Above Photo: From resumen-english.org
Donald Trump, head of a political party whose symbol is an elephant, accuses Mexico of taking advantage of the United States for decades, allowing an “invasion” of people and drugs, and he says there is nothing to talk about with his Mexican counterparts unless they fulfill his orders.
This is nothing but the same storyline he used for his presidential campaign and which seems to work for his internal political electoral purposes. This has nothing to do with facts, data and reasons about one the most complex bilateral relations in the world.
An invitation for talks to solve the current bi-national conflict starts with a problem: There is no problem rather than that provoked by Trump through his fabricated national emergency at the border. This is to say, what is under negotiation if there is not such a problem?
What does Trump want? First, to fuel the hysteria among his rank-and-file for electoral purposes; second, to divert the attention away from investigations about his involvement in corruption, his lies and cover-up operations; and third, according to his own Cabinet chief, to turn Mexico into his own Migra (slang term for U.S. immigration law enforcement agencies), including the acceptance of an agreement to be a “safe third country.”
Yielding to that would only lead to new demands for new concessions at the rhythm of what the White House needs for its electoral purposes, while migration is and will be clearly at the core of Trump’s reelection campaign. This is to say, there is every indication that the use of a fabricated crisis with Mexico will only get worse.
Universal history, literature and philosophy provide examples that giving in to a bully, and even worst, an imperial bully, opens the door for more and more of the same. A never ending story.
What if there is no more cooperation with this White House? That has been a sacred word in the bilateral relation. But it is him who is not cooperating, thus, perhaps it’s time to ignore him. Oh no! Experts echo at both sides of the border. But what if he is presented a series of demands that he has to meet to prove that he is cooperating, if it is affirmed that Mexico and other countries commit to fulfill their obligations according to the international law, abiding by agreements and treaties ranging from human rights to the rights of capital and trade and that the same is expected from Trump. United States citizens would have to accept or not the behavior of their President, including the economic consequences of his threats for their own country (economists, businesspeople and politicians from the two political parties warn that using tariffs against Mexico would cause a recession in the United States).
It would not mean to stop cooperating with the United States, its firms, governors, mayors, respectful legislators and diverse sectors of this society. Only with the insulter in chief.
But—answers the very expert choir—that would lead to worse scenarios. Offending the Mexican (and other) people, persecuting migrants violently, spreading dangerous hatred, putting children and families in cages, violating their and their defenders’ human and civil rights, and even threatening to use military force in the border. Could there be anything worse?
A very influential voice among Trump’s ranks and apologists, Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, declared that “Mexico is a hostile foreign power” and the United States must defend itself from it. Several White House advisors agree. Are we in a war?
Or the self-proclaimed “extremely stable genius” needs just a bit of sympathy and someone who holds his hand to tell him not to be so scared because we are going to behave (at least a bit)? The leader of the most powerful country in history insists that other countries have “benefitted” from his country and that children and their parents fleeing from poverty and violence are such a “threat” that he has had to declare a national emergency. Poor fellow, so scared.
Cooperation and diplomacy are a dance, but it is impossible to dance with elephants (at least with this one). In the face of madness, rationality does not work. It is time to name him persona non grata and to stop inviting him to the ball.