On the eve of the Mexican election The Sunday Times hailed Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as the ‘Mexican Corbyn hammering at Donald Trump’s door’.
A day later the veteran Left-wing firebrand cruised into the Presidency with a resounding mandate for his socialist nationalism and promise to tackle violence and corruption. During the election campaign alone, 132 politicians were killed.
Whether he lives up to this pledge only time will tell, but what is for sure is that Mexico has elected one of its most anti-American Presidents ever, with a stance and hypocrisy the British mainstream media so far has largely left unquestioned.
Perhaps it’s time they did, given Mr Obrador’s startling assurance to his fellow Mexicans that they have a ‘human right’ to enter the United States as they please.
Victor Davis Hanson, one of my favourite American commentators, took to the National Review last week to do just that and to explain Obrador’s mindset which ‘assumes as normal what has become, by any fair standard, a historically abnormal relationship’.
As ever with Hanson, you get a political and historical analysis of a situation not readily available in the UK, where the MSM default is to assume the US to be the aggressor or the exploiter.
Hanson, however, shows point by point that it is Mexico, not the United States, that is a de facto aggressor running as it does a North American Free Trade Agreement-protected $70billion trade surplus with the US (larger than that of any other single American trade partner including Japan and Germany, except China). This is even though ‘the architects of NAFTA long ago assured Americans that such a trade war would not break out, or that we should not worry over trade imbalances, given the desirability of outsourcing to take advantage of Mexico’s cheaper labor costs’.
Despite Mexico’s economic growth, Hanson goes on, no such symmetry has followed NAFTA coming into force: ‘What did, however, 34 years later, was the establishment of a dysfunctional Mexican state, whose drug cartels all but run the country on the basis of their enormous profits from unfettered dope-running and human-trafficking into the United States. NAFTA certainly did not make Mexico a safer, kinder, and gentler nation.’
It should come as no surprise to find that ‘Mexican citizens who enter and reside as illegal immigrants in the US are mostly responsible for sending an approximate $30billion [a year] in remittances home to Mexico . . . a huge cash influx [which] is the concrete reality behind Obrador’s otherwise unhinged rhetoric about exercising veto power over US immigration law’.
Hanson as ever dispenses with sentiment and naïve social injustice virtue-signalling to restore sanity and reason to the debate, pointing out that ‘when Obrador urges his fellow citizens to abandon their country and head illegally into the United States, his primary concern is not their general welfare and futures’.
Is Obrador, he asks, concerned that ‘those who send home remittances live in poverty in the United States and seek offsetting subsidies from the US government to find enough disposable income to save the Mexican government from its mostly corrupt self?’ Not really. Not when ‘there may now be anywhere from 11million to 20million illegal aliens in the US’ and when ‘America’s open border is the keystone of Mexican foreign and domestic policy’.
Hanson devastatingly points out that: ‘Mexico’s sense of immigration entitlement is predicated on the assumption that corporate America wants cheap labor, that liberal America wants voters, that identity-politics activists need constituents, that a liberal elite expresses its abstract virtue by its patronisation of the Other – and that until recently most Americans were indifferent’.
This is the crux of his counter-culture and counter-liberal politics analysis. You can read the full and detailed article here, and I recommend it.