Andrés Manuel López Obrador: Mexico will wage a battle of ideas against Trump

5/1/2017 Washington Post

Mexican politician Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador,  leader of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) gestures as he addresses the audience during a meeting at Plaza Zaragoza in Monterrey, Mexico
Source: REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

President Trump owes his electoral triumph last November in large part to the propagandistic use of political slogans designed to play on the frustrations of sectors of U.S. society burdened by unemployment, poverty and creaky, inefficient public institutions. The strategy was to deflect attention from those very real problems and focus instead on imaginary enemies.

Trump’s plan was based on a faulty reading of the situation and on promises that cannot be kept, both because of their vagueness and because they collide with inescapable economic realities. The overriding aim was to reach the White House, even if it meant promoting racial hatred, mass paranoia and an imperial arrogance that is obsolete in today’s world.

If the offensive against Obamacare failed, the trashing of the free-trade agreement between Mexico and the United States turned out to be unfeasible, and the building of the border wall was mired in budgetary, legal, technical and even environmental problems, the new administration could at least move to criminalize and persecute migrant workers — and that is what it did.

On Nov. 9, 2016, it became clear that the Mexico-U.S. bilateral relationship had entered a rocky phase. This was due not only to the incoming Trump administration’s policy of xenophobia and racism and the threat to block trade, but also to the arbitrary and abusive plans to force Mexicans to pay for a border wall. This wall is neither a Mexican nor a binational project, but an attempt to strong-arm and humiliate Mexico that is unacceptable and incompatible with international law.

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