The post-pandemic has not yet arrived, but the advance of vaccination and the return to a certain normality of activities are beginning to generate the social perception that it is time to leave the absolute present to pay attention to the future. The electoral campaign has already registered it.
The virulence of the accusations that the ruling party launched against the opposition of Together for Change, as a result of its ominous forecasts for the medium term, shows that vaccination and “the state that takes care of you” are no longer sufficient assets to face the electoral process with guarantees of obtaining victory to which one aspires. Prepandemic demands become indexed, like prices. The future threatens the present. And the past of the Kirchner years is no longer a convoking utopia, despite the efforts and beliefs of Cristina Kirchner.
With his high-sounding phrase “Argentina is not the shitty country they want to portray us,” the Chief of Staff ruffled a little more, Santiago Cafiero, to reject not only the changemite discourse. It was mainly proposed to counteract the negative expectations that run through a good part of the non-captive electorate, the one that usually defines the elections. This is reflected in the surveys, including those contracted by the Government.
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Less accidental was that the phrase was pronounced at the launch of a new public body aimed at youth. This is one of the demographic segments where the ruling party begins to seep out of accessions, undermined by disappointment and mistrust. The purpose of seduction and conquest was in the genesis of that Multisectoral Youth Council, whose integration exceeds the party monopoly that The field has been practicing in the youth sector. A sample of pure realism. Like its leaders, the organization led by Máximo Kirchner also has years of passing and weighing on him. Power and rebellion have a hard time being compatible.
Tougher than Cafiero was Axel Kicillof’s chief of staff, Carlos Bianco: “The opposition took a leap that not even fascism or Nazism dared to do at any time, which is to hate the country, they are trying to establish that Argentina is a country without opportunities.” More than coincidences, it is about concordances.
Behind, there is always Cristina
You only have to go back a week to find the genetic fingerprint of the new preaching of the ruling party.
“I think that deep down they don’t believe and they don’t want Argentina. At one point I thought he was an ‘anti-us’, but in reality they hate Argentines, “he said. Cristina Kirchner in the act of Lomas de Zamora. There he also sought to make them a double wink at the young, along with the frontal attack that he always likes to dedicate to the opposition changemite.
In her speech, the vice president revalued the delivery of 10,000 tablets for students, as a development tool by rescuing and recreating (in a broad sense) the personal story of a youth idol. It didn’t matter that, as he later clarified, the notebook with which the mop L-Ghent gained popularity would have been obtained in the parallel market and not thanks to the claimed state program Connect Equality. Story.
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After more than a year of schools closed in the Buenos Aires territory and the recurrent attacks on merit as a way to achieve personal progress, the ruling coalition is forced to use extreme resources. The future and power are at stake.
Cristina, Cafiero and Bianco were the soloists of a choir that in the last week began to rehearse new electoral strategies and speeches. The need to build an overcoming narrative, capable of recreating an illusion and constructing an idea of a possible future, emerges clearly in opinion polls.
For this reason, also, in another discursive contortion and in a new contradiction with his own archive, Alberto Fernandez He affirmed the day before yesterday: “I would like to win over Cristina and for my government to be more progressive than hers and give more rights than she gave.”
The President knows that the past and the present are insufficient. Like vaccines, the legalization of voluntary termination of pregnancy is already a public good that does not pay royalties forever. In Instagram culture, everything is short-lived. There are new demands to satisfy. Also in the youth segment. In the Government they know it, they admit it and they began to act accordingly.
To avoid misunderstandings (or reprisals), the President was concerned to clarify: “That first Cristina government was a wonderful government, it was the most progressive democracy has had when it comes to granting rights.” He spoke of the same management that he resigned and that in subsequent years, until their reconciliation, at the end of 2017, he disqualified in harsh terms.
Public opinion polls show almost unanimously that when Argentines look up from the daily sufferings of Covid to transport themselves to the future, optimism in terms of material well-being is not abundant.
The forecasts of the economic analysts, far from contradicting, confirm and feed back those little stimulating perceptions. Today inflation and employment are only surpassed among the main concerns for insecurity. And nobody foresees relevant improvements on the horizon. In the best of cases, only more uncertainty is projected than already experienced. Yellow lights for an electoral process underway.
“Black also plays”
These elements, however, are not enough to explain the homogenizing turn of the official discourse. As a chess-loving Peronist leader likes to say, “Black also plays”, and the complex reorganization that is underway in the opposition also operates as a trigger for alerts. Before it’s too late. The sensors of Peronism are extremely sensitive to any movement that could threaten to alter power relations.
The most experienced pro-government leaders try to avoid being confused with the din of the internal change-room in progress. They carefully observe the possibility that the opponents have adopted Perón’s assertion that Peronists are like cats: when it seems that they are fighting, in reality, they are reproducing. The unprecedented vocation for unity exhibited by the opposition does not go unnoticed, despite their loud disputes and the egos at stake.
An additional impact for the Kirchnerist discursive construction was produced by two recent events.
On the one hand, it had an effect the shift in the electoral process adopted by Mauricio Macri, the preferred (and easy) target of the ruling party. Although from Europe the former president lends himself to the dialectical battle and responds to provocations and accusations.
On the other hand, it impacts the appearance of new actors In the first line of the firmament, they are not directly attributable to the economic failure and other errors of the Macrista government.
The lifting of the pre-candidacy of Patricia bullrich, symbol of the macrista hawks, the apparent consolidation within Pro of the “moderate” Horacio Rodríguez Larreta and the signing of Facundo Manes by the UCR. A change of skin for Juntos por el Cambio, which allows its references to offer themselves as an option for the future rather than be accused of being responsible for all the ills of the recent past. At least not so easily.
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Anyway, the opposition still has too much to resolve, in addition to pre-candidacies and alliances. Their offer for the future is still too diffuse and differences of views abound. As many as there are regarding what to do with the past. Own and foreign.
Anti-Kirchnerism is also an insufficient asset to regain, first, the confidence of the electorate and, later, the vital votes that Together for Change lost two years ago.
Scenes from the beginning of the electoral campaign, although it has not formally started yet. The future has already arrived and threatens the present. They all know it.