The co-religionist Pyrrhus, of Epirus

Pyrrhus, King of Epirus (a former Eastern European state, occupying lands that now belong to Greece and Albania) is a triumphantly tragic figure. He faced the legions of Rome three times, but not to defend himself against them, but to try to subjugate them: Pirro was an expansionist and dreamed of an empire like that of Alexander the Great. In the first two confrontations, he emerged victorious. But the cost of these triumphs was so enormous that they meant, ultimately, his downfall.

The first of the battles was Heraclea, where the losses were heavy. Even, according to the authors consulted, the number of fallen was certainly equal between the two camps. The use of trained elephants for military purposes was decisive: the Romans had never faced them. Then, at Asculum, the Greeks won at the cost of being decimated, after two hellish days. The historical chronicle claims that Pyrrhus declared that if he were to win such a triumph again, given the magnitude of the loss, he would eventually return to Epirus alone. From this reflection derives the expression “pyrrhic victory”. “Said of a triumph: obtained with more damage from the winner than from the loser”, summarizes the Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy.

The final confrontation took place in Benevento and the triumph went to Rome. The legionnaires attacked the elephants, which turned against their own troops and caused rampages. And the king returned forever to his lands.

Although he ruled between the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, the indications that Pirro was a radical would be incontrovertible. Who knows if they didn’t affiliate it with Tucumán…

Recordings and translations

On Monday, the electoral council of the provincial UCR proclaimed the members of the only official list as district authorities, ending nearly four years of intervention. “Unity” and “consensus” were proclaimed as two triumphant battles that had prevented the party leadership from being decided at the ballot box.

However, the losses are substantial in the ranks of radicalism. The first of the resignations is proof of this: Sebastián Salazar, one of the three mayors that radicalism has in Tucumán, left on Monday. It was followed by the resignations of José “Lucho” Argañaraz, former controller and current adviser to the Capital; the former legislator Fernando Valdez, referent of “La Pissarello”; and the leader María Virginia Ledesma, of the internal “Morada” lineage. Apart from the account, there are many others, which were taken down before the lists were made official. For example, the municipal councilor of Yerba Buena Lisandro Argiró. Last week, he tendered his written resignation in the name of his contribution to efforts to build a united party. This is, so far, the irony of the year.

What are the costs of this “victory” to normalize the district? They boil down to the fact that the figure of deputy Roberto Sánchez was injured, who arrived internally declared a “non-negotiable” candidate for the governorship of Together for Change and ended up bruised. Of course, one could say that “the great electorate” does not register the “pathetic miseries” exhibited during the feast of pettiness and bigotry which has been the “internal” of the century-old party, and that is probably true . No less true is that “the red circle” took note of what happened.

At the end of the week, there were many lunches and dinners whose main guests were Miguel Ángel Pichetto and Juan Bautista “Tata” Yofre, who passed through Tucumán to present two books: “Capitalism or Pobrism” and “La Trampa”, respectively. And in all these agapes (as well as in many “cafes” to which the authors were invited), the guests were businessmen, industrialists, CEOs of large companies and professionals (especially lawyers) who gravitate in the provincial economic and political power. One of the recurring remarks of these men and women who are so fond of euphemisms was the “concern” for the image left by Roberto Sánchez, now chairman of the board of directors of the UCR. Because they “feared” that if the trainee from a “traditional, but minority party”, in short, “has slipped” for the deputy, this will generate “questions” about his race for governor in 2023.

The translation arrived at the beginning of the week from the mouth of the mayor of Bella Vista. “Unfortunately, Roberto could not lead a partisan agreement; it will be difficult for him to govern this province,” Salazar stoned.

turf wars

For Pyrrhus, the king of Epirus, the decision to face none other than Rome left him with two alternatives: defeat or triumph at great cost. So, obviously, the error did not consist in choosing between this victory or this defeat and making the wrong choice. The mistake was the very decision to embark on the so-called Pyrrhic wars.

For Sánchez, the decision to run for the presidency of the UCR left him with only two options: either to take the internal vote to the polls and show, at most, a result of between 10,000 or 20,000 voters (a certificate of electoral poverty). or finish in a single list that would not please everyone and in which he would pay most of the costs because the radical “elephants”, feeling attacked, would attack him. So, clearly, the error did not consist in choosing between the vote or the single list and in making a mistake in the election. The mistake was the very decision to embark on the chimera of presiding over the UCR of Tucuman.

The “co-religionist” who convinced him that this was the right way was ultimately the Judas of radical Easter, who had no Holy Week.

An aggravating circumstance, Sánchez does not assume the leadership of a flourishing and mobilized party: after almost four years of closure, Tucuman radicalism must be rearmed. The UCR needs several Easter Sundays. A miraculous task undertaken, for example, by Celestino Gelsi in 1946, at the end of the military dictatorship established by the GOU coup in 1943. The owners of the mills retreated from radicalism and Gelsi undertook the traditional task of visiting every corner of Tucumán, town by town, to contact the radicals, organize them into departmental meetings and get his party back on track. Today, who is going to undertake this task, when there are entire communes where the UCR, literally, has no register because there is not a single member left? If not Sánchez, because he has to serve as a deputy 1,300 kilometers from here, why did he decide to fight for the presidency of radicalism?

seriously joking

Right now, at least as far as leadership is concerned, there is nothing worse for a radical than another radical. Distributing accusations of treason, selfishness, breach of covenants and other grudges is legal tender. This shows that the centenary party has a cruel lack of vocation to build an alternative power, as well as a surplus of damage capacity.

The transcendence of its internal is not given by partisan minimalism, but by its projection in Together for Change: the UCR is one of the forks of this front, which in the last elections lost only two points with the Front de tous in power.

Precisely, the brawl did not go unnoticed at the Social Justice Party. As Federico van Mameren and Juan Manuel Asís analyzed last Sunday in their LA GACETA columns, Mayor Germán Alfaro followed the course of the UCR’s internal wars with an unfazed smile. So much so that in this “short” week a joke was allowed with its leaders.

At the “big table” of the town hall, the miscellaneous of the members of the municipal cabinet consisted in evaluating how the balance of power had gone within the opposition alliance after the bombardment of the UCR. After listening to his collaborators, Alfaro made a joke that surprised everyone. Or at least three witnesses who confirmed the claim to this newspaper. “I think the formula (for 2023) needs to be thought through with Mariano Campero,” he jokingly told them. And everyone took it seriously.

If Pirro does not appear in the register of Tucuman radicalism, it is because he has never changed his address since Epirus…

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