Recalling from Power Line’s Lexicon of Political Terminology that “populism is when the wrong person wins an election,” the reaction this morning to Javier Milei’s victory in Argentina’s presidential election yesterday makes evident that the real threat represented by the the victory of Donald Trump (and Brexit) in 2016 is that it demonstrated that voters felt free to choose candidates not approved and certified by the established political class and the media. You could almost hear the collective gasps of newsrooms throughout the campaign—”You can’t elect this guy! His hair is even worse than Trump’s!” “Forget menacing red MAGA hats—his use of chainsaws at campaign rallies is frightening!”
Take the Financial Times (please, as Henny Youngman would put it):
So Milei “seizes” victory. Gosh, sounds almost like a putsch or something, like a military coup. Also, “radical libertarian”? What’s not to like? Melei describes himself as an “anarcho-capitalist,” which is surely an improvement over our state-sponsored “capitalism” that is a close cousin to fascism. (Though I keenly await the updated Monty Python sketch with the peasant claiming, “I thought we were an anarcho-capitalist collective!”)
Not to be outdone is the Washington Post:
“Rage.” Too bad Peter Jennings isn’t still around to explain to us how the voters of Argentina have behaved like toddlers throwing a temper tantrum, as he did after the Republican landslide in 1994.
Has the Post, or any other major media, ever described a left-wing election win as the result of “rage”? On the other hand, maybe they are right in this instance. If I was suffering from 400 percent inflation, and seen my country’s standard of living, a century ago in the top ten richest in the world, sink steadily underneath the parasitical rule of socialism, I’d be in a rage too.
U.S.-traded shares of Argentine companies were rising sharply early Monday after Javier Milei won the country’s presidency.
American depositary receipts of Argentina’s main oil company YPF (ticker: YPF), which is majority-owned by the government after it was nationalized a decade ago, jumped 33% when the market opened. ADRs of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) rose 0.3%, while those of Grupo Financiero Galicia (GGAL), another bank, added 19%.
The exchange-traded fund Global X MSCI Argentina (ARGT) is up 10%. If it closes that high, it would be one of its biggest one-day gains in at least a decade.
Markets are usually wiser than mainstream media newsrooms. Or mainstream politicians.