Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Mexico-U.S. Election Comparisons-- Here Decapitated Bodies Are Not Being Hung Off Of Highway Bridges (Yet)


-by Bob Lynch

This New Yorker article by Jon Lee Anderson is probably the best synopsis of Sunday's Mexican Elections that I have read to date. The New Yorker and The Atlantic are doing some of the best political work I have seen and encourage you to follow them closely.

The main point I want to stress is that looking at this solely through the prism, that the U.S. media is pushing, of this being something that can be boiled down to a validation of Bernie Sanders' populism or a larger Mexican response to Trump, is extremely misguided. This was a very Mexican solution to a VERY Mexican problem.

However, many parallels exist between what happened in Mexico and what is currently on the table in the United States.

The first thing to point out is that this was an absolute landslide on the Presidential, legislature, and even gubernatorial front. It was a huge deal. It was also a major fuck you and a "we're not going to take it anymore" to the entire Mexican political establishment.

AMLO, as López Obrador is referred to, was a career journeyman politician who has been just on the cusp of being in charge of Mexico for many years. He and his coalition are now firmly in charge, will be for awhile, barring an assassination, which could very well happen and is openly feared by many.

He basically ran as a candidate that could end the corruption and crime that has crippled Mexico for decades. He ran in direct opposition to heavily entrenched interests in the Energy and Agricultural sectors, Mexico's two biggest industries, while also proposing amnesty for senior level members of the Mexican drug trade. Mexico is essentially a cartel run by cartels and this cannot be understated.

He did, however, propose universal access to public universities, a rethinking of NAFTA and an entire de-federalization of the Mexican Government to give more power back to the states. Sound familiar?

We also have to be realistic. Yes, things get ugly sometimes on U.S. cable news, but people being brutally murdered, in public fashion, is not the norm here. It is in Mexico and people have been sick of it for awhile. Peña Nieto was largely deemed to be a disaster on every single front and the "war on drugs" that was started by his predecessor has been an unequivocal failure.

It is worth noting that pride matters and Donald Trump has bitch slapped the Mexican people since he came down the escalator in 2015. Peña Nieto was seen as weak and both complicit and complacent for restoring the national pride of a country whose global status is often entirely misunderstood.

Right now the two main issues in Mexico are violence and corruption. Peña Nieto was not getting the job done on either.

The consensus in Latin American and European political circles is that AMLO will be an actual strong president, for good or for worse, and he will have power. He will not be weak like his predecessors and that is an actual good thing in terms of making real and meaningful progress.

He has all of the pedigree required for a politician facing a difficult task and he has long since earned his stripes. This idea that he is going to be a real leftist threat and torpedo the country couldn't possibly be more off base. However, he will spend the first year of his administration settling a number of scores and seeking revenge on a number of establishment pseudo-oligarchs and economic groups that have had it coming for a very long time. 

The comparisons between Bernie Sanders are somewhat laughable in the sense that AMLO doesn't just have popular ideas. He has formed an actual coalition that trounced the Mexican political establishment on every conceivable level in this national and local election. Also, in terms of Latin American politics, and especially Europe, nothing Bernie Sanders or Ocasio-Cortez has been proposing distinguishes him as anything other than an average center-left politician. The sensationalism in the U.S. media is something most of the entire world can't even understand.

People trust AMLO and maybe they trust Bernie Sanders and are inspired by him. Maybe not. But they do like the message of taking a fucking sledge hammer straight to the heart of the corrupt political establishment and ending long insurmountable impasses. Bernie would be wise to study the way López Obrador patiently stitched together the right coalition and everyone in the U.S. needs to calm down and realize that while the discussion is very heated here, and is about to get worse, decapitated bodies are not being hung off of highway bridges in major U.S. cities. Well, not yet I guess.  Still, apples and oranges.


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At 1:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salvador Allende.

He had a similar reputation going into power in Chile, and was actually making enough progress in correcting serious problems that he made American multinationals very nervous. They called in their chits with Richard Nixon, and Allende was suicided.

Hillary did essentially the same thing to Honduras and for the same reasons. She just didn't have the legally elected leader of the country killed, just illegally deported.

Mexico is an even bigger cash cow for American multinationals. They aren't going to allow AMLO do anything which changes that condition. The script which was so successfully used since 1953 in Iran still works, and besides a little touching up for changing conditions, is ready to be applied once again.

And it will be. Money talks, and The People walk.

At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction. Money talks. People die.

TY for mentioning $hillbillary's Honduras. I bet $he thought that giving over Honduras to corporate rape would grease the rails all the way to the white house too... just like her lust for war(s) and support for those and torture as senator/NY during the 2000s.

At 9:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrt bodies hanging from...

How quickly we forget Matthew Shepard. And we've had our share of corpses hung up for display. Mostly black in the south.
Today, we have concerts, clubs, schools, workplaces and churches shot up. More spectacular and higher piles of corpses. All in the name of our national pastime -- hate.

Don't try to imply that their problems aren't our problems. Their cartels exist for the sole reason of our drug war and we even supply them with guns and ammo.


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