Just before the crowded, over-loaded days of Pascua, both local Mexicans and northern residents here reluctantly noted the United States’ political embrollo tumble toward numerical chaos. The cluster of U.S. candidates for president shrunk. Now chiefly centering on two/three candidates for each party, instead of vast stages crowded with accusatory dreamers. While that was welcome to many rational minds, this change seemed to bring no profound intellectual clarity or emotional charity with it.
A number of “old Mexico hands” pictured two changes about to occur simultaneously: North of the border, a large number of troubled Mexican-American residents were thinking of heading south, returning home. Concurrently, a preparatory rush of appalled/disgusted U.S. citizens was gathering, preparing to abandon their northern homeland. Their aim: to plant new roots in an abruptly “much more sane” – and southern – foreign territory. Such newly determined “seekers” were bound to turn Chapala’s “Carretera” into an even tighter series of halts and impatient swearing. Both changes were due to the gradual arrival here of “Trump refugees” – Mexicans and gringos escaping a “gone-crazy north.”
At the same time, Mexico was being judged the “second-best environment in the world” for U.S. expatriates. A ranking given it March 23 by the InterNations organization based in distant Munich, Germany.
This cluster of parochial challenges, at that moment, was about to be hit by the brutal terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium, killing 31, wounding 300. That increased the spattering of the U.S. presidential race with fear-mongering, and crazed threats by Republicans against all Muslims – and seemingly all other immigrants – in the U.S.
Trump argued that waterboarding needed to be used on suspected Muslim errorists. Ted Cruz called for a war against “Islamic terrorism.” Hillary Clinton offered what the New York Times called “a smart, substantive rebuttal” to those declarations.
Her reply to Trump: The United States should not “conduct or condone” torture under any circumstances. Certainly, she declared, Cruz’s crazed response of threatening “terrorists“ with “carpet bombing” should be dumped in the nearest trash can.
One promising development, prompted by U.S. primary competitions: Republicans voiced increasing concerns, not only regarding the Trump\Cruz remarks, but the taste of anti-GOP political panic. The evidence of this: The growing dislike by young voters for both Trump and Cruz.
At the same time, according to analysts, a large percentage of GOP primary voters are divided. They are alarmed by embarrassingly broad, divided majorities. That the opposing harshness of Trump – and now, of Cruz – today emphasized Republican difficulty to govern coherently.
On the Democratic side there were several doubts regarding the two leading competitors.
Among most veteran voters, Senator Bernie Sanders’ agenda was and remains appealing. But it has remained too much so. “He’s got a great agenda,” said one local admirer. “ But it doesn’t convince hard-headed political veterans that this “pie in the sky will work.”
Sanders says that citizens will save money because they won’t be paying private insurance premiums. But his plan has no limits on the scope of coverage and no patient cost-sharing. It transfers private health spending to the Treasury, without any clear means of cost restraint. “Free is inevitably expensive,” say opposing “realists.” The plan would create winners and of course losers. And losers will fight it. Even many who might be winners won’t trust the government enough to go along with it.
And questions about Hillary’s trustworthiness continue to lurk in the background. The matter remains a persistent question, at least for some.
Before Mexico’s crowded Pascua season, a number of North American residents concentrated on ignoring much of this. These people were at ease with their lives here. Many had moved their money into “safe” investments, sometimes abroad. The weather is widely known as outstanding, the Chapala Carretera and a few health twinges constituted bumpy manageable unease.
But now an exploding and crazed north-of-the-border political fever has wounded their attention. It seems that the dissolution of the idea that what once was the United States is occurring. A disaster taking place under the childish curiosity regarding the competition of a penis measuring competition. Impossible to believe, but pathetically true. It was a “trend” to insist on the adjective “impossible” because the daft in this pathetic game are vying to become the president of an otherwise serious nation. (For this and a number of rather similar reasons, two-thirds of the U.S. citizenry refuses to trust their political party’s leaders.)
As if to convince doubters of the reasons for this, Trump’s Wednesday declaration that women should be punished for having abortions. (After insisting that abortions should be made illegal. Of course.) The backlash – both left and right – seemed to be universal. One that seemed sure to put the GOP in a November electoral hole. He fumblingly retracted it later. That didn’t work. His remark was a coup for the bright, swift-thinking, quick-humored Chris Matthew of MSNBC.
And that’s one faux pas that will hit most political and journalistic history books. It’s what a ton of people were waiting for. But by now they were having doubts it would ever occur. Trump was too sly.
Thus its arrival roused even those folks here who were the most complacent regarding the distant shape-wrinkling fate of the “far off” U.S.A. There were reasons to respond to the still unleashed drama cupped in the coming of that nation’s rough, and excitingly unknown future after all.