A circus, politics in Mexico
The spectacle of Mexican politics today seems to cast many in the roles of buffoons, acrobats, or even clowns. All the aspiring candidates from their parties or coalitions for the presidency of the Mexican Republic—or rather, to supposedly coordinate the work of transexenal projects or broad opposition fronts—in recent days have given much to talk about and not necessarily for reasons good or appealing to constructive motivations for the country.
Since the start of the process to elect the National Coordinator of the Committees for the Defense of the Fourth Transformation, we have witnessed a rather poor and insubstantial political spectacle. This frankly embarrassing feeling is magnified if we also analyze the alternative process of the so-called "Broad Front for Mexico"—which represents the opposition bloc to the "nation project" of the current president of Mexico—and we focus on all the aspirants, both those who who register to participate in the contest or those who travel the country in search of sympathy to win a poll.
Since we are not talking about formal electoral campaign times, it is understandable that the applicants' appearances in public and with the media lack a fundamental message and content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the display of frivolity and lack of seriousness of these men and women who seem to make fun of themselves with rather unfortunate and, on various occasions, caricatural representations and appearances is striking. Also noteworthy and surprising is the audacity of some characters who decided to join the fray and who, instead of inviting us to take them seriously, make us laugh or perhaps even anger or irritated by their grotesque pretense or by the memory of their lousy performance in their career. policy.
Without mentioning them by name—because it is not my intention here to contribute to the division or polarization that could fuel street fights or more representations of the “wrestling” type—it is necessary to note the disenchantment that this “democratic” exercise has caused in our society. Instead of presenting ideas to be discussed in the future and allowing us to know the essence of their values and commitment to Mexico, the applicants have staged a frankly crude and insubstantial show. Said representation has given rise to a whole series of disqualifications and insults that make the political atmosphere rare and divert the debate from the great national issues towards the irrelevant.
In recent days we have heard everything from allegations of major corruption, humiliating expressions and slanderous accusations, to rumors of adultery. In general, the elements that have characterized this democratic exercise to elect coordinators of two apparently opposed country projects have turned out to be rather disastrous. Personally, and under different rules of the game, I would have expected a civilized debate and mechanisms that would allow Mexicans to know what the applicants could personally offer.
This seems to have become a fair, attended by the most grotesque characters, and designed to distract attention from the problems that really concern the inhabitants of our nation. It is absolutely incomprehensible the entry into the race of some frankly buffo applicants (including those who have pending accounts with the law) and, what is worse, the enormous spending on advertising—in specific cases with public resources or sources of lurid origin. It is also surprising the entry into the contest of characters who do not have a country project and who lack the slightest possibility or capacity to direct the future of Mexico. The most tragic thing is that the heads of the political parties know it and support the realization of a rather ridiculous and contentless spectacle.
Despite the anticipated victory songs by the ruling party, Mexico faces very serious problems. Notwithstanding the foregoing, it is a fact that our country is not on the brink of the abyss as the opposition claims. It is necessary to recognize advances—hopefully not only of the conjuncture—in some key areas. Mexico is a very important economy worldwide and strategic because of its resources, its population and its geographical location. However, we live in very complex times.
Recall that the United States will also hold a presidential election in 2024 and is currently facing significant challenges in its race to the bottom in terms of global influence in a multipolar world. In this context, the idea of a US military incursion into Mexican territory is being handled with increasing force under the pretext of the so-called fentanyl crisis. That's not trivial. Nor is the issue of insecurity and the reconfiguration of organized crime and criminal paramilitarism in Mexico insignificant, which seems not to be effectively contained even with the creation of the National Guard. All this occurs in a scheme of unusual expansion of the role of the armed forces in the life of the country, with all that this entails in terms of social control and decomposition of the institutional fabric.
And coupled with militarization or the incursion of the armed forces into non-conventional areas (and not just temporarily), there are added dangerous proposals that remind us of the Chinese regime and Bentham's panopticon, such as those of congressman Miguel Torruco Garza—friend of Sylvester Stallone, who joins him in supporting Claudia Sheinbaum. Regarding the development of the Mexican economy and the reduction of poverty and inequality, the results are not conclusive. In reality, patronage programs and potential universal income will not solve the root problems of the Mexican economy, nor will they ensure a world of equality and well-being. In addition, we continue to face very serious educational problems, capacity problems in the health sector and in many other areas of national life. Regarding the Mayan Train, the megaprojects and the territorial reorganization to contain migration and for the benefit of big transnational capital, there is not much to celebrate either.
The difficult economic and sociopolitical panorama in Mexico is joined by the great conflicts of the new global order in the context of warfare and the reintegration of supply chains in a multipolar world. There are too many problems we have today as a nation (and in the world in general) to waste our time and divert our attention to laundry room rumors of adultery, supposed gifts of zoo animals (like giraffes), allegations of identity theft indigenous or self-assignment of identities that do not contribute to the solution of the great national and world problems.
Analyzing this context, some might even think about the design of electoral psychological operations designed to benefit the elites here and beyond our borders. But regardless of how it is done so that a mediocre, pelangoche or quarrelsome candidate becomes (in the minds of many) a possibility of salvation for Mexico or the fetish of a group that yearns for a change of course, it is worth reflecting on the deep content of what is presented to us by the political marketing that flows through the media and through social networks.
In the circus of Mexican politics today, each and every one of the aspirants to lead our nation or rather to coordinate a "national project" seem to converge. From the performance of the candidates in general, I dare to think that none seems to be up to the task. In this electoral show that we have just been given and in which we have been placed by the political elites of Mexico, it has not been possible for me to really know any of the candidates—only the divisive agendas of their puppeteers. I hope that the upcoming electoral campaigns will be different. It's up to us to demand high-profile content and discussion, ignore gossip and snares, and ask the right questions in an increasingly complex world. Our freedom, our natural resources, and the future of our nation are at stake.
Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera is a Professor-Researcher of Politics and Government, a specialist in security issues, border studies, and Mexico-United States relations. Author of Los Zetas Inc
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