The libertarian “lion,” Javier Milei, roared loudly and gave his life this Sunday by being elected president of Argentina with a distraction of “anti-caste” speech and proposals for a radical change in the South American country’s economic policy.
“Hello everyone! I’m the lion. The beast is roaring in the middle of the avenue.” This is how “Panic Show” begins, a song by the rock group. La Renga Milei He sang at every major event in his campaign to wake up what he called the “lions” of a sleeping Argentina and those he promised, as the song says, to be “the kings of the lost world.”
His provocative charisma and his groundbreaking way of talking about “chorros” (thieves) politicians—with eccentricities such as raffling off his deputy’s salary or openly saying that he was advised by his mastiff dogs—became a magnet to capture the attention of countless young people and those disillusioned with politics—mostly men.
Mercy, oneoutsider’ in politics until 2021, when he was elected deputy, first surprised in the August election, when he was the candidate with the most votes (29.86%) as the only candidate from the far-right formation, leading the coalition Together for Change (JxC, center-right) and the ruling Union for the Fatherland (Peronism).
In the first round held on October 22, he came in second, with 29.99%, behind the Minister of Economy and official candidate, Sergio Massa, whom he defeated this Sunday in the second round, with 55.78%, slightly more by ten points than his rival.
The economist apologist of the Austrian School defends freedom in any part of life, even those that are against far-right ideology, such as abortion, homosexual marriage, or drug addiction, as long as it is not the burden of the state.
Milei arrives with his wife at the Colón theater in Buenos Aires.
Milei gained visibility in the public opinion of Argentina with frequent interventions in television programs, where he showed an unrestrained oratory full of insults against the established power, the famous “caste”, However, he became an ally when he received the support of the former president Mauricio Macri and former JxC candidate Patricia Bullrich for the second round. Graduated from the University of Belgrano (Buenos Aires), with two postgraduate degrees and no experience in political matters, Milei became an economic advisor to various organizations and companies, the last of which was Airports in Argentina 2000.
His image of a rebel in a suit – or wearing a tracksuit jacket from a well-known American company under a leather jacket – and the air of a rock star raised more than a few eyebrows among traditional politicians, who They considered him a “mad man” with a messiah complex.
However, his arrival in Congress in 2021 began to worry about “caste”, especially if the self-defined “anarcho-capitalist” proposed to break the monetary ‘status quo’ through the dollarization of the economy, the privatization of most state-owned companies, the reduction of the tax burden and the freedom of access to arms and the sale of organs.
His symbol par excellence is the ‘chainsaw’, with which he has warned that he will cut public spending, eliminate and merge ministries and close down Banco Central, one of his most outrageous proposals.
The explosive socioeconomic cocktail that Argentina is experiencing is the breeding ground for the growth of ultraliberal ranks led by this fan of Rolling Stones, former goalkeeper of the club Chacarita Juniors and Boca Juniors fan.
Does not follow Agenda 2030 and denying climate change, as well as the fact that 30,000 disappeared during the military dictatorship (1976-1983), something that one of the few political consensuses in Argentina could not imagine.
The inner circle of the 53-year-old libertarian leader is made up, in addition to his dogs, which he calls “children”, by his partner, the actress, dancer and comedian. Fatima Florez, famous for his impersonation of former president Cristina Fernández (2007-2015); and to his sister Karina, whom he calls ‘The Boss’ and is his main emotional and political support.
His psychological stability became the subject of criticism and Sergio Massa even requested that presidential candidates undergo psychotechnical examination.
But it was his verbal profanity that earned him support in a wide range of sectors that led him to Pink House.