Trump and Andrés Manuel López Obrador

History shows us that anti-establishment movements, like those of Mussolini, Hitler and Chavez (to name a few examples) take advantage of populations that are fed up with the political institutions of their times. Whether the cause is corruption, financial or military insecurity, a crisis or something else, leaders of anti-establishment movements prey upon social unease. They stoke the flames of fanaticism so that they can do whatever they want, often leading to the downfall of their countries. The attraction of these false prophets stems from their promise of a “third way” – it could be the revival of an imperial past, or it could be the promise of a socialist fantasy. Either way, these leaders promise to wave a magic wand and solve the country’s problems. They begin by stirring up general euphoria with price controls, subsidies and more. Soon the populace is easily manipulated into following in step with their ideas. Once the euphoria has passed, these experiences give way to dictatorship, economic collapse, the suppression of liberties, repression and/or often a catastrophe that is even larger than the original state of things.

Unfortunately, we don’t tend to learn from others’ experiences. In the 21st century, Donald Trump is the new prototype of the old anti-establishment president. His conservative and anti-politics persona attracted many followers in the American heartland. His campaign motto, “Make America Great Again,” displays nostalgia for white supremacy and a lost empire. He seeks to restore these ideas with nationalist and militarist politics, xenophobia and protectionism. These inclinations have brought political intolerance, confrontations with the media, persecution of immigrants, militarization of the international border with Mexico, the abandonment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the undermining of NAFTA, a trade war with China, armed attacks and political tensions – all of this threatening globalization and peace.

If, with Trump, the United States accelerates its decay, it might pull the world down with it into another era of dictatorships, crisis and war, mirroring the 1930s and 1940s. Against such a panorama, the Mexico of Andrés Manuel López Obrador would suffer the trauma of the dissembling of its current economic system. The consequences would be horrific, similar to the authoritarianism of Luis Echeverría, or worse, that of Nicolas Maduro’s Venezuela. In particular, the confrontation with business interests, as we have already seen with Carlos Slim and the Consejo Coordinador Espresarial, the business advice organization, will result in lost capital, hyperinflation, unemployment, economic unpredictability, enormous economic devaluation and the return of the economic crisis we saw at the end of the 1960s. Clearly, through his policies, his irresponsibility, and his tantrums, the anti-establishment candidate from Tabasco seeks to restore an imperial presidency (authoritarianism) and the hegemony of a single party, MORENA.* Turning back time, he would impose a fairy tale economy (exchange control, price control, etc.), unprofitable statism (based on public debt), populism (gifts for political allies, corporate exemptions for unreliable businesses, backwards professional associations, task forces, etc.), pacts of impunity for instances of corruption and drug trafficking, heavy-handed restrictions on freedoms and repression. In other words, the old PRI,** disguised as MORENA, but much worse.

Italy, Germany and Venezuela never imagined that their “messianic” politicians could cause disaster, and in Mexico, many people are blind to the possibility, whether due to naïveté, ignorance or fanaticism. But the irrefutable evidence exists. If the people want change, it must happen with someone who is able to truly able to promote the following: new representation, new agreements, citizen participation and governance; the adjustment and correction of our economic model, and of wealth distribution, to fight democratically and institutionally against corruption and danger. All of this must be forward-looking, and prepare us to be technological and global leaders.


Emboldened by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the violence of the CNTE*** intensifies as it prepares for its return to power.

*Editor’s Note: MORENA stands for Movimiento Regeneración Nacional, MORENA and is a left-wing political party in Mexico currently led by presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

**Editor’s Note: PRI stands for Partido Revolucionario Institucional and was the ruling Mexican political party from 1929 to 2000.

***Editor’s Note: CNTE stands for the Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación, a Mexican teachers union founded in 1979 by teachers in the poorer states of Mexico.

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