In a detailed piece on the upcoming Mexican election, John Oliver talked about the real prospect of the country electing its own version of President Trump. It’s a contradictory image, the comedian said on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight. He dubbed Mexico “Number Seven on the list of things Donald Trump is frightened of, just ahead of Muslims and just behind the concept of self-reflection.”
Mexico’s candidate in question is frontrunner Andres Manuel López Obrador (“AMLO”), who has “tapped into populist anger” by rallying against political corruption. He’s “kind of like Bernie Sanders but with a better haircut and significantly better Spanish,” Oliver joked, while comparing AMLO’s shifting policy platforms to the current U.S. president. “He often makes big promises while keeping his own advisers guessing as to what he really means,” the host said. “In that way, he’s actually more reminiscent of a Mexican Donald Trump, which I know is a weird image to conjure up, like Orthodox Hitler or jacked Gandhi. The two concepts don’t fit well together.”
AMLO previously ran for president in 2006 and 2012, and, as Oliver noted, he didn’t take the first loss particularly well. “Not only did he refuse to accept the results, [but he also] held a gigantic, alternative inauguration ceremony in Mexico City in which he was sworn in with a fake sash and declared himself the legitimate president of Mexico,” he said. “His supporters occupied the city’s central square for months, and that is ridiculous.
“When Al Gore lost the 2000 election, he didn’t hold a fake inauguration – he just told us we were all going to die and it was our fault,” he added, referencing the former vice president’s global warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. “It was just called basic good sportsmanship.”
The upcoming Mexican election will be monumental, arriving during a period of widespread political corruption. “At least 14 former or current governors are currently under investigation for corruption … some of them for colluding with organized crime groups,” Oliver said, citing WOLA‘s May report. And at least 113 Mexican politicians have been murdered in this election season thus far, making it a dangerous time to run for office.
“Mexico is on the verge of the biggest election in their history with the chance to combat endemic corruption that has betrayed its people for far too long,” the host said. “And I sincerely hope the candidates they choose at every level are worthy of the trust that’s about to be placed in them because it’s going to take brave, bold work to give that country the change it needs.”