Molly Ivins and the Italian Dream

Molly Ivins will be missed. In case you haven’t heard, the feisty political troublemaker who battled for human rights and against the ravages of cancer passed away the other day. In the flurry of remembrance that followed her death, one of Molly’s quotes caught my eye:

“You can’t ignore politics, no matter how much you’d like to.”

In a sense, we slow travelers try to do that at least once a year. We rent our place in the sun, spending a month or so in our new-found Eden. We see enormous beauty in the arrangement of houses in fortified hill towns, feast on foods shaped by tradition and tempered by poverty, and trudge happily along stout walls circling our villages, not giving a hoot for politics.

Well, current politics that is. Everything I’ve mentioned in the paragraph above has a distinct political vector, of course.

And there’s the rub. If I move to Italy, will I suddenly get caught up in the maelstrom of politics as it seeps into my new life? Will I question my move after its intrusion?

It’s hard to say. Sure, at the moment my politics favors the side of Europeans protesting my country’s insistence upon the dastardly practice of “extraordinary rendition” over a politician’s insistance that certain people (as defined by politicians of course) have no right to habeas corpus. (For what it’s worth, I think “extraordinary rendition” should only be applied to things like confit de canard, not people. But I like food. So render me unto a decent cook and be done with it.)

Still, one of the reasons I bought a house in Italy was political. Four years ago I wasn’t sure that personal liberty as we knew and loved it would last in the US. I’m even less sure today. But I keep an ear to the Italian real estate scene, and more and more folks are buying homes there just in case.

You can’t ignore politics, no matter how much you’d like to.

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Molly Ivins and the Italian Dream originally appeared on WanderingItaly.com , updated: Feb 01, 2007 © .

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