Saturday, September 16, 2017

How has this “Age of Trump” impacted the U.S/Mexico foreign relations?

Most of us who have any interest in Mexico Independence Day got our celebrating done last weekend – in Chicago, parades were held in the South Chicago and Little Village neighborhoods. Yet the actual holiday Saturday will be acknowledged in the Pilsen neighborhood with yet another parade.
U.S. acknowledgement of Mexico independence

So on this 217th anniversary of the date on which Spain’s North American colonies officially declared their independence as a free and sovereign nation, it intrigues me to wonder of the state of relations between our two nations.

PARTICULARLY SINCE OUR current president has gone out of his way to bash about Mexico every chance he can get so as to enhance his status amongst the nativist nitwit segment of our society.

It was right after Donald J. Trump was sworn into office at the beginning of this year that The New Yorker published its own commentary under the headline Donald Trump blows up the U.S.-Mexico relationship. While the Washington Post published a commentary by the former Mexico ambassador to the United States under the headline The U.S.-Mexico relationship is dangerously on the edge. Just a couple of examples – I’m sure you are aware of many more.

Now I don’t doubt the xenophobes amongst us could care less about this. The fact that we shouldn’t want the most significant nation with which we share a border to think of us as a hostile presence seems to allude them.
Mexican cry of Independence

Yet that seems to be a reality, according to a new Pew Research Center study.

SOME 65 PERCENT of Mexicans surveyed now think negatively toward the United States – that’s double the amount compared to two years ago and most-definitely an all-time high.

Yes, this is attributable to the presence of Trump as president – it seems only 5 percent of Mexicans surveyed have confidence that Donald J. will do the right thing with regard to world affairs Admittedly, most foreign nations think the U.S. president is a boob, but Pew surveyed people from 37 foreign nations and the Mexican perception of Trump is the lowest of them all.

It also seems that only 55 percent of Mexicans think that economic ties between their nation and the United States are beneficial – down significantly from 73 percent back in the Obama presidential days of 2013.
It’s not a pretty picture. Trump’s trash talk has created an environment that interferes with the ability of business to get done. Which is ironic, since Trump backers always like to claim (foolishly, I’d argue) that Trump’s business background and leanings supposedly give him an edge in achieving the bottom-line of success.

YET WITH THE activity of recent days where Trump is supposedly willing to consider backing off some of his rash trash talk on immigration policy and consider serious negotiation on issues such as DACA (that childhood arrival policy), it could be a positive step.

Except that Trump has our nativist nitwit segment of society all riled up into thinking that mass deportations of everybody not exactly like themselves are imminent any day now. They could wind up turning on him.

Whereas there are people who think that serious efforts between Mexico and the United States to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement ought to end because Mexico should not negotiate with such a political crackpot as Trump.

A move that truly would hurt interests in both countries – since we should keep in mind that the people most inclined to hate the concept of NAFTA are the ones who have ideological hang-ups about doing business with Mexico. They value their alleged Aryan purity over the almighty dollar.

SOMETHING THE NATIVISTS ought to keep in mind. That for all the hostility they want to spew toward Mexico, the sentiment is similar on the other side of the border. All because of the trash talk.
Mexico Independence celebrations, such as this 1957 parade through South Chicago neighborhood, have become Chicago traditions in their own right
Something we should keep in mind on this date when people in Mexico celebrate their independence, and the Spanish-speaking enclaves of this country also make their efforts to acknowledge el grito – the cry of independence first heard just over two centuries ago.

Something to think about just in case you happen to be amongst those out in the Pilsen neighborhood celebrating the holiday. Or maybe you're celebrating U.S. District Court senior Judge Harry Leinenweber, the Ronald Reagan era-appointed judge (and real Republican, rather than these ideologue-tainted and racially-motivated nitwits who run the GOP today) who on Friday issued the ruling that favors cities declaring themselves to be sanctuary cities and goes against the Trump-era government's threats to cut off their federal funding.

We really are better off as a nation if we manage to co-exist with our neighbors in a peaceful situation. Or at least don’t have them thinking our economic downfall would somehow benefit their interests.


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