything from their taxes to their spouses because he does it himself. Berlusconi knows the Italian psyche well in part because he’s created it through his media influence. And he has succeeded both personally and politically by playing to Italians’ greatest weaknesses and worst instincts. “His passion is boundless and seems to have several strands: the idealization of youth, the commercial value of beauty, the appreciation of women, and male pride,” says Beppe Severgnini, journalist and author of Mamma Mia. “It fuels daydreams and provides justification for inexcusable yearnings.”
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