Last week I wrote a piece for GuardianLV that looked at the maneuverings that Argentina and it’s president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, were going through. For it’s part, Argentina still remains a beautiful country to visit. For her part, Kirchner remains an out-of-control leader that is way in over her head.
Unable to come up with any type of policy that makes sense other than to a third-grader, Kirchner’s most recent gambit was to announce that she is increasing the amount of money her administration spends on the military. Sounded like a stupid idea to me, so I wrote about it.
And boy did people read it! Last count, the piece had been shared on Facebook well over 1,000 times and the rate is still rising. By last count, there were 30-40 comments, depends if you count my responses or not. Seems like Argentine’s get their knickers in a twist anytime you mention Argentina and military in the same sentence.
In the 14 months since I’ve been in Buenos Aires, I’ve noticed something about the difference between American politics in America and here in Argentina. It’s not obvious to most Americans that travel through South America’s second largest country, but if you read the papers and talk to the man-on-the-street for more than two days, you get what’s going on.
In America, there’s a continuum of people and how they feel about Obama and the government. On the extreme right of the line, there’s a whole bunch of people who can’t stand Obama. On the extreme left, there’s a crowd of folks that think he’s the next best thing to the guy who walked-on-water. In the middle, there’s a wide gulf where people are so addicted to their 24/7 entertainment, they just don’t care what the White House is doing.
In Argentina, there’s a continuum also. People either love Kirchner or despise her. There’s no vacant middle-ground where people are apathetic. The responses I got to the blog post illustrated that pretty good.
The responses also illustrated something else. People in Argentina just don’t pay attention to the news. By looking at some of the reactions my piece got, you would’ve thought I had suggested the Pope had an out-of-wedlock baby. The facts and figures n the piece were all taken from news reports, both in print and online. But some folks just got so irate, they must’ve thought I stayed up late at night to dream up the facts and figures.
Another thing to notice, some Argentines seem to be stuck in the 80s. Several of them pointed out that my piece was all wet because Argentina hasn’t had weaponry of any consequence in over 30 years. The article never claimed that they had weaponry. The article states that Kirchner is preparing a military build-up. There’s a difference.
I guess it’s no wonder that Argentina has repeated the same 10-year-cycle of meltdowns for a couple hundred years. Many Argentines just refuse to believe what’s right in front of their face