TRUMP IS COMING.
According to news reports, Donald Trump will be in Mexico City tomorrow, for a private meeting with Enrique Peña Nieto. My comments.
Whether Peña Nieto or Donald Trump has the lower approval rating with the Mexican people is an open question. The President NEEDS something — anything! — to at least make himself look like a semi-competent leader at this point. If not for himself, for his party, given that the leftist insurgent candidate (Andrés Manuel López Obrador) is far ahead in national polls, even though his party has only existed for two years. He tried winning over the left and the intellectuals by calling for a Constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to same-sex marriage (even though the Supreme Court already has said we have that right, it’s just not specifically spelled out in the Constitution as are gender and racial equality, and the right to sexual preference). That only pissed off the Bishops, and he’s had to backtrack. With the Catholic Church, the intellectuals, the working class, the left and the right all despising Trump, it’s kind of a high-wire act: he must appear “tough”, while at the same time appeasing the pro-US business establishment that should the worst happen, and Trump does become US Prez, it’ll be business as usual.
Mexican presidents, whether they like or not, have to pretend to give a hearing to prominent gringos. A few years back, when the Bush II administration was fretting about a growing “black-brown” coalition, they made a fake issue out of a Mexican domestic postage stamp commemorating a cartoon character than could be seen as “racist” in the United States (with good reason, but not something that would even be seen in the US), and sent Jesse Jackson to “straighten out” President Fox (who didn’t control the privatized postal service). And, as a culture, we tend to be gracious, even to assholes.