Beginning with movie/TV star Ronald Reagan 52 years ago,
the world of politics has seen the electoral success of many
recent show business/celebrity personalities — figures who have
become notable presidents, prime ministers and major officials,
and who have transformed their entertainment skills into
victories at the ballot box.
Actors, comedians and other entertainment personalities have
frequently held political office in Brazil, Mexico, India, Thailand,
Phillipines, Japan, Sri Lanka, Italy, United Kingdom, Russia and
other nations all over the world.
Earlier, in Argentina, actress and singer Eva (“Evita”) Peron
became a powerful political figure.
In the U.S., actors Arnold Schwartzenegger and Fred Thompson,
and actor/wrestler Jesse Ventura attained political prominence
Two vey recent examples. of course, are Ukraine’s President
Volodymyr Zelensky and U.S. former President Donald Trump.
Now a new figure, Argentine TV personality Javier Milei joins
this group, having just won a landslide victory in that nation’s
Although a member of the country’s parliament, Milei emerged
suddenly, as did Zelensky and Trump, on to their national
Milei is difficult to categorize. He is a social conservative, an
economic libertarian, and has been called an “anarcho-capitalist.”
He admires Donald Trump, the late Hasidic leader Rebbe
Menachem Schneerson, the U.S.A., Israel, and free markets.
He is pro-life and anti-climate extremism. He opposes current
Argentine government regulations, and wants to replace the
nearly bankrupt Argentine peso with the U.S. dollar.
He dislikes socialism, jihadism, and Peronism.
With his trademark uncombed hair and leather jacket, he is a
charismatic speaker who has a huge following among working
Entertainment personalities in politics have ranged from liberal
and progressive to liberal and libertarian. Some have had more
success than others.
With many South American nations, including Brazil, veering
leftward, and others like Ecuador and now Argentina moving to
the right, the election of Javier Milei might not represent a clear
political trend in the continent, but with its free election and
peaceful transfer of power, Argentina has taken a hopeful step
out from its tumultuous and problematic past.
Copyright (c) 2023 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.