Trump’s past. “Doble sentido” – double meaning. Better said, Trump is passé. Or, as we say in Spanish, “ya, basta!” – enough already!
Now, will Congress wise up and dump Trump via impeachment? Will the Cabinet rebel and dump him via the 25th Amendment? (Evan Osnos, “How Could Trump Be Removed?” New Yorker, May 8th, 2017.)
Or, will Trump be left alone to limp along, finishing one term as president, accomplishing not much beyond damage to our health—mental as well as economic and physical? Could he please just resign and save us time and money?
If any of the above scenarios were to happen, please God, let them happen sooner rather than later. It would be good news for the United States and for Mexico. So much damage has already been done.
The super wealthy don’t agree, if his massive tax cut/give-away to them, disguised as “Trumpcare,” passes in some form. But the middle classes, and the even more damaged lower economic classes (if and when they recognize his betrayals) might agree. The sad, recent past could quickly becomes an ominous, disastrous present, if major, major changes do not occur.
In 2018, changes are in store for Mexico. Our neighboring country will hold presidential (and congressional) elections in July. The current president, Enrique Peña Nieto, also beleaguered, ends his one term (constitutionally). His party, the PRI (Party of the Institutionalized Revolution), is far behind in polls (source: El Reforma, major daily newspaper). Its probable candidate, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, currently the Secretary of Government, has, at this time, little chance to inherit power.
A perennial candidate, AMLO (Andrés Manuel López Obrador), of the leftist party, MORENA (National Regeneration Movement), is projected as a possible winner (León Krauze, Washington Post, Feb. 11, 2017). He is detested by the upper class. AMLO has support among the masses, although his party’s platform has stopped mentioning socialism.
He toured some U.S. cities, urging Mexican American voters to reject Trump, which they did. Their surge of votes helped Democrats, who finished almost three million votes ahead. But they were not able to surmount voter suppression or the antiquated Electoral College.
AMLO campaigned twice before, claiming corruption denied him victory. His anger may not be enough this time. (And, many remember his bluster; he put on a presidential sash and called himself “legitimate” President of Mexico.)
If he should win this time, Trump will face push-back from the new, very nationalistic Mexican president. AMLO is less confrontational these days. Still, negotiations (re trade, borders, security) will be difficult. But no Mexican campaign scenario is guaranteed, at this time.
A few independent candidates may be in the mix, although one of the more famous, respected intellectual Jorge Casteñeda, has recently dropped out, citing lack of funds (May 8, 2017, “SDP Noticias”). That leaves Señora Margarita Zavala, spouse of former president, Felipe Calderón, both of them with PAN (National Action Party), the traditional right-of-center (one could say “Republican”) party.
Some critics in Mexico call the dominant elite coalition “PRIAN,” a mixture of PRI and PAN. That is, it is difficult to tell the difference. Ideology often gets lost (as in the U.S.) as emphasis is increasingly placed on personality of candidates.
One party, the PRD (Democratic Revolutionary Party), founded by the “grand old man” of Mexican politics, Ing. Cuáhutémoc Cárdenas (son of former President Lázaro Cárdenas), partnered with the right wing PAN and, thus, lost credibility with the left. “Who knew” things could be so complex in Mexico?
Also, bias against women (as in the U.S.) might play a part. Zavala might not receive her party’s nomination; it is contested by the President of PAN, Ricardo Anaya. Only last Sunday (May 7th, 2017) did the race begin in earnest with Mexico’s unofficial “primaries.” Contests for State Governors and Mayors and representatives to the Assembly of Mexico City were held. (Javier Brandidi, El Mundo, May 6, 2017).
When results are in from many of those races, we will know more about probable candidates in the coming year. Right now, if Zavala and AMLO are, indeed, the presidential candidates in July of 2018, polls indicate a very close race. Stay tuned. A hot time is due for campaigns and elections in both our countries.
The past and the present lead to the future. The distant past featured common culture, territory and peoples. The present reality? Mexico and the U.S. share a 2,000-mile border. Mexico and the U.S. are linked tightly as trading partners, some say “married for life.”
The future? Relations can be and must be improved. It behooves U.S. leadership to understand our history and to value our economic and ethnic links. The overriding reality of those linkages suggests that–for the common good–our people must demand leaders foreswear insulting rhetoric and disruptive policies. Mexico is ready; are we?