image: “the silent majority stands with Trump” by Jamelle Bouie
In the last few months, the world has shockingly observed the rise of radicalism and the spread of ill-advised ideas in the United States of America. This is a wave of hate and xenophobia that threatens to destroy everything on its way. Through caucuses and primaries, Republicans have enhanced the standing of ‘Trumpism’ whilst this continues to erode the foundations of civility and humanity.
Donald J. Trump, a dangerous and egocentric ‘super Executive’ under construction, has been vociferous against more than 11 million Mexican, undocumented migrants living in the USA, and against Muslims entering the country. As a matter of fact, he didn’t hesitate for a second from commenting on the terrorist attacks in Paris (November 2015) and Brussels, which he believes were linked to Muslim refugees and migrants. Under these circumstances and according to Trump, ‘we cannot allow these people [referring to Muslims], to come into our country’ (CNN Politics, 2016).
If elected president of the USA, he would shut down the borders to almost everyone and everything. He actually believes that a ‘big’ and ‘beautiful’ wall would prevent violence from coming in. The problem is that evil comes from the inside too. Just to put an example, the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School (2012) and Charleston (2015) were outrageous consequences of unattended domestic issues, most of them related to gun legislation, public health and racism. Trump stands for a policy of isolation and unilateralism that doesn’t match with the dynamism of the 21st Century. He just pretends to block the openness that has made of the USA a prosperous, diverse and free land.
These are difficult times and there’s no denial. We are menaced by global terrorism, organised crime, famine, poverty, climate change, disease and ever more issues. However, it would be wrong to blame migrants for the world full of violence, hate and economic turmoil we’re living in today. Trump is just trying to convince the American electorate of his own delusion. World media follows Trump’s steps closely, and this has provided the ‘oxygen of publicity’ to a wrong vision of the world and its affairs. A vision that divided public opinion and which has induced to aggression. Now, it’s more common to observe acts of violence at rallies instead of having open dialogues and discussions on fundamental differences.
Most people may only remember Trump from his reality show, The Apprentice. Some might see him as a successful entrepreneur and good leader. Nevertheless, out of screen and way too involved in politics now, the businessman has demonstrated that he will ignore the way world economics really work. Furthermore, the Republican candidate fails to understand that real leadership embraces differences. Many Americans must have realised by now that there isn’t a big difference between the ‘celebrity’ and the man.
Back in 2013, Shannon K. O’Neil, U.S. scholar and expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, published a book entitled: Two Nations Indivisible. She couldn’t have used a better adjective to describe the real state of the bilateral relation between Mexico and the USA. Both nations have worked towards a solid partnership, based on mutual understanding. Yes, as it happens among many other countries, there are fundamental differences in certain matters (i.e. arms control, drug trafficking, migration). However, these haven’t prevented any of the parts from negotiating. History has proven that we Mexicans and our American counterparts could learn much more from dialogue instead of confrontation. Believe me, by calling some Mexican ‘rapists’, Mr. Trump just showed that he’s ill-advised and in need of reading more than one history book.
At rallies and GOP presidential debates, Trump has been vociferous against Mexico, China and Japan. The millionaire argues that these nations manipulate their currencies and steal American jobs. In sum, Donald Trump blames current USA trade deficit on these economies. I believe he took this out of proportion. There’s a reason why Mexicans pay more than 17 pesos in exchange of one US dollar, but this has nothing to do with currency manipulation. After all, the value of the Mexican peso is determined by the market. Who’s to blame here then?
Nabisco, Caterpillar and many other businesses in the car industry have moved from the USA to Mexico because, knowing how to play under the rules of free-market economics, were attracted by labour-intensive economies. Now, this doesn’t mean that the USA didn’t benefit from these decisions. For example, when Caterpillar moved from Mapleton to Saltillo, production increased and 1500 new jobs were created in Illinois against 560 jobs that were lost at Mapleton (O’Neil, 2013). Trade is a win-win situation, and Donald Trump most understand that a capital-intensive economy cannot take it all. A good businessman should get this easily.
Beyond economics, Trump has also been impolite towards women and African Americans. The real estate mogul failed to disavow the KKK and has made more than one derogatory comment about women. At the first GOP Presidential debate, Megyn Kelly –Anchor of Fox News- noted that Trump had previously called women ‘pigs’ and ‘slobs.’ The multi-millionaire went after Kelly, calling her an ‘overrated’ and ‘third-rate reporter.’
With the Republican Convention ahead, ‘Dr. Establishment’ trembles as it now realises that the party has lost control of the ‘monster.’ This isn’t an innocent joke anymore. Supported by resentment and fear, stored in the closets of many American families, the creature turned violent and refuses to step back.
The Republican presidential front-runner shows no respect to protocol and rules. He appears to have forgotten that American democracy was built on the principles of freedom, accountability and division of powers. Beware America! An Executive out of control, who believes that waterboarding actually works, could be as dangerous and despicable as a dictator in the middle of a desert.
In the past, I personally worked shoulder to shoulder with American officials and scholars towards the enhancement of our bilateral relation. Through educational exchanges and dialogue, both nations benefited from high-quality research and cultural diversity. Our understanding of global migration, temporary guest programmes, clean energy, water supply, child birth practices, among other issues, expanded. From my experience at the U.S.-Mexico Commission, I learned that the prosperity of North America could only possibly be accomplished by means of bridges of understanding and mutual responsibility. For this and for other reasons that were previously outlined, I am confident that a loud majority of the American people will vote against a poisonous rhetoric and will end up standing for peace, respect and understanding. This isn’t a point of no return.
Arturo studied a Master’s in Governance and Public Policy at the University of Sheffield. He previously earned a degree in International Relations from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). From 2012-2014, Arturo worked at the U.S.-Mexico Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchanges. He was in charge of administering the Fulbright programmes for U.S. students. Interests: transparency, global security, US Politics, EU governance. @a_mendozam