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The Trump of Argentina Wins

Javier Milei, the Trump of Argentina, has won his election. But winning is only the beginning, as Trump found out to his devilment.

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Javier Milei, the Trump of Argentina

The recent election of Argentinian President Javier Milei is a political earthquake as big as the election of President Donald Trump in 2016.

The anti-establishment movements in Argentina and the United States share remarkable similarities. Comparable movements have also been showing up in Italy, Greece, Finland, Holland, France, Germany, Hungary, and other countries.

The establishment model of high taxes, expensive welfare systems, lax migration enforcement, and large (often corrupt) bureaucracies has been the dominant Western pattern since the end of World War II.

Throughout the world, people are finding that the system no longer delivers on prosperity, safety, accountability, and protection of national interests.

Milei’s election is one more example of the popular repudiation of the traditionally dominant establishment.

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Argentinians decided that their economy was a disaster, their government was out of control, and corruption was rampant. So, gambling on a new, bold, aggressive reformer made sense.

The inflation rate in Argentina is approaching 150 percent a year. Compare this to the current 3.2 percent annualized rate in the United States (which peaked at 9.1 percent last year). You can see why Argentinians would be unhappy. If our inflation rate increased 50-fold, the level of pain and public anger would be almost unimaginable.

Argentina has been badly governed since the 1946 election of Juan Peron (of “Evita” fame). Argentinians have gotten used to enduring economic and political conditions that would lead to a massive response in the United States. Now, Argentinians are clearly tired of failure.

As Eric Lyman wrote for Just the News:

Like former President Donald Trump, the coiffed Milei is a one-time television personality and political outsider who rode into office on a wave of discontent with the political establishment.

He has promised radical solutions to entrenched problems (he wants to dollarize the Argentinian economy, for example, and says he will privatize companies and dramatically slash government spending, illustrating that goal using a chainsaw on the campaign trail.)

Milei has like Trump also suggested the country’s political elite has left behind the country and has questioned the integrity of its election system.

Sonia Cavallo Runde is a lecturer at The Catholic University of America and co-author of “Argentina’s Economic Reforms of the 1990s in Contemporary and Historical Perspective.” Runde explained the dramatic scope of change Milei’s election represents for Argentina:

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Milei has a popular mandate, ideological clarity and, for now, the political will to overturn Argentina’s decadence.

Argentines have awakened from 20 years of populism… Those 50 and older, have positive memories of the stable 90s, when Argentina enjoyed a decade of price stability, was receiving investments, open to trade, exporting industrial and agricultural goods, and, of course, enjoying macroeconomic stability and growth.

The young subjected to 2 decades of Kirchnerist propaganda were surprisingly enthusiastic supporters of Milei who explained in the campaign that there is no prosperity or growth without free markets and that there is no stability without fiscal balance.

Milei’s credibility stems from the simplicity of his statements. The message got through, 55% of the Argentine population gave Milei a mandate for change. Now the challenge is to create the political consensus to implement the tough but needed changes.

Indeed, Milei’s direct language is in the tradition of Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and Trump. He argues, “Socialism is always and everywhere a violent, murderous, and impoverishing phenomenon.”

Barry Casselman captured Milei’s uniqueness as a political personality in his newsletter. Like Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Milei appeared in the political stage out of nowhere. As Casselman wrote, Milei is also “difficult to categorize:”

He is a social conservative, an economic libertarian, and has been called an “anarcho-capitalist.”

He admires Donald Trump, the late Hasidic leader [Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneersohn], the U.S.A., Israel, and free markets.

He is pro-life and anti-climate extremism. He opposes current Argentine government regulations, and wants to replace the nearly bankrupt Argentine peso with the U.S. dollar. …

With his trademark uncombed hair and leather jacket, he is a charismatic speaker who has a huge following among working class Argentinians.

Milei’s rise has been amazing to watch. But he should take note: The establishment he is fighting will almost certainly defend itself with every tool available – including breaking the law.

It happened to President Trump, and it can happen to Milei, too.

Like Trump, Milei will discover that winning is just the beginning.

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This article was originally published by RealClearPolicy and made available via RealClearWire.

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Speaker Newt Gingrich is Chairman of Gingrich 360, a multimedia production and consulting company based in Arlington, Virginia. As former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Gingrich is well known as the architect of the “Contract with America” that led the Republican Party to victory in 1994, creating the first conservative majority in the House in 40 years. He was a Republican candidate for President of the United States in 2012.

Gingrich is a Fox News contributor, podcast host (Newt’s World), and syndicated columnist. He is the author of 41 books, including 18 fiction and nonfiction New York Times bestsellers. His latest books include Beyond Biden: Rebuilding the America We Love and Trump and the American Future: Solving the Great Problems of Our Time.

Gingrich and his wife, Ambassador Callista L. Gingrich, host and produce historical and public policy documentaries. Recent films include “The First American” and “Divine Mercy: The Canonization of John Paul II.”

Recognized internationally as an expert on world history, military issues, and international affairs, Newt Gingrich is the longest-serving teacher of the Joint War Fighting course for Major Generals. He also teaches officers from all six services as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Professor at the National Defense University. In addition, Newt Gingrich served as a Member of the Defense Policy Board. He was a member of the Terrorism Task Force for the Council on Foreign Relations, and he co-chaired the Task Force on United Nations Reform, a bipartisan congressional effort to modernize and improve the United Nations.

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