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Rage, rage, against the dying of the right

27 May 2021

Carlos Mota may have said (and he did) that the cover story and (unsigned) lead editorial in The Economist would give the “members of the 4-T” (i.e., supporters of the “fourth transformation” … the various implemented, implementing, and proposed reforms and restructing of the government, the political structure, and reparation of the social contract) a heart attack.. though the reaction has hardly been a call for even smelling salts. More like the reaction one might have to an annoying Chihuahua nipping at your ankles.

Apparently, Mexicans are supposed to be appalled or ashamed that The Economist’s lead editorial is entitled “Voters should curb Mexico’s power-hungry president”. In English. Although the editorial, among its list of AMLO’s supposed “sins” included one that fits the bill (“Mr López Obrador divides Mexicans into two groups: “the people”, by which he means those who support him; and the elite, whom he denounces, often by name, as crooks and traitors who are to blame for all Mexico’s problems”), the first — and by large the largest — doesn’t include very many people who read English, English magazines, or for that matter, gives a crap what a mouthpiece for British neo-liberals think. As to those others, the elite, by and large, they have been exposed as crooks nd traitors.

For that matter, doesn’t every politician basically lump people into two groups… those with me, and those against me? I don’t think AMLO is much different from Joe Biden, or Donald Trump, or Boris Johnson in that. Ah, but here’s the difference. AMLO, as the cover “helpfully” tells us is “Mexio’s False Messiah”… Where have I heard the Messiah before (and I’m not talking about Handel)?

“Tropical Messiah” was a coinage of Enrique Krauze, the fearless defender of the status quo. The epithet was echoed several years ago by the late US media quote-whore George Greyson, whose 2007 Mexican Messiah was the to-to source for all commentary by fly-in pundits (and those who never commented on Mexico before, outside of maybe some “concern” over “illegal aliens” and alleged “terrorist crossing the southern border”). For both Krauze and Grayson, the Messianic hold AMLO held over the masses (presumably of the unwashed variety) was that he had a vision of what Mexico could be, one based in Mexican values (thus his continual references to both Mexican history and Mexican political thought… particularly Alfonso Reyes’ “Moral Primer” of 1946) and not, as “acceptable” (to the global north) politicians who were free to wander within Mexican values… as long as they didn’t cross any line laid down by the “Washington Consensus”, the neoliberal economic theories of Milton Fridman, or do anything really outrageous like follow in the footsteps of presidents like Lazaro Cardenas or Adolfo López Mateos and have the effrontery to see Mexican resources as possibly a benefit to Mexican citizens beyond a source for a meagre paycheck.

As to the particulars of the messianic sins (can a Messiah be a sinner?): First off, he’s “too democratic” (“He calls a lot of votes, but not always on topics that are best resolved by voting. For example, when legal objections are raised to one of his pet projects—moving an airport, building a pipeline, blocking a factory—he calls a referendum”. Is that bad? While The Economist notes that very few people turn out for these referenda on “pet projects” (as opposed to, say, the previous administration’s pet project of an airport in the middle of a swamp, or Calderon’s “Tower of Corruption”) it does mean more than the usual “stakeholders” (neoliberal speak for the people with money interests ast stake) to voice their opinion. Whether or not the people vote is no reflection on the democratic principle of giving a voice to the people affected by the decision.

And.. he supposedly is illegally extending the term of the outgoing (maybe outgoing) Chief Justice. He has had bills introduced to keep the justice on while the entire judicial system is being reformed… reforms that began under the Calderon administration, and require changes in court administration and structure. The Chief Justice wants to finish the job, the President and Congress (most of them) want to finish the job… and there’s no Constitutional bar to extending his term, so what’s the problem?

Well, the problem are the things left unsaid: taking back control of PEMEX, building railroads (although that’s apparently a sin as well), taxing the rich, and tossing the crooks into jail.

But then, again… The Economist, channeling the ghost of Woodrow Wilson, “must teach them to elect good (corrupt) men. Heck, that’s what they said about Peña Neito back in 2012.



Sources:

Voters should curb Mexico’s power-hungry president, The Economist

Mexico’s Moment, The Economist

México responde a The Economist por portada contra AMLO, SDPNoticias,

Así reaccionaron a la portada sobre “AMLO: El falso mesías” de The Economist, SDPNoticias.

El Falso Mesías: la dura portada de The Economist en contra de López Obrador, 24 Horas

The Economist tilda a AMLO de “falso mesías” y llama a EU poner atención en “su patio trasero”, Proceso

A bunch of right wing lunacy, and a lot more sane comments on Facebook and Twitter.

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