Congratulations to President Trump on Independence Day
This Fourth of July, I would like to congratulate president Donald Trump.
Yes, the man in the White House deserves to be recognized this Independence Day not for any accomplishment of his administration, but for his invaluable help in electing Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) as the new president of Mexico. Mexico City residents also elected Claudia Sheinbaum, who will become its first female mayor.
AMLO, who won by a landslide over the candidates of PRI and PAN, traditional parties with a long history of corruption that dominated the political landscape for more than 50 years, will be the first leftist president of our neighbor to the South since Lázaro Cárdenas, a veteran of the Mexican Revolution, who served from 1934 to 1940. Cárdenas left an indelible mark on Mexican history having nationalized the oil industry in 1938.
To top it all, MORENA, AMLO’s coalition, is projected to control both legislative chambers, giving him a real opportunity to pursue his ambitious agenda to combat rampant corruption and entrenched inequality.
Unwittingly, Trump’s vicious lies about Mexico and Mexican immigrants, although a magnet for the racist and the ignorant in the U.S., stirred feelings of national pride in Mexico that translated into even more support at the voting booth for AMLO, an honest man whose ideology is the opposite of Trump’s. The irony is too delicious.
Of course, Trump’s vile lies, although helpful, weren’t the main reason for AMLO’s victory. The Mexican people are fed up with the traditional parties’ corruption, with their practice of closing their eyes to the crimes committed by the rich and powerful, with the killings of dozens of journalists, students and political candidates, with the insecurity and the shameful impunity with which drug cartels operate. They voted for change, for hope, for a better future for their nation and themselves.
“For the good of all, first the poor,” said AMLO during his speech thanking his supporters and promising to fight corruption and inequality, the two evils he identified as most responsible for Mexico’s social and political problems. Can you imagine Trump, who has made of the presidency another cash cow for him and his family pronouncing such words?
AMLO, it should be noted, has not minced words when it comes to Trump’s cruel “zero-tolerance” policy that has caused so much pain to migrant children and their families. Trump is “oppressive, racist and inhumane,” AMLO said recently and has also promised to stand up to any “repressive” immigration policies. “With the triumph of our movement, we’ll defend migrants from Central America, Mexico and from all over the continent … it’s a human right we will champion.”
On Monday, according to the White House, Trump had a 30-minute telephone conversation with López Obrador about trade, border security, NAFTA and the possibility of a Mexico-US trade deal.
“I think the relationship will be a very good one,” the U.S. president said. No mention of Mexico paying for the border wall.
Right now, no one can tell how the relations between the U.S. and Mexico will develop after AMLO takes office for six years on December 1. But something is certain: They will become much more interesting.