—What was argued in 2019 was that “without Cristina it cannot be done, but with Cristina it is not enough”. Does it hold in 2023 or will there be Cristina’s signifiers, such as Máximo Kirchner or Axel Kicillof?
—I have a very critical view of the presidents of Argentina who attempted reelection processes. Carlos Menem would have been a president with much better recognition if he had left in 1995. Cristina would have been highly recognized if he had left in 2011. There is a crush on power. It seems to be magical. It prevents them from seeing beyond. In reality, the situation does not matter, but how the story recognizes you. The idea that the president takes office and becomes a lame duck that will leave in four years did not allow us to have a president who makes lasting decisions. Cristina is an example of enormous selfishness on the part of politics. And of not being able to generate their own relief. Juan Perón spoke that each political leader has the obligation to generate his own replacement.
—But the first status you speak of is the bureaucracy to be perpetuated. If there is a winning candidate, the requirement is that he continue, so the others remain.
“The theme is the result of that.” And it’s lousy. Here data kills story: Argentina is a country that has not grown for ten years. It has alarming unemployment and poverty. If it doesn’t solve that, politics is useless.
—You said that “Argentina has been wandering the way for years because data kills stories.” In this same series, a short time ago, the historian Ernesto Semán said that both the Peronism of the first years, that is, 1945, and the first Kirchnerism put emphasis not only on redistribution, but also on the construction of a narrative. Can there be Peronism without a story?
“It’s hard for me to think about it because I’m too pragmatic.” Data can be constructed with a story to the extent that the story responds to the data. To the extent that the story is divorced from the data, sooner or later it ends badly. This is what happens in Argentina. There is a story that does not match the data. A progressive account of the reality of retirees who earn $ 120, compared to seven out of ten poor children in Greater Buenos Aires, about an economy that has not grown for ten years, about public services of very poor quality in terms of education .
—When the data diverges so much from the story, are the elections lost?