While the U.S. leaned populist right, Mexico has now leaned populist left…

Mexico will now have its own old-man populist as president, except this one is described as a leftist, albeit with some centrist qualities.

The 65-year-old Andrés Manuel López Obrador (often simply referred to as AMLO) attainted a landslide victory in the Mexican election Sunday, which also included a wide array of offices, including legislators and governors, said to be the biggest election in the nation’s history.

Just like much of the electorate was fed up with politics as usual in the United States in 2016, so were Mexicans who saw nothing but continued corruption in their government at all levels and an astronomical murder rate in an ongoing drug war.

I actually don’t know how anyone dares run for office in Mexico or how any journalist dares cover politics — since last Fall 136 office seekers have been assassinated. And, I don’t have an exact figure over an exact time period, but hundreds of journalists have been assassinated as well over the past decade.

Obrador seems to be a survivor. The third time was the charm for him — people apparently were fed up enough to give him a chance even though many don’t trust his promises.

Like President Trump, he is said not to be conventional and he is combative. But his political leanings are to the left. He vows to cut some government salaries of high officials and possibly reassess private oil contracts and the North American Free Trade Agreement and to stand up to Trump, although I think his focus is more inward to his own country. He vows to fight corruption and not raise taxes but help the poor by saving money by ending corruption.

Okay, so far I am just repeating or trying to interpret what I have read.

My own observation is that I hope there is hope for Mexico. One Mexican told me that it has always been the same. The new government promises reform and then nothing happens.

But if Mexico could clean up its act, curb drug violence and corruption, and raise the economic wellbeing for all Mexicans, it would solve the ongoing border problem between it and the U.S.

So many Mexicans would not feel forced to leave home and family in a desperate search for work in the U.S. and would not have to risk crossing the border illegally and having their children taken from them.

And if Mexico, which has Latin America’s second largest economy, had an economy and social system that provided a more modern, acceptable standard of living for all, then things would not be so cheap to produce or assemble there and we might see some of those jobs return to the U.S.

Just as NAFTA is sometimes seen as hurting certain sectors of the U.S. economy I have read that it  hurts small farmers in Mexico, so much so that Mexico imports corn for the nation’s famous staple, tortillas. That seems like nonsense to me.

No one knows how this will all work out. As for me I just hope Mexico’s wager on a different sort of politician works out better than the one in the U.S.

I realize some think things are just ducky here with Trump. I personally am not ready to give Trump much of any credit for the economy, even if some little amount is due — I mean what affects the overall economy of the nation is a complex issue and I don’t think one man or a few actions make the whole difference. I think stability and harmony in governance is important — that we don’t have on a national scale with Trump.

It will be interesting to see how this all works out for both nations.

And it would be good to see both leaders work together.

p.s.

I know little about Mexican politics or even Mexican culture. But for the past two decades I have had a lot of contact with people from Mexico in my job as a truck driver, and I have been on the border a lot. My sense of it all is that the bribe, the payoff, is engrained in their social system at all levels, in both civil and governmental society. It will be a hard habit to break.

 

 

 

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