Javier Milei, the president-elect of Argentina, is making headlines for his unconventional background and radical ideas. Formerly a rock band member and tantric sex coach, Milei has gained notoriety for taking advice from his dogs. Despite Argentina’s challenges, such as a staggering inflation rate of 143% and widespread poverty, many Argentinians believe that Milei, dubbed “the madman” by his followers, may have the radical ideas needed to revive the country’s economy.
Milei’s appearance, with wild hair reminiscent of Boris Johnson, and his political views have drawn comparisons to former US President Donald Trump. He has even referred to Al Capone as a hero and criticized Pope Francis as an “imbecile” and a “filthy leftist.” As a libertarian and self-proclaimed anarcho-capitalist, Milei’s appeal lies in his rejection of the status quo, particularly represented by his opponent, economy minister Sergio Massa from the ruling party.
Milei’s political career began in 2020 when he gained attention as a television panellist vehemently denouncing government spending and corruption. The following year, he was elected as a lawmaker and founded his own party called Libertad Avanza, or Freedom Advances. Known for his theatrics, Milei has appeared in a superhero costume, calling himself General Ancap (anarcho-capitalist), and has brandished a chainsaw on multiple occasions, symbolizing his determination to cut through government bureaucracy.
The politician’s affinity for dogs is well-known. In fact, journalist Juan Luis Gonzalez, who wrote an unauthorized biography about Milei titled “El Loco” (The Madman), revealed that Milei considers his dog Conan as a son and refers to his other dogs as his grandchildren. Milei has claimed that Conan gave him the mission to become president and has even credited dogs as his best strategists, advising him on various issues.
Milei’s political views encompass a range of controversial stances. He supports looser gun laws and an abortion ban, advocates for the elimination of the central bank, and proposes replacing the local currency, the peso, with the US dollar. Furthermore, he has controversially denied human responsibility for climate change.
Analysts suggest that Milei’s victory in the presidential election can be attributed to voter anger towards the status quo rather than his personality or specific policy positions. Many young Argentinians, disillusioned by previous governments, see Milei as a beacon of hope for change.
In his post-election speech, Milei emphasized the need for decisive action and rejected half-measures. As his supporters celebrated and chanted his name, the president-elect vowed to confront Argentina’s challenges head-on.