Javier Milei's election in Argentina electrifies U.S. conservatives
The election of self-described "anarcho-capitalist" Javier Milei as Argentina's next president has been met with jubilation from American conservatives, many of whom see it as evidence that Trumpian populism is alive and well.
Why it matters: Milei, a libertarian economist and former TV personality with no governing experience, has a radical vision for Argentina that effectively calls for dismantling the state — in other words, "drain the swamp" on steroids.
- Facing a massive economic crisis, a poverty rate over 40% and annual inflation over 140%, many Argentine voters went into the election feeling like there was little to lose.
- Milei's proposals include replacing the peso with the U.S. dollar, abolishing the Central Bank, eliminating half of government ministries, cutting ties with China and waging a culture war against leftists.
The intrigue: Milei is eccentric, to say the least.
- The political outsider had his beloved mastiff, Conan, cloned after he died in 2017, and claims to seek advice from both the deceased dog and the five offspring produced from his DNA.
- Milei opposes abortion rights and feminism, believes climate change is a "socialist lie," and has called Pope Francis (who is Argentine) a "filthy leftist."
What they're saying: "I am very proud of you," former President Trump wrote to Milei on Truth Social. "You will turn your Country around and Make Argentina Great Again!"
- "Finally a guy who knows how to cut a bureaucracy or at least wants to. Somebody who understands the perils of government," Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said in a video congratulating Milei.
- "If Argentina can elect a government with a mandate to restrain and downsize government, so can we. It'll work there. And then here. That, my friends, is an existential threat to progressives," tweeted Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).