Argentina is about to decide the fate of their country. Will they keep on the same track of socialism that led to poverty and corruption, or will they try something new with Javier Milei?
The first thing you might see about Jilei is his hair. News articles about his style dropped on news and entertainment websites everywhere with a smug attitude. The coverage propelled him in the polls to public curiosity in Argentina, and the people there discovered that he was a very populist outsider similar to President Donald Trump in America.
The media in America may demonize Trump, but the US economy had been booming for decades and the country was kept out of wars abroad. The media uses the comparison as a way to discredit Jilei. However, it only serves to reinforce his message. It’s time to change the career politicians that got Argentina into such a mess. The country seemed to be doomed.
His anti-corruption, anti-socialist message received unprecedented support from the Argentinean population. We heard the same talk about Trump from candidates of establishment parties, who called him dangerous for his bombastic rhetoric.
Argentina uses a similar system to a primary, where candidates from different parties can run and the two top candidates will then go into a runoff. If one candidate receives 45% of the votes or more, the run-off will be canceled and the person declared president.
Milei secured 30% of the Argentinean votes in the first round of voting on October 22nd, securing a place in the runoff against Sergio Massa. The country’s Economy Minister, Massa leads a coalition that is called centre-left but represents a status quo socialistism, which brought Argentina to its current economic mess.
According to Argentina’s National Statistics Agency, the poverty rate is 39.2%. Hyperinflation continues at 142%. The United States’ inflation woes are a breeze compared with Argentina. The country needs to undergo massive overhauls in order to get out of the hot waters that socialists dug over the past several decades.
Milei has pledged to fight socialism. He has gone as far as calling the Catholic Pope Francis a filthy leftist, which has alienated a significant portion of the Argentinean religious population. The population has also grown tired of the damage leftism brought to Argentina, earning him his support so far.
His campaign claims that the first round of elections was a fraud similar to the suspicious results in the United States in 2020. Milei stated that there were so many irregularities in the voting process that the results are now doubtful. “Whoever counts votes controls everything.”
Argentinians are on edge as they head to the polls. The same policies can either change the history of the country or lead to further poverty. According to the most recent polls, Milei is leading by 52,7% to 47,9%. But will this narrow lead be sufficient to overcome corruption? Soon we will know the results.