Populism, Latin American Style

Early on last year, I became a John Edwards supporter during the Democratic Party primary season. He was only a faint a blip on my radar screen prior to the Iowa caucus, but on that evening I understood (at a macro level) what it would take for a candidate to reach out to the [...]

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Early on last year, I became a John Edwards supporter during the Democratic Party primary season. He was only a faint a blip on my radar screen prior to the Iowa caucus, but on that evening I understood (at a macro level) what it would take for a candidate to reach out to the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party – a truly populist message. By virtue of his background and upbringing, John Edwards had the street cred to deliver that message. His ‘œTwo Americas‘ stump speech prompted me to write a check to his ill-fated campaign. And even now, with more than a year in the rear view mirror, I haven’™t forgotten the crux of what he was trying to say:

‘¦Today, under George W. Bush, there are two Americas, not one: One America that does the work, another America that reaps the reward.

Perhaps John Edwards was just the wrong delivery person to articulate the viewpoint, or maybe, just maybe, he was a wee bit ahead of his time.

Now, let’™s posit for the moment that John Edwards was, during the course of his campaign, threatened with a jail term on politically trumped up charges from the local constabulary in North Carolina. Just think about the free air time he would have received on CNN. Do you think that would have helped him drive home his message?

That’™s sort of the strategy that populist Mexico City Mayor Andres Lopez Obrador has employed to press his cause. And it’™s winning him a lot of converts. Going into Mexico’™s presidential elections 14 months down the road, Lopez Obrador is the prohibitive favorite to literally run away with the election. BushCo associates in the Mexican government such as current President Vincete Fox are perplexed and concerned’¦

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Friday, April 29th, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: Latin America

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