I imagine you are still muttering why so many people voted for Mellie, in shock and fear of what might happen if he became president in the October election. Because we have seen it from a distance with Trump in the United States, or closer with Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, but also with Santiago Abascal and Fox in Spain, and most recently with Georgia Meloni in Italy.
Rights for women, diversity and immigrants, labor rights were gained with a certain risk of narrowing, as well as cuts in social, health and educational programs: this is part of their campaign package. Millie says health and public education should be paid for. Children and members can be sold. He denies climate change, advocates freedom to bear arms, and rescinds the commitment to comprehensive sexual education (ESI), which he sees as a tool to destroy the family.
But from the testimonies we have heard in the past hours, many of his constituents do not believe that he will implement these ideas. Above all, it tempts them – and I did tempt them – to dollarize the economy, although we know that a proposal of this kind has not worked in other countries such as Ecuador and does not explain clearly how it can be implemented. Milei sells colored mirrors. But unfortunately, many believe that they will earn more in dollars as if by magic. The promise of green tickets and a strong hand attracted criminals.
Miley directed the angry vote against a political leadership that has not responded for a long time – and not just in the past three and a half years – to the most pressing problems of large segments of the population, an arrangement that can lead to inflation – with an accelerating increase in poverty and insecurity. He convinced many of his constituents the fear of not making it to the end of the month but also of not going home. With Milly, “they all go”, the anti-political cry, against “class”, but also against feminists and all that feminist struggles mean and have achieved.
On Monday, he said he would refer to the law of voluntary interruption of pregnancy. He is the Christ who cries out uncontrollably, promises dreams, and generates hope because he is the one who has yet to fail. But in addition, he was the candidate with the most votes in the PASO because the ruling party did not reach out to the frustrated young people who have been locked in the pandemic, who work but cannot rent the homes of the elderly, whom Argentina has never seen a thriving country. An important fact, in an election where young people make up more than a third of the electorate.
As Juan Elman points out in an article for openDemocracy in the 2019 elections, Frente Todos won with 60% support in that segment. Milei’s presence on social networks and, in particular, her videos on Tik Tok, has allowed her to strengthen close bonds with her teenage – first-time – and young voters, having catapulted to fame on TV shows that she called out for being tough and was theatrical when Shouted. Mistakes – such as the celebration of the first lady’s birthday in times of severe restrictions on the population in the midst of a pandemic – and the infighting and permanent disregard between the different spaces that make up the Todex front – now the Unión por la Patria – were alienating the government even from those voters who might have hopefully supported it in 2019. And now they either did not go to vote or turned their backs on the official formula.
It is necessary to construct – and better communicate – a sensitive and credible programme, close to the expectations of the majority, that shows how the economy and the problem of insecurity can be improved, without backtracking on rights, with a present and effective state. The personal pettiness of many leaders of the government and the situation has shaken their credibility. How can the Minister of Economy, who cannot control inflation today, believe that he will be able to reduce it after December? This is the great challenge: the panorama is complex. But it would undoubtedly be worse if the conservative far right, embodied by Millie or Patricia Bullrich, finally reached the Casa Rosada.
Our rights are at risk. Let fear unite us.