Monday, February 15, 2016
Donald Trump and
By Allan Wall
On June 16th, 2015, flamboyant billionaire Donald J. Trump announced his run for the
U.S. presidency, and the U.S. political world has not been the same since.
In Mexico, the Trump
candidacy unleashed a firestorm of criticism.
Within minutes of Trump’s June 16th announcement speech, Mexico’s
paper of record El Universal had an article on its website about it.
Trump was soon lambasted by Mexican politicians,
ex-politicians, officials, journalists and celebrities.
Yuriria Sierra of Mexico’s Excelsior called
Trump ese hitlercillo del siglo XXI (“that Little Hitler of the 21st century”).
actor Gael Garcia Bernal proclaimed that Trump’s discourse is “hate discourse, and what follows next is genocide
or civil war. I mean, that’s how it begins.”
Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
also weighed in against Trump.
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox, visiting Los Angeles, took a shot at Trump.
That’s ironic. If any Mexican politician is similar to Trump in background and style, it would
be Vicente Fox.
Felipe Calderon, another former president, also got in his two cents’ worth of Trump-bashing.
Trump candidacy inspired the production and sale of Donald Trump piñatas (just a few days after his announcement),
and Donald Trump masks were doing a brisk business in mid-October.
The Mexican video game company Karaokulta
developed a game called Trumpéalo, in which the player throws shoes, beer bottles and nopal cacti
at Donald Trump.
Mexican writer Enrique Krauze and Cuban-born Carmelo Mesa-Lago (now at the University of Pittsburgh)
organized an anti-Trump Manifesto, subtly entitled Declaración de Intelectuales, Científicos y Académicos
Hispanos contra Xenofobia de Trump (“Declaration of Intellectuals, Scientists, and Academic Hispanics Against the
Xenophobia of Trump”). The document had 67 signers, from Latin America, Spain and the United States.
In December, Mexico’s Ambassador to the United States, Miguel Basañez, announced on U.S. soil a plan to
help 3 million Mexicans resident in the U.S. to become U.S. citizens so they can vote. The announced plan
was for private sector businesses to loan money to the Mexicans so they can register for naturalization.
months earlier, the ambassador had spoken of dual U.S./Mexican citizens voting against Trump, so it seems obvious this registration
plan is a way to combat the Trump candidacy.
And thus it goes on and on….
Having resided in Mexico,
and being familiar with the Mexican political/media world, I don’t find this reaction very surprising. After
all, the Mexican elite believes that the U.S. border with Mexico should be wide open and all Mexicans have a right to enter
the U.S. with full benefits. Anything less is considered a grave crime against humanity.
proposal to tighten the American border with Mexico is going to be met with hysterical shrieks throughout the Mexican chattering
Certainly, Trump has offended many with his blunt way of talking.
On the other hand, the American political establishment needs some shaking up.
talk has made it easier to talk about formerly taboo subjects, topics that had previously been swept under the rug by the
bipartisan consensus and the media.
Such topics include the link between crime and illegal immigration,
birthright citizenship, and the relationship between Islamic immigration and terrorism. These are all topics
worthy of discussion and Americans have a right to discuss them.
Trump has discussed outsourcing and the
national debt. And his foreign policy indicates a willingness to adopt a more conciliatory tone in dealings
Despite being a billionaire, Donald Trump has a great ability to connect with ordinary Americans.
As a candidate, he’s been successful in winning over many potential voters who didn’t even vote last time around.
One poll even indicated that 20% of Democrats would be willing to vote for Trump.
So yes, Donald Trump
could actually win the Republican nomination and after that, the presidency next November.
the American people choose Trump as their president, Mexico is just going to have to get used to it.
I really doubt that, in the long run, a Trump presidency would be bad for Mexico.
Let’s say a President
Trump really did shut down illegal crossings on the U.S.-Mexican border.
That would actually make the border region
And it might even encourage Mexico and other Latin American countries to stop using emigration as
an economic strategy and instead to enact better economic reforms.
The Trump border policy, in other words,
might be “tough love” for Mexico.
Allan Wall, an educator, resided in Mexico for many years. His website is located at http://www.allanwall.info.