My 16-year-old stepson and I went to the movies on Sunday, he mentioned that he wanted to see "The Campaign" since it first opened, and I was game. I really needed to get a laugh, especially after a whole day at the park with his two younger siblings and a week of reading about terrible news around the world.
The movie was as lightweight as I expected it, which is what I was looking for, however it did bring a political satire to the spotlight with perfect timing - the current ridiculous campaign for the upcoming presidential election.
So of course - given the fact that I am very intense - the laughter disappeared right after we left the theater and I fell into a weird mood. "Damn, I thought, that stupid movie hit too close to home, it had a load of truth disguised as absurd comedy, two candidates (both of whom are idiots) campaigning to death to get a seat in the Senate."
Reminded me of Peña Nieto and Romney.
And yes I know that in essence there's no comparison between the two, because one seems mostly ignorant and the other one simply seems like a jerk, but let me tell you what they share in common: both candidates talk and talk non-stop - managing to say nothing of substance - nothing.
Peña Nieto is a very-well-groomed-well-combed-handsome-telegenic-figure shaped by Televisa and his friends from the PRI party. Plenty of groupies love him as much as they love his soap opera actress wife and they sure voted for him on July 1st (God did they vote). Now we have to live with the fact that Enrique Peña Nieto, as shallow and ignorant as he may be, will govern Mexico for the next six years.
But we have no clue of who this man really is, we know he's a major YouTube hit due to his countless uneducated and moronic responses during interviews. He failed to respond what the minimum wage is, the price of tortillas, the disease that killed his late wife, the last three books he read; he can't speak English, he can't talk on camera without using a teleprompter and he can't do interviews without holding his cards closely - those are the kind of things we know.
But we don't know any of the things that matter. We don't know what he's after or what his real convictions are, we haven't got any details on the changes he keeps claiming he'll bring to Mexico.
"He is undoubtedly a success in branding and product placement," writer Jenaro Villamil said about him, "He is an infomercial politician."
The LA Times titled a column about him "A Man of Mystery" (which sounds way more interesting than I believe he really is) and said, "Yet for all the adoration and saturation media coverage, Enrique Peña Nieto may be the least-known president of contemporary Mexico."
Now Romney, the Republican candidate is clearly a good businessman - he knows how to make money - but how can that be enough? What else is he? They say "he is a good father and husband, a caring boss and a religious leader", so? How do we know that's true? And really, what does that mean? What does he stand for? What does he care about?
When he ran for Senate in 1994, he was pro-choice, in favor of gay rights and in favor of mandated national health insurance; then when he decided to run for president he went shopping for a completely opposite set of beliefs.
Conservative Louis Woodhill, wrote once in his column for Forbes, that when he googled "Mitt Romney is a phony" (during the Republican primary) he got 102,000 hits.
I imagine those numbers must have skyrocketed by now because every time Romney speaks I swear I think to myself "Does everyone else hear this?"
Another phony indeed.
Every time he opens his mouth he seriously becomes a more dislikable character and now that the voters are promised to get more details on his proposals - he will delight us with more public speaking - I can't wait.
But many people are actually voting for him.
So my real question is, how is it that rational people can support this un-charming and un-truthful character? Why do people decide to vote against their own interests?
Why did Peña Nieto win the election to become Mexico's next president? Why do people believe these men from the extreme-right are a better option for their country?
I really wish I understood that.
In the movie "The Campaign" Ferrell's campaign slogan is "America, Jesus, Freedom" and Galifianakis's is "Bring your brooms, because it's a mess."
The first slogan fits Romney's "unsubstantial-with-a touch-of-Mormon -beliefs-campaign" to perfection.
The latter slogan is actually a good one.
The Republican campaign is a mess, the Mexican campaign was a mess, when the media manipulates the audiences they make a mess, but I'll just say that unlike Mexico, the voters in the United States still have a choice.
So please voters, go get your broom.
(Or it's gonna get messy in the Capitol).