When the great insulter was insulted — OpEd —

People close to AMLO say he is very upset. The fact that former Bolivian president insulted him was a major blow for his enormous ego.

On Thursday last week, a former president of Bolivia who now serves as a spokesman for the provisional government decided to speak to Andrés Manuel López Obrador in his own language. In a press conference, Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga told López Obrador that he was cynical, shameless, a godfather to tyrant’s , submissive, servile, and kneeled before Trump”. He finished with the one expression that went viral: coward bully.

Mexico´s Foreign Minister, the Secretary of the Interior and the President of the Supreme Court, publicly showed expressions of solidarity in what they called an “unacceptable tone” with which a former Bolivian leader had referred to the president of Mexico.

Even though AMLO in his morning conference dismissed the comments, sources close to him, mentioned how those words, really bothered him. He is not used to that, since he is the “Great Insulterer”. Ever since Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been in politics, one of his favorite hobbies is to insult those who think different than him.

The current President of Mexico, launches himself against opponents and critics, journalists or against anyone who dares to question him, that includes any media outlet who publishes information that is unfavorable to him.

People who insult often have a limited and repetitive repertoire. Take Trump for instance, he has a very limited lexicon. He has around 30 favorite words such as: winning, stupid, moron, bigly, weak, loser, fake news, deep state, great, incredible, politically correct, drain the swamp, smart, tough, dangerous, huge-yuge, really, bad, amazing, tremendous, terrific, classyamongst others.

Not AMLO. He is an artist of the insult, an artist of contempt, of disqualification. His creativity in the use of insults, adjectives, nicknames and lexicographer’s whips draws attention.

Here are some of AMLO´s favorite adjectives towards his “adversaries” compiled by Gabriel Zaid for “Letras Libres”.

Achichincle-servant, alcahuete-pimp, aprendiz de carterista-pickpocket’s apprentice, arrogante-arrogant, blanquito-whitey, calumniador-slanderer, camajanes-con artists, canallín-scoundrel, chachalaca-someone who talks too much, cínico-cinical, conservador-conservative, corrupto-corrupt, corruptazo-very corrupted, deshonesto-dishonest, desvergonzado-shameless, espurio– spurious, farsante-faker, fichita-dishonet, fifí-bourgeois, fracaso-failure, fresa-someone rich and educated, gacetillero vendido-sold journalist, hablantín-someone who talks too much, hampones-gangsters, hipócritas-hipocrite, huachicolero-gasoline robber, ingratos-ungrateful, intolerante-intolerant, ladrón-thief, lambiscones-ass kissers, machuchón-insolent, mafiosillo-gangster wanna be, maiceado-someone who is on the take, majadero-insolent, malandrín-thief wanna be, malandro-thief, maleante-thief, malhechor-gangster, mañoso-someone with bad habits, mapachada de angora-someone who presents itself as a decent person but it is not, matraquero-a servile person, me da risa-you make me laugh, megacorrupto-megacorrupted, mentirosillo-little lier, minoría rapaz– rapacious monirity, mirona profesional-professional peeping tom, monarca de moronga azul-a high class/“blue blood” person, mugre-dirt, ñoño-dumb, obnubilado– obnubilated, oportunista-oportunist, paleros-faker, pandilla de rufianes– riff-raff gang members, payaso de las cachetadas-clown, pelele-dummy, pequeño faraón acomplejado-person with a Pharaoh complex, perversos-perverted, pillo-thief, piltrafa moral-moraly worthless, pirrurris-high class person, politiquero demagogo-demagog politician, ponzoñoso-a toxic person, ratero-robber, reaccionario-reactionary, represor– repressor, reverendo ladrón-super thief, riquín-rich person, risa postiza-fake smile, salinista-someone from The Carlos Salinas presidency, señoritingo-shemale, sepulcro blanqueado-grave robber, simulador-pretender, siniestro-sinister, tapadera-someone´s front, tecnócratas neoporfiristas-neoprofirist technocrats, ternurita-darling, títere-puppet, traficante de influencias– power broker, traidorzuelo-traitor, vulgar-vulgar, zopilote-buzzard.

AMLO insults left and right, though “with all due respect”. He despises and disqualifies, but with “peace and love” and he tells his base he doesn’t carry a wallet next to politicians from other parties because they are “thieves and assailants”. He actually staged it in a sketch in front of the television cameras, when he was approached by the PAN-PRD-MC candidate.

AMLO is addicted to being the center of public attention while downloading his loud epithets. When he was head of the “Federal District”, now CDMX or Ciudad de Mexico, just like he does now, used of schedule his press conferences at six in the morning.

The press, fascinated and submissive (even though he mistreats them) follows him everywhere and amplifies his statements. He masters the art of making news.

Lopez Obrador is capricious and does not argue with “equals”, because he does not have them. He does not accept advice, let alone criticism. He does not try to convince with arguments, but with his charismatic presence. He does not need to listen. From the heights, he imposes decisions with his “fingercracy” as he says “whatever my little finger says”.

The president of Mexico has made insulting others his currency, his trademark. As of last Thursday, when Quiroga spoke, no one had ever used that tone nor language towards him, which is the same tone AMLO uses towards those he calls “his detractors”. 

Let’s hope that this helps López Obrador to leave behind the name-calling and disqualifications, and instead, replace it with arguments. Maybe Mr. López has forgotten that words are heavy, words are not carried away by the wind. Even less so in a country with as much impunity as ours, where verbal violence can very easily translate into physical violence.

With information from: El Universal-Carlos Loret/Reforma/Letras Libres/Dictionary/The Hill

José E. Urioste 
The Yucatan Times
Newsroom



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