A rushing wave of grassroots support is evident for Javier Milei, the newly elected President of Argentina. His unexpected landslide victory in Sunday’s runoff election signifies a pivotal shift in the political landscape of Argentina, aligning with a conservative economic sentiment that resonates with a global trend of populist libertarianism.
Milei, a former lawmaker and economist, won the presidency with an impressive 55.95% of the vote, leaving his socialist opponent Sergio Massa with 44.04% in the head-to-head runoff. This double-digit lead is particularly notable given that Massa had previously defeated Milei in the first round of voting, leaving the two matched up head-to-head in the runoff.
Can Milei's win serve as a starting point for discussing the burden that government agencies are on society and the economy? https://t.co/Y7rHAtZcx6
— Per Bylund (@PerBylund) November 20, 2023
As Argentina grapples with an economic crisis marked by inflation and unemployment, Milei’s promise to “dollarize” the Argentine economy and eliminate the Central Bank has won over voters looking for radical solutions.
In the vein of the United Kingdom’s surprising 2015 Brexit vote and the movement that brought President Donald Trump to the White House the following year, Milei’s victory signals a call from the people for significant change. His stance against the established Peronist socialist regime and his commitment to capitalist principles have garnered significant traction for the youth-driven political movement Liberty Advances. Milei’s ascent to power comes when the country seeks to reclaim its position as a global power, mirroring Milei’s pledge to restore Argentina’s status within 35 years.
The parallels between Milei’s ascension and Trump’s 2016 campaign are evident. Both leaders have championed anti-establishment sentiments and have tapped into a vein of dissatisfaction with traditional politics. For Argentina, Milei’s win marks the end of a long-standing socialist establishment that voters believe has led the country to economic despair.
“For me the state is an enemy, as are the politicians who live off it.”
– Javier Milei
Javier just won Argentina’s presidential election! pic.twitter.com/QOm11bYwjM
— Jeremy Wayne Tate (@JeremyTate41) November 20, 2023
Milei’s victory is not just a win for Argentina but also for the ideals of smaller government and economic freedom. He has been vocal about his disapproval of socialist policies, which he argues only benefit a select few while the majority of ordinary working citizens suffer. By promising to embrace a model of liberty, Milei aims to end the era of what he terms the “omnipresent state” and revive Argentina’s past economic glory.
The new president-elect, speaking late Sunday after his victory, addressed his countrymen with an inclusive message, inviting all to join the “new Argentina.” He stressed the importance of law and order, making it clear that his government would not tolerate violence. In his commitment to liberal policies, Milei assured his supporters that the celebration marks the beginning of Argentina’s journey back to prosperity.
As with any political shift, there are apprehensions, particularly from Massa’s camp, which warned that Milei’s plans to curtail the state could jeopardize public services. Nevertheless, Milei has clarified that he does not intend to privatize health care or education, quelling some of the concerns raised by his opponents.
This election is a clear message from the Argentinian populace — a collective yearning for change and rejecting the status quo. With Milei preparing to take the helm, there is a palpable hope for an Argentina that regains its lost economic strength and might once again stand tall on the world stage.
The eyes of the world, especially those looking toward the upcoming U.S. presidential election, are watching closely, as this victory may well presage another conservative triumph in the form of a Trump resurgence. As Argentina embarks on this new chapter, the international community awaits the outcome of this bold experiment in libertarian governance.