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Foreign Policy: Mexico



     Like Diogenes, I am looking for the foreign policy of the two leading candidates. My lantern is not powerful enough. I could not even find their policy toward Mexico and the issue of the states bordering California and Texas. The San Francisco Chronicle (7/20) ran some excellent feature articles on the subject, or rather non-subject.
     They dealt largely with the maquiladoras, plants on the Mexican side of the border to which parts are shipped for assembly by cheap labor working in unsanitary conditions, and then shipped back to the U.S. for sale. Much of the U.S.-Mexican trade is therefore illusory, consisting of juggling to avoid U.S. labor costs and sanitary codes.
     U.S.and Mexican businessmen enjoy this situation, but labor unions are angry. Mexican unions are powerless. The Democratic California government of Gray Davis refuses to take a stand, and the Republican governor of Texas, George W. Bush, is silent on the issue. Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo avoids it by saying it is the problem of the Mexican border states, notably Baja California.
     Pat Buchanan is the only presidential candidate to have spoken clearly on the subject, but his chances are like those of John McCain. Precise policies are an electoral handicap. A brand name, money and charisma are more important. John F. Kennedy Jr. was no more skilled at piloting his life than his plane. He was trying to find his place with the magazine George, and we wished him well, but it was failing. Comments like "He was a charming young man, With a name like that, he would have made a good president!" leave us wondering about our democracy.
     My campaign to rehabilitate non-charisma will include William McKinley, who had a keen interest in foreign affairs. He spoke clearly on the subject, saying at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo "Isolation is no longer possible or desirable." The next day he was assassinated. It was a great tragedy, but who mourns for William McKinley?

Ronald Hilton - 07/21/99


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