Some of you may have heard of José Mujica. Some of you may not. Whatever the case may be, here are 10 legitimate reasons why José Mujica is the best president on the planet Earth.
1) First to legalize same-sex marriage and to legalize marijuana
José Mujica was the first president in Uruguay’s history to legalize both same-sex marriage and marijuana.
Although same-sex couples could legally adopt children as early as September of 2009, Mujica was a driving force behind that particular 17-6 vote to allow same-sex couples to adopt children. He then finished his push for equality by officially allowing same-sex couples to marry in June 2012, after a judicial court in Uruguay recognized such unity.
Also in 2012, Mujica’s led government made a courageous move to legalize sales of marijuana, albeit state-controlled. This was lobbied with the idea that such legislation would lower drug related crimes and improve certain health conditions. He argued that the state could benefit from Uruguay’s 40 million per year marijuana business, taking it away from potential drug traffickers and cartel, increasing revenue for the state while lowering drug related crimes.
2) Lives on farm and drives a Volkswagen Beetle to work
Also nicknamed the “poorest president in the world,” Mujica lives in a small house situated on a remote farm. He claims that his proudest possession is a beat-up Volkswagen Beetle, which he drives to work to this day. However, around his farm property, he drives around in his 1970′s farm tractor.
3) He gives 90% of his salary to charity
That’s right José Mujica gives 90% of his yearly earnings to charity. Making approximately $12300 per month, giving $11070 to charity and keeping a modest $1230 for his personal expenses. Truly, a leader for his people.
4) He is completely against vetoing bills
José Mujica is against vetoing any bill. He vowed not to veto a reasonable bill if it were passed by parliament and made its way onto his desk. The “no veto” promise even went so far as Mujica’s popularity dropping below 50% for his refusal to veto a bill that would ultimately legalize abortion before 12 weeks.
To put things into perspective, all of Mujica’s predecessors vetoed such an abortion bill, so for him to go against the grain and sticking to his word is truly remarkable, especially in today’s political environment.
5) He was shot 6 times in a row by police and served a combined 14 years in military prison
Yes, that’s right, José Mujica was shot by police 6 times at once. After escaping prison in 1971, he was later caught and a confrontation with police ended up with Mujica being shot 6 times. He was involved in bank robberies and distribution of food and money to the poor. Sentenced to 14 years in military prison, he essentially lived in dark, underground dwellings that were fit for only the worst criminals.
Even in 1972, he amassed more street credibility than most rappers of today. Incredible.
6) He has a mustache and his nickname is “Pepe”
José Mujica is such a badass, that he has his own nickname. “Pepe” is one of those harmless names you give to a guy who’s a total alpha male. An alpha male who survived being shot at 6 times. Oh, and that mustache of his? A thing of beauty. Not many presidents can pull off such an old school style.
7) He’s an atheist
Events early in his childhood allowed him to leave behind organized religion and look at the world through a logical lens. José Mujica openly declared himself religion-less, supporting atheism in the process. If you can put two and two together, his legislative record might give you a hint of his religious affiliation (or the lack thereof).
8) He has no bodyguards, motorcades or that other fancy presidential stuff
You’ve heard that right. José Mujica doesn’t have bodyguards because he doesn’t believe they are necessary. He believes that representing the people, catering to the people’s needs and being completely transparent with the citizens and government alike, he won’t have to fear for his safety. It would also save the government a lot of money, so Mujica is basically killing two birds with one stone.
9) Could be considered “Robin Hood” at one point in his life
José Mujica was a member of the Tupamaro, which was a unique group of Marxist insurgents who were not afraid to clash face-to-face with government. Collectively, the Tupamaro staged massive revolutionary uprising that spanned the late 60′s and 70′s, fighting a “people’s war.” This means that the group robbed banks, stole stuff and ultimately, handed it back to the people. Steals money and food from the rich, hands it back to the poor. Definitely a modern-day Robin Hood.
10) He really doesn’t give a shit about the UN
José Mujica repeatedly criticized the UN, mostly focusing on his disdain for consumerism, electronic surveillance (like the NSA program) and individual greed.
Specifically, he said:
[quote]“The little man of our days, faithfully every day to his job, to his office, consuming, consuming, spending with plastic, with credit, with instalments, hoping for vacations and never enjoying true life, and when he dies, with his funeral service in instalments, he is replaced by another little man with the same mind-frame”.[/quote]
[quote]“I come from the south and I come to this assembly with the burden of electronic surveillance, which only sows mistrust and poison.”[/quote]