OPINION: What a Trump victory would mean for Mexico
The U.S. presidential election, pitting Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton, is November 8th.
In Mexico, Donald Trump has been excoriated in the media and among the political class since he announced his candidacy in June of 2015. The candidate has been likened to Hitler; he’s been slammed by politicians, journalists and entertainment personalities.
The Mexican government has attempted to influence the U.S. election through its vast consular network north of the border, by helping Mexicans in the U.S. acquire U.S. citizenship so they can vote against Trump.
Recently, Silvano Aureoles, Governor of the Mexican state of Michoacan, was visiting California and made his wishes known.
Governor Aureoles delivered an address to the 11th annual COFEM (Consejo de Federaciones Mexicanas – Council of Mexican Federations in North America) leadership conference in California.
In his address, Governor Aureoles described the Republican candidate (that is, Donald Trump) as a demente (a demented person, lunatic, crazy person).
“I invite you (plural) then, to not vote for someone who suffers from dementia,” the Michoacan governor exhorted his listeners.
Can you imagine the outcry if an American governor went to Mexico and called a presidential candidate demented and told people not to vote for him?
The truth is, despite all the rhetoric, Trump wouldn’t have gotten as far as he has, with all the opposition to his candidacy, unless he were striking a chord with many Americans.
Trump has brought formerly taboo topics into mainstream political discourse.
U.S. foreign policy, for example, is in dire need of a recalibration, yet it seems that since the Cold War ended 25 years ago (has it been that long?) it’s been drifting. Trump has called for a new look at foreign policy, as well as an improvement in relations with Russia. And considering the recent brinkmanship in Syria, such an improvement would be welcome.
Trade is another topic that hasn’t been properly debated, and Trump’s speech on international trade deals strikes a chord with many voters. (Note that both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are against the proposed TPP, a massive trans-Pacific trade deal.)
With respect to illegal immigration, that’s been a problem for a long time in the U.S., so Trump’s pledge to get control of the U.S. border with Mexico is popular.
It’s not surprising at all that the Mexican government and media would launch a firestorm against the Trump candidacy. The Mexican government would object to any measures to tighten the border on the U.S. side.
That’s par for the course, but the fury unleashed against Trump in Mexico has been enormous.
But what happens if Trump wins? Would it really be a disaster for Mexico?
I think not. Mexico must deal with the next president of the United States, regardless of who he or she is. Such dealings are based on shared interests, not personalities.
If a President Trump were able to wall-up the U.S.-Mexican border, the Mexican elite fear that all those Central American (and other) illegal aliens passing through Mexico would be stuck in the country, which is something they don’t want.
So, the Mexican government might be forced to secure its own borders with Guatemala and Belize.
In fact, an editorial in a Reynosa newspaper was entitled Sí al muro fronterizo … Pero en el sur de México, which means “Yes to the Border Wall … but in the south of Mexico.”
The editorial points out that Mexico has two borders on its south/southeast, and that these two borders “… only give us problems, because these crossings are utilized for a new invasion, that of Central Americans who utilize our country to cross to the United States.”
The editorial even points out that some of the Central Americans resort to criminal activities, including robbery, extortion and murder.
Wait a minute? Isn’t that similar to what Donald Trump said about illegal alien Mexican criminals?
Anyway, the editorial calls for Mexico to construct its own walls to protect its southeastern borders.
It says that “Trump’s idea [of a wall] is good, but more necessary than constructing a wall on the northern border of Mexico is to make one on the south/southeast border to stop the passage of Central Americans to both countries.”
That’s interesting. First we must see who wins this election, then to watch and see what follows.
A Trump win might actually help Mexico in the long run, by forcing its leaders to be more responsible.
By Allan Wall for TYT
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of The Yucatan Times.