Normally, it would be a damnable writer’s plight to sit down on Saturday to tell readers about a major world election to be held on Sunday, but with your remarks not to be offered to the readers until the following Wednesday. When the country holding the election is Mexico, however, it’s a snap. History has gifted us with a well-beaten path that covers everything that’s really important. That history gives us stomp-down authority to report solemnly on developments that haven’t developed yet. See if you can catch me cheating on you.
The front-runner in Sunday’s Mexican presidential election, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is commonly known as “AMLO.” He started his own political party and now seems like an easy winner.
[Update: In case you hadn’t heard, the election was held and, to no one’s surprise, AMLO won handily.]
AMLO is tapping into the ever-present current of anti-Americanism among Mexicans, which this year seems to be more of a riptide. (At this point your typical American mainstream journalist would add between 10 and 20 paragraphs blaming that anti-American feeling totally on Donald Trump. Sorry, but I think Trump is doing a fine job!)
Listen to how our neighboring country’s next leader feels about us Americans. He emphasizes that if his Mexican subjects seek to better their lives by crossing their northern border into the United States, that’s perfectly fitting and proper, and he’ll fight for their right to do so. Already, you see, we’re getting along like a slow waiter and a poor tipper!
If our good neighbor AMLO leaned any farther left he’d belong in a circus. However, he assures the industrialists and millionaires of Mexico that they shouldn’t be alarmed by that posture. He lets us know he’ll campaign in a manner that makes Fidel Castro seem like Sen. Ted Cruz, but he’ll govern “pragmatically.”
That intention might be more wistfully appealing if we hadn’t heard it before. And we heard it good and proper from that same Fidel Castro, who seemed to have the entire Eisenhower administration won over to the proposition that he was not a Communist and that “History will absolve me!”
And that romance with the Castro regime ended in the early going – before 1962 – when billions of dollars in that uninflated money was confiscated from American business owners in Cuba, in what amounted to little more than Mafia-style hold-ups at gunpoint. And Castro’s Communists were doing the pointing, with Soviet guns!
One American news outlet indicated that Lopez Obrador would “not continue the war on drug cartels.” Another said he would fight the drug lords with hugs and not bullets. As President Trump frequently says, “Let’s see what happens!”
The AMLO platform bristles with promises to increase entitlements and start fresh ones, including doubling the pensions for seniors and other baubles Mexico shows no sign of being able to afford.
AMLO exposes perhaps a bit more of his attitude than he means to. When he speaks of Mexico tiring of “doing America’s dirty work,” he means shadowing and escorting those fleeing Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras en route to the United States. That’s an interesting way to describe desperate Central Americans yearning to breathe freely but who don’t want to stop or even slow down when they leave their countries and head northward to America.
And how unfortunate is Mexico! Even CNN reports that, during the nine months of Mexico’s election campaign (ending July 1), 48 candidates and 84 campaign workers were murdered!
Failed countries have many of the same psychological problems as failed individuals. Mexico should say, “America, you went wonderfully right while we went dreadfully wrong. Would you appoint 18 of your most successful people to come and advise Mexico on how we might turn around so we could live better, and so hordes of hungry people would have no need to violate your southern border to lead a good life?”
Instead we’re going to hear every problem plaguing Latin America blamed on America and Donald Trump. In the 1950s we suffered a Cold War with Russia, Poland, East Germany etc. Today we suffer a Cold War of blame and opprobrium with Mexico, Cuba and Venezuela!
The American-Mexican border is one of only two on the whole planet where a First World country touches a Third World country. How much better it would be for us all if that touch could be a handshake, instead of the brazen and bony finger of indignation!