So after painting all Mexicans traveling north over our border with a broad brush and saying they were rapists and murderers and declaring he would as president build a wall at the border and make Mexico pay for it, and after becoming one of the most disliked gringos in all Mexico, presidential candidate Donald Trump is set to meet with the president of Mexico today (Wednesday) in private in Mexico City.
This just ahead of what is billed as a major immigration policy speech set for later in the day in Arizona.
In the past days his position on immigration seems to have been softening, although it is always unclear because of his offhand way of speaking and backtracking, and saying one thing and then another, either because he is not sure of anything or he just wants to keep people off track so he cannot be pinned down or to appeal to people of on each side of opposing views.
But if nothing else it is a good publicity stunt. And I guess Trump can say or would say the Mexican president, who has blasted Trump for his remarks, has blinked first.
One of my siblings reminded me the other day that everything Trump does is part of negotiating (and I thought that was half in jest because of all the nonsensical and outrageous things he says). But it could be that Trump thinks his crude and racist indictment of a whole people was just a clever negotiating tactic.
(And of course in his Trumpian way even when he was insulting the Mexicans out of one side of his mouth, he was praising them as some wonderful people out of the other side. Had he meant that there is just a Mexican criminal element like in all societies he could have and should have made that clearer, but he did not.)
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has reportedly invited both Trump and his opponent Hillary Clinton. No word on what Clinton will do and as of writing this it was reported that her campaign would not confirm whether she ever received an invitation. But she has not been the one insulting our southern neighbor.
A professional Mexico observer was quoted as saying the Mexican president and other government officials are just being realistic and want to find out what they might be facing after the November election.
The problem is that even if Trump were to hit it off with the Mexicans after all (not likely) and even if he were to stick to the script and come off as more moderate and more broadly acceptable in his scheduled Arizona speech, who could really trust or be comfortable after all the rude and outrageous things he has done these past many months — well his whole life?
And if he is always someone who is just negotiating and all his words just represent tactics, then who could ever trust or be comfortable with him?