While some of us have become enthusiastic converts to Chavismo, I’ve recently become a keen Kirchnerista. After over a decade in power, they’ve finally got me, and I’m kicking myself for not seeing the achievements of Néstor and Cristina Kirchner before.
To help make up for lost time, I’ve prepared this list, so you too can join the club. It’s time to celebrate, once and for all, the successes of the Kirchner model.
1. We can’t get enough of Néstor Kirchner.
When former President Néstor Kirchner died in 2010, his widow, current premier Cristina Kirchner, promised that the late leader would live on in the hearts of all Argentineans.
And she was right! Néstor’s name today survives on hundreds of local government installations throughout the land. Today, you can graduate from Néstor Kirchner college, walk down Néstor Kirchner street, and pop in to the Néstor Kirchner nuclear plant, all in the same day.
2. Thinking for yourself is overrated.
For centuries, we never knew what was and what wasn’t a legitimate Argentinean thought. Luckily for us, Cristina Kirchner has created the Secretariat for the Coordination of National Thought. If we’re all thinking the same thing, the country can only progress, right?
3. Shortages help women’s liberation.
Under Kirchnerista stewardship, Argentinean women have reached new heights in their struggle for equality. Thanks to protections against imports, tampons have all but disappeared from pharmacies and supermarkets. Finally, we’re breaking the shackles of misogynist hygiene!
Por el tema de importaciones están escaseando los tampones. MADRE MÍA. Somos ÁFRICA.
— • ᴀʟᴇᴊᴀɴᴅʀᴀ • ???? (@aleambrosino) December 18, 2014
4. We’re all artists now.
With annual inflation at 40 percent, the value of the peso is falling further every day. As a result, we’re now free to use AR$2 notes — which were once worth something — to doodle and draw on to our heart’s content. Don’t you just hate carrying loads of heavy notes around, anyway?
5. Kirchnerism helps us to know our city.
Driving in Buenos Aires is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get. Regular demonstrations — in the city center, on the outskirts, and everywhere in between — mean you’d better stray from the GPS and enjoy getting acquainted with unplanned routes.
You’ll soon find yourself discovering neighborhoods and side-streets you never knew existed. Is that a dead-end down that alley? Only one way to find out! Don’t forget to give the striking workers a honk and a wave as you pass.
6. Power outages encourage reading, and romance.
Cristina amazed me with her wisdom once again during the notorious blackouts over the summer. She encouraged us all to get stuck in to a good book by candlelight! Between 2008 and 2013, outages increased by 25 percent and the number of power-free hours doubled. In 2013, the average household’s power cut was 26 hours across the year.
When the lights go out, we can also get romantic. Who doesn’t love a candlelit dinner?
7. If you’re not a Kirchnerista, you’re a traitor.
We live in dark times, when foreign investors can speculate with the sovereignty of a proud nation. The Argentinean government is the victim a conflict with heartless vulture funds, and if you’re not with us, you’re part of a international corporate conspiracy to bring down the government! But I won’t stand for it: I’m no cipher for foreign business interests. I’d rather the government fall into default than bring shame upon the nation.
8. We’re always prepared for anything.
With Aerolíneas Argentinas — nationalized in 2008 — you never know when you’ll end up taking your flight. As a result, we’re always ready to react to unforeseen events.
Flight delayed or cancelled? No problem! We Argentineans always travel with a change of clothes and a toothbrush.
— taxnoticias (@taxnoticias) January 13, 2014
9. Taking a break is good for the economy
The Kirchnerista economic model is working so well, they’ve decreed 17 national holidays a year. In 2015, we’ll even get 18: June 29 is the bicentenary of the first Declaration of Independence. President Kirchner is also driving an initiative so we can have two extra days off during carnival in February, and a new “Day of National Sovereignty.”
Kirchner has put her creativity to good use, creating “bridge holidays,” which apparently encourage tourism. The country even grows while it’s sleeping! Just make sure you don’t forget where the office is.
10. The 80s are all the rage right now. The 1880s, that is.
Any other president would worry about the present or the future. Not so with the Kirchneristas, who like to keep the political discourse nice and retro. As a result, we don’t let a minute go by without proclaiming our sovereignty over the Islas Malvinas. Finally, a pair of presidents who give us the dose of nationalism South America was missing!
11. Evita watches over us from the sky
Argentineans are lucky to have a defender of the poor, looking down on us from heaven. And now, thanks to Cristina, a 93-meter Eva Perón is keeping an eye out from the Ministry of Public Works. The mural by local artist Alejandro Marmo was constructed in 2011 after Decree 329/10 came into force.
12. I love living in a police state.
Personally, I’ve got absolutely nothing to hide. So I don’t understand those who attack the president for monitoring all our movements.
With the advent of the state transport card SUBE, all of our journeys by public transport are recorded and linked to our national identity document. And that’s without saying anything about the centralization of medical data (at last!), and the recording of our biometric data in our brand new micro-chipped identity papers.
So, I’m sure by now that you’ve given in, and become a Kirchnerista just like me. Let’s all join Cristina in a toast to our glorious Kirchnerist state.
Brindamos por la Patria y por 40 millones de Argentinos. pic.twitter.com/bUeW96IvOa
— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) December 23, 2014
Translated by Laurie Blair. Edited by Fergus Hodgson.