Mexico in just a few days could elect one of its more anti-American figures in recent memory, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Obrador has often advanced the idea that a strangely aggrieved Mexico has the right to monitor the status of its citizens living illegally in the United States. Lately, he trumped that notion of entitlement by assuring fellow Mexicans that they have a “human right” to enter the United States as they please. For Obrador, this is an innate privilege that he promised “we will defend” — without offering any clarification on the meaning of “defend” other than to render meaningless the historic notion of borders and sovereignty.
Obrador went on to urge his fellow Mexicans to “leave their towns and find a life in the United States.” He has naturally developed such a mindset because he assumes as normal what has become, by any fair standard, a historically abnormal relationship.
Obrador is determined to perpetuate, if not enhance, the asymmetry. In the age of Trump, Obrador also reasons that the furor and hysteria of the American media toward the president represents a majority and a domestic grassroots pushback against the Trump administration — apparently because of Trump’s “restrictionist” view of enforcing existing immigration law. Polls, however, suggest otherwise, despite their notorious embedded anti-Trump bias.
Mexico, the Aggressor
Facts are stubborn and reveal Mexico, not the United States, as a de facto aggressor and belligerent on many fronts. Mexico runs a NAFTA-protected $70 billion trade surplus with the U.S., larger than that of any other single American trade partner (including Japan and Germany) except China. 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.
A supposedly affluent Mexico was supposed to achieve near parity with the U.S., as immigration and trade soon neutralized. Despite Mexico’s economic growth, no such symmetry has followed NAFTA. 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.
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