Sunday night’s episode of Last Week Tonight focused on Mexico, the country that according to John Oliver is “number 7 on the list of things that Donald Trump is most frightened of, just ahead of Muslims and just behind the concept of self-reflection.”
Next week, Mexico will hold one the most crucial elections in its history, which Oliver admits means as much to most of us as “the biggest mattress sale in Dutch history.” However, there are some good reasons to pay attention to the vote in the country that not only shares a border with the U.S. but is our third largest trading partner.
The current president, Enrique Peña Nieto, was swept into office in 2013, but since then his approval rating has sunk to as low as 12%. Stoking voters’ anger, under Peña Nieto’s watch, violence in Mexico has spiked against politicians, reporters, students, tourists and civilians, but just 2% of crimes in Mexico have been solved.
According to Oliver, Peña Nieto is unpopular enough that crowds have taken to shouting a particular phrase at him. As Oliver notes, the phrase is one that is only shouted at you when people are very angry and not because they think “you and your mother have great chemistry.”
However, those running to replace Peña Nieto are hardly perfect candidates. There’s Ricardo Anaya, who Oliver claims lost his shot at the presidency by offering a creepy smile in a campaign ad. There’s also Andrés Manuel López Obrador, often called by his initials AMLO, a leftist, populist candidate who has tapped into the population’s growing anger. “Like Bernie Sanders with a better haircut and significantly better Spanish,” said Oliver. However, Oliver is skeptical about AMLO’s ability to make good on his promises, because his ambitious plans are incredibly vague.
Then there’s Jaime “El Bronco” Rodríguez, who suggested cutting off the hands of criminals. He also vehemently doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, reportedly telling his kids that Santa isn’t real “every day.” To prove El Bronco wrong, Santa himself swung by the Last Week Tonight set and proved that he is very real, but also very busy. Whoever the voters end up electing, the one thing Oliver knows for sure is that “Santa Claus won’t save Mexico.”