Javier Milei has been pulling the ears of – to put it in the most subtle possible way – Argentina’s political caste for years. The public persona created by the Argentine lion has a very clear enemy: “lefties”. For the newly elected president of Argentina, they are the cancer from which his nation is sick.
The epic goal of his government will be to fight them, and his weapons will be the weapons of any good liberal libertarian: cut ministries and taxes, abolish subsidies, remove the state from its terrible role as a businessman, dollarize and more. All this in four years.
Argentinians were between a rock and a hard place in these elections. They had to choose as president the current minister of economy who led the country to inflation of 140 percent or a man who, with shouts, messy hair and loud noise, proposed something that the productive social base, drowned in taxes and bureaucrats, could do nothing about. It made perfect sense to him. They chose the sword; They preferred a rougher, less politically correct option. But do you expect them to be able to keep their promises? What do all those who admired Miley outside of Argentina expect, all those who put their hopes in him for the revival of the liberal right? What will it have to do to be considered a successful Government?
Milei, who won 21 of the country’s 24 provinces, will have to work and negotiate with a legislature where he alone does not have a majority, so his success will depend on forging an alliance with a divided right made up of those who view him with suspicion and those who who look at him with admiration. Although it won’t be enough. He will also have to form an alliance with the faction of Peronism, the one that is angry with the Kirchners. In short, in order to make reforms, the president-elect will have to make concessions. I wonder if those concessions will be punished by the public who follow him. I wonder if they will take it as a betrayal.
For official dollarization, Milei will have to have the approval of the United States. Dollarizing a small economy, with relatively bearable debt, like Ecuador in 1999, is one thing… but dollarizing a giant like Argentina is another. The United States would have to take a big hit to its currency in exchange for regaining a politically relevant partner for maybe four years? It doesn’t seem like such a profitable business for the north country. If he fails, is his reign over? How long does it take to achieve this to be considered a success?
We can go on and on with the list of Milea’s suggestions and talk about how difficult, if not impossible, they will be to fulfill. Much of the coverage of his victory in the international media highlighted this. In four years, the democratic president, with great luck, manages to make two reforms that go beyond his administration. Keeping that sense of reality, although less exciting and less fun, will be the key for the lion’s followers – domestic and foreign – to know how to judge the success or failure of the new Argentine president.
I personally estimate that Mile’s greatest success will be visible in the next elections and that it will have only one measuring parameter: that the “leftists” are not the next in power in Argentina. (OR)
Mario Twitchell is an accomplished author and journalist, known for his insightful and thought-provoking writing on a wide range of topics including general and opinion. He currently works as a writer at 247 news agency, where he has established himself as a respected voice in the industry.