Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mexico Beware

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, AMLO as he is known in the Mexican press, launched a massive protest throughout that nation’s capital in an effort to get a “vote-for-vote” recount of the elections that went down July 8.

Here is an article typical of the coverage in this country.

Ineffectual, it dwells on denizens of Mexico City who feel put-out (an “Inconvenient Truth 2”) by the fact the poor of Mexico have come to protest the fact they’ve been screwed again.

Here, gray editorialists attack Lopez Obrador for his “messianic” vision of himself or his “irresponsibility” in putting millions of supporters in the streets to shut things down, as if the fate of democracy should be sacrificed to a reduced rush-hour commute.

Mexico may be on the verge of something terribly violent, if not revolutionary altogether, and the world’s attention is taken up with the novelty of Jews and Arabs at each other’s throats.

The tag-line to news reports in the United States has been that AMLO wants to throw out, and the scribe quotes, “the cleanest, fairest, most transparent elections” in Mexico’s history.

This is largely because the guy who investors prefer supposedly won.

But if you’ve just had the “cleanest, fairest, most transparent elections” in Mexican history, you wouldn’t have people camping out in the streets protesting the results.

Mexico is a stunning country; rich in geographic beauty, natural wealth, and three levels of culture (pre-Columbian, Spanish Colonial, Mexican modern), but also, as a gallery owner down in Rosarito Beach (Baja California, Mexico) told the scribe a year or so ago, full of huevones.

What’s that mean?

Never mind. We run a PG-13 enterprise here at highwayscribery, but needless to say, Mexico's is a people burdened with the cross of terrible corruption – top to bottom – and anyone calling the victory of Felipe Calderon, a nice boy from Harvard, clean and transparent, has erased a few decades of Mexican history from the hard drive.

What we’re seeing across the world, from the United States to Italy to Mexico, are elections that reflect perfectly the failure of neo-liberal politics en vogue for the past 26 years – politics that put an end to wealth redistribution and make a fetish of the businessperson’s creed.

Politics that swell the wallets of one half a country and leave the other half without hope and a nasty nickname as in Mexico – Naco. Politics that generate elections which illustrate the divisive nature of the free market credo.

To wit: if your policies are working for all, you don’t have 49 percent of the people betting on the other guy who’s calling for wiping them from the books, and you don’t have a goodly portion of them camping out in the streets with nothing better to do.

They’d be whistling on their way to well-paid, life-fulfilling jobs.

Folks on the “winning” side in Mexico, and on the dexter-hand side beyond its borders, are asking AMLO to put the interests of the country’s “fragile democracy” before his own.

AMLO says those interests are one and the same and nobody is doing a very good job of vetting his claim or figuring out why so many people are willing to go to the lengths they are in supporting him.

Nobody knows better than a Democratic rank-and-filer from the U.S. that you cannot save civil institutions by failing to test them. Al Gore, a good guy and highwayscribery favorite, sought to preserve ours by reining his troops in, but it didn’t work out that way.

What we got was a band of thugs whose earliest maneuvers showed a disdain for those institutions, nationally and worldwide, trashing them for six years almost beyond recognition with institutionalized torture, domestic eavesdropping, suspension of habeas corpus, and unprovoked war based upon unsubstantiated claims.

The matter of the election in Mexico is being taken up by some special court or other. Will it care much about the demands of a bunch of Nacos closing off the streets?

Probably not, and there’s your problem.

It might be worth pointing out that AMLO’s political party is called the Democratic Revolutionary Party and that a good portion of the rank-and-file take the name to be more than a branding device.

the scribe fears things could get ugly and good people hurt. Outgoing President Vicente Fox says the demonstrators are within the law and that his "hands are tied."

But they were tied a few months ago in San Salvador de Atenco and that didn’t keep people from getting killed by police.

Mexico beware.

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