What American Conservatives Can Learn From Argentina’s Javier Milei

“While there might be some overlap with American conservatives when it comes to cutting certain taxes and regulations, the rest of Milei’s political agenda is expressly libertarian and often directly at odds with the aims of the so-called “New Right.”

On social and economic issues, Milei has advocated reducing or eliminating the role of government. (The one arguable exception is his support for abortion laws, but that is an issue that has long divided libertarians.) America’s conservatives are moving in the opposite direction: ginning up culture wars to justify further intrusions into individuals’ right to live as they see fit, and competing with the progressive left to pander with promises of more economic interventions: tariffs, industrial policies, direct subsidies to the working and middle classes. The loudest contingent of the American conservative movement has been promising that a more muscular and centralized government is the answer.

Milei’s victory is not a part of that narrative. In fact, it should undermine it.

His is undeniably a populist victory, but it seems to have more in common with the so-called “Tea Party” era of Republican politics—when American conservatives called for slashing government programs and spending, even though they rarely followed through—or to the surprising presidential runs by former congressman Ron Paul than with anything Trump or his acolytes have supported.”

“Milei’s election looks a lot like a rejection of the kind of economic nationalism that leading politicians in America are pushing, from Biden’s “Buy American” mandates to Trump’s anti-trade and anti-immigration views.

There are, of course, limits to how useful any foreign election can be as a guide for U.S. politicians. The political terrain in Argentina is not the same as it is in the United States. Most notably, the place suffers an inflation rate that makes what we have experienced in recent years look mild by comparison.”

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