‘Our Brand Is Crisis’ - Bolivian Elections as Templates for American Ones (and Vice Versa)

September 30th, 2012 by Andy in Elections & Electronic Black Box Voting, Video

Our Brand Is Crisis an important film to watch in order to better understand how our own elections work.

This stunning documentary by Rachel Boynton, is about democratic strategists James Carville and company working on the Bolivian election of 2002. They were paid political consultants (political mercenaries?) in support of the neoliberal Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, who ended up winning on 22.3% of the vote. This result was in large part thanks to the machiavellian tactics of Carville and company, who, ala Karl Rove, polluted the reputations of the main political rivals (and likely winners).

After his victory, Sánchez de Lozada went on to oversee a regime which committed acts of mass murder, and for which Sánchez de Lozada is now getting U.S. protection from facing criminal trial for his role in this.

This film unveils the kind of marketing of candidates and branding of campaigns that we are inundated with in the United States all the time. And just like in Bolivia, the actual nature of the policies and people who are there to execute them (no pun intended), are totally obscured by this onslaught of PRopaganda. Is it any coincidence that all of this has overtones to the campaign run by Lopez Obrador in Mexico?

A decent review of this film was provided by Juan Forero in The New York Times, back when the film was first released. Rumor had it that George Clooney was going to remake it, but I’m not sure what became of that.


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