Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Evo Morales on the Daily Show

Evo Morales is the President of Bolivia. He grew up poor, and wound up President of his country in a land which has been controlled by wealthy foreign interests since the time of Spain.

Last night, he was on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The interview, handled through an interpreter, was odd and fascinating. Stewart's quick humor doesn't really play all that well through an interpreter, but his sincere interest does.

At around 2:00, Evo responds to Stewart's claim (having apparently forgotten Bill "God I Wish He Were Still in Office" Clinton's biography) that the presidency in the United States is rigged to favor those born into the upper class. With unironic simpliciy, Evo says, "So if it's rigged, then something needs to be done to change that."

There's something about the way he says it that skewers me. Part of it is the lack of humor - he doesn't find it funny to joke about elections being rigged. If you don't like it, fix it. And part of it is the eloquent simplicity of the man. There's a world of difference between simplicity and simpleness, and Bolivia's president has the former . . .

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Blogger twominutehate said...

I enjoyed the clip. I don't know alot about Morales, but it is hard to paint him as an enemy with his demeanor and appearance.

9/26/2007 9:30 PM  
Anonymous JW said...

I also enjoyed the interview. It's the part of globalization we don't often get to see. We are just one of many, and could use a good dose of humility before we muck it up.
And I think you nailed it. Just change it.

9/26/2007 11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evo is an idiot. It figures you would find him appealing since he, like Funkhouser, is a populist.
People like Evo because they think he speaks for the people. Unfortunately, he has no clue how to run a country so he regularly visits with Fidel and Hugo Chavez to get pointers.
Reminds me of Funk . . . no clue how to run a city and takes directions from a dictator (Gloria).

9/27/2007 6:38 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I don't see all that much comparison between Evo and Mark, other than that they are good people doing their best to govern difficult entities. I don't consider Mark, despite the "common folk" theme, to be a model populist, nor do I think that Evo's appeal can be so succinctly described.

In both cases, though, I think they are doing effective jobs of running their governments while the foolish, the easily-manipulated and the monied interests are doing their best to prevent it.

9/27/2007 7:21 AM  
Blogger Jeff Haught said...

If simplicity is nationalizing industry and chasing away FDI, then Evo's your man along with Chavez and Castro.

9/27/2007 8:33 AM  
Blogger Waldo Oiseau said...

I caught the show and found it interesting. And, I agree, when Evo said if it's rigged, change it -- well, it makes you think. It's weird, but I often don't feel that I have the "power" to change much of anything. And that's probably why I don't follow politics like I should. I suspect there are many people of my generation that feel the same way. I think it's a combination of apathy and thinking, "where the hell do I start?"

In any event, I liked what Evo had to say, and it was especially nice that he left the sweater at home.

9/27/2007 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you idealize the Don Quijote types. There is nothing about Morales that appeals to a diverse group of people. He appeals to those who want something for nothing.
Your comments about the opposition being foolish summarizes Funkhouser's attitude towards those who disagree with him.

9/27/2007 9:38 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Not at all, anonymous. It's all about results for me. Morales has made huge changes - right now, they look pretty good, though history will have the final say. Similarly, Funk has done a lot of good, and is doing more every month he is in office. His attitude toward the people who are hung up on Gloria's feet is a lot better than mine.

9/27/2007 10:28 PM  

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