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MEXICO: The Elections

Jim Wheelan has more than a book knowledge of Mexico (where he lives in splendid isolation) and of all Latin America, especially Chile. I thought he would be delighted by the victory of Fox, but he writes:

"The elections were commendably clean. Frankly, I fear Fox. For me, he is a demagogue, a man who -- over the past two-three years, at least -- has been an utter stranger to principles. Nor has he presented anything resembling a coherent program. A conservative he is not, any more than PAN, in recent years, has been a "right-wing" party. This is just part of the baggage of cliches of our slip-shod media. (Was it Kierkegaard who said laziness and impatience are the most dangerous mental faults -- he must have had our media in mind when he said that). Furthermore, Fox faces a problem not unlike that faced by the newly-arisen "democrats" in the former Iron Curtain country republics: He must govern with an inherited bureaucracy of 2.8 million, most of whom owe their jobs to the PRI, and many of whom remain staunchly loyal to it. For all of that, he is a bright fellow, and who knows...? In the meantime: Poor United States: So far from God, so close to Mexico (with apologies to a certain fellow)."

My comment: In the Mexican election, all the candidates, not only Fox, spoke is generalities, without a specific program. Of course, this is really true of US candidates also. I followed the opinion of Mexican students at Stanford, and it consisted mostly of mud thrown at one candidate or another. Certainly Fox is the most pro-American of the candidates, so that should please Jim Wheelan.

Incidentally, Jim wants me to celebrate the Fourth of July. Of course I do, albeit with the reservations I expressed. If George III had won, the British were so resentful of what many of them viewed as treason that not only would the reprisals have been harsh, but British democracy itself might have suffered. Edmund Burke summarized the situation better than anyone else.

Ronald Hilton - 7/03/00