Mexico is a country with a particular magnet for tragedies. When the meteorite that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs impacted our planet, the devastation began, precisely, with the creation of the Gulf of Mexico. Millions of years later, in the pre-Hispanic world, the cult of death and human sacrifices were part of the dominant culture. With the Conquest came racism and extermination, mainly due to illness, of the vast majority of the population. Three centuries later, in the Invasion of 1847, the country lost, to the U.S. military and its own weakness, little more than half of its territory. And let alone the Revolution, which cost the lives of nearly a million people.
From that perspective, President Donald J. Trump’s arrival at the White House certainly does not represent the end of the world. And yet …
It is true that Trump’s electoral victory is part of a global tsunami of rejection of economic globalization, marked in various regions by extreme right-wing populism in which isolationism and xenophobia are his favorite flags, and recognizing that the outbursts of the new President Of the United States have generated fear in much of the planet, is Mexico where more anxiety and concern has been produced.
“We will follow two simple rules; buy American and hire American.” With those 11 words from his inaugural speech, Trump seeks an easy victory at the expense of the poor neighbor to the south.
Both the 3,000-kilometer wall along the southern border and the threat of pulling the United States out of the North American Free Trade Agreement (the never-appreciated NAFTA) are the first two blows with which the new Control of the greatest nuclear arsenal of our time seeks to initiate its “revolution” tailored to that segment of the population with little education, economically mediocre and culturally bitter, those whom Mr. Trump names as “The People.”
Little more complex, but equally imminent, will be the social offensive with a deep fascist aroma,
that comes from his “America first” and his end of remarks with his fist moving forward, that will open the season of hunting immigrants —and in many ways also minorities. The social regression is barely hidden inside his main real slogan: Make America white again.
Indeed, a proposal absolutely impossible, because beyond its deep prejudices against Mexicans, the reality is that of the 55 million people who make up the Latin universe in the United States, only slightly more than 10 percent could be defined with the label “illegal aliens”, which for Trump and his angry mob is another code term for “Mexicans”. And not only them but all kind of color people and, of course, the vast majority of the real, educated, inclusive, modern America. Therefore, a big rebellion is on the horizon.
And love? Love is still there. In Mexico, poverty, corruption, and violence have been centenarian realities. In the track of the Labyrinth of Soledad de Octavio Paz, in deep Mexico the suffering has been part of the Mexican’s own identity. Same as the eternal parties and, of course, love.
In an open challenge to the social mood of the present moment, Mexicans are almost invariably high on all measures of happiness (also North Korea, we admit). Although via the mega dramatic way of José Alfredo Jiménez, the Mexican is a joyful people. Humor has always been a great resource against adversity. Whether it is the topicalized version of Valentine’s Day or in the form of Memes, the festive force of Mexicans has allowed us to overcome bigger challenges.
Waiting for the impact there of the anti-system tsunami —which is the third major tectonic movement in the world’s social and economic structures in the last 100 years, Mexicans take refuge in the little joys of fun of daily life. Therefore, hope and not hate is the path to follow. It is love, not in the times of Cholera, but in the times of Trump.