The 2022 model politics, between ideas and the circus

One of Milei’s first actions as a deputy: circumventing her diet

Argentine politics gradually enters a circus terrain that neither helps, nor praises, nor rescues it from the quagmire in which society believes it is immersed, and nullifies any serious attempt at a debate of ideas. Yes there are.

The brand new deputy from Avanza Libertad, Javier Milei, has just taken another step, he has already taken several, in the field of the tent and the trapeze. He decided to donate his salary as a deputy, just over two hundred thousand pesos, to whoever signs up and is favored: the raffle is already touching elective offices.

He could have done it anonymously. He could have given it to an entity that needs it, there are several, although the Children’s Hospital, the Casa Cuna or the Garrahan would have appreciated it very much. That would have been a spectacular gesture that no one would have known about, nor is it necessary. However, Milei chose to hand it over to a lucky headdress, which will be favored under the scrutiny of a public notary. More than half a million citizens have already registered, putting a formidable database in the hands of the legislator. There are other methods of getting the same thing, hard work, for example.

Milei said she doesn’t want to donate it because that would be doing charity with someone else’s money, that of taxpayers. But it turns out that this is what the National Constitution establishes. At this rate, there will be some legislator who does not want to spend his diet on American soft drinks, so as not to cede the people’s taxes to imperialism. Let’s not give ideas.

Sabrina Ajmechet, her pair of Together for Change, parity because they are both deputies, it is understood, she wondered what Milei lives if she donates her salary. What does Congressman Ajmechet care what Congressman Milei lives on? Or if he decided to take vows of Franciscan poverty and is a hermitage ascetic. Do youIs there nothing more important to discuss? For example, what does the anarcho-capitalism that Milei claims to defend really mean, and how is she going to implement it? Or what was a guy armed with an automatic pistol that he threatened to wield from the Luna Park stage the day he was elected deputy doing? Or if Avoiding the letter of the Constitution and having armed people on stage does not place Milei’s anarcho-capitalism very close to the brown shirts of Berlin in the 30s? Is it really a matter for the National Congress to know what Milei lives on?

A few days ago, luckily the year that has already left and I hope it does not return, a harsh meeting between radicals ended with a glass that flew, or moved, or landed where it should not. According to the most reliable versions, that of one of those involved in the displacement of the glass that was not the work of the ouija board or of spiritism, the governor of Jujuy, Gerardo Morales, threw it at Senator Martín Lousteau. Those things happen. Especially when power is discussed. More serious things happen, too. Suddenly social concern seemed to be limited to two or three facts: did the glass have water? was it broken? Did it hit the humanity of the victim?

Gerardo Morales and Martín Losteau: the novel of a glass of water
Gerardo Morales and Martín Losteau: the novel of a glass of water

We hardly knew, if we know and do not forget, what was being discussed, in what terms, with what conditions and arguments, how everything was settled after the moving glass. Do youHow is it that a brand-new deputy goes on vacation, leaves her seat empty and turns against her party a motion in which her vote was fundamental?

Several years ago, on the occasion of the notorious Lewinsky case that involved the president of the United States, Bill Clinton, with a White House intern, Ben Bradlee, editor of the Washington Post, revealed a particular social behavior of American society. Bradlee said that the readers of the Post, on the one hand, affirmed: “Enough already, this is the president of the United States. Let’s not make a carnage that splashes the presidential entity ”, and things like that. But, on the other hand, the same readers asked the Post: “Tell a little more, was there or wasn’t there sex? Was the blue dress stained or not? It is the difference between the spectacular and the antics.

Politics sometimes requires spectacular gestures. But One thing is spectacular and quite another is the seal with the ball in the nose.

Deputy Francisco José Falabella
Deputy Francisco José Falabella

In the 1973 congress a man from the Conservative Party held a seat, Francisco Jose Falabella, a character who said that the conservatives had participated in the patriotic fraud “putting at the service of the country the incorruptibility of its best men”, that there were always anarcho-capitalists. In one session he wanted to pay tribute to Sarmiento and the majority Peronist party threw a truck on him. But when it was his turn to speak, Falabella opened his briefcase, took out a national flag and spread it on his bench. They almost lynched him, but the spectacular gesture had won the tribute to Sarmiento.

Circulate on the web a speech by General Perón, now an old man, president for the third time, before his shirtless from the CGT. For the summer clothes, or it was one of his usual talks at the labor union in December 1973 or in the summer of 1974. Perón is going to tell the backbone of his movement that there is no money to increase salaries at the rate of inflation, because among other things, the country is in debt and spends more than it produces. It wasn’t yesterday, it was fifty years ago.

Actually, Perón’s speeches are two: that of his words and that of his gestures. And there is a third reading: the gestures of those around him. At one point, Perón has to admit the reality: there is not enough money to match wages with the price stampede. And he resorts to a spectacular phrase, which still resounds in his cracked voice: “To make a hare stew, the first thing to have is the hare”. And the CGT in full applause him.

Juan Domingo Perón in his last speech.  PHOTO NA
Juan Domingo Perón in his last speech. PHOTO NA

The Congress of the recovered democracy had brilliant debates, such as that of the foreign debt, and spectacular gestures, the “insolent brat”, from Juan Carlos Pugliese to José Luis Manzano and his subsequent apology. In the 90s, Carlos Menem, his stratosphere and his artificial histrionics, lowered the intensity of democracy and in the last two decades, politics and politicians, like the rest of society, have suffered a striking process of decline. There are exceptions, which were the norm before, but in general not only are there few speakers, there are few ideas; the debates are pitched battles in which insult, aggression, sometimes nonsense, always shouting haunt; there are legislators with basic difficulties to face the also basic syntax: subject, verb, predicate, complements. It may sound silly, but that formula is always useful for conveying ideas.

We suffer an educational drama that is rooted in the lack of reading, in the abandonment of writing, in the resignation of style to the horror dictated by social networks. A highly cultured society like Argentina was, deserves more than that.

Politics would do well to review their forms and style. It is not that it is going to save society, but perhaps it will narrow the distance that today seems to separate citizens from their political leadership. It is a sea in which swimming is tiring, exhausted and in complete confusion.

If the seal and the ball go back to the circus, maybe ideas will flourish.


Milei’s raffle to donate his diet as a deputy exceeded 500 thousand registered
Gerardo Morales, after the fight with Martín Lousteau: “They want to break the match to favor Rodríguez Larreta”

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