An influential Mexican opinion leader addressed the systematic challenges in fortifying democratic institutions in the United States at the Democrats Abroad Mexico Annual General Meeting held two weeks ago in San Miguel de Allende.
Gerardo Lozano, a well-known political analyst, broadcaster and professor at the Universidad Ibero Americana, also touched on the array of myths stemming from both sides of the border.
Judging from the actions of the second Bush administration, Mexicans might be correct in accusing the United States of being an imperial country that invades nations for their natural resources, Lozano told the audience of expat Democrats. On the other hand, others south of the border often consider Americans to be without culture, selfish and money-oriented, who only come to Mexico for spring break or to retire.
Meanwhile, Lozano said, Americans may blast Mexicans for being lazy and unreliable. Perhaps they think every Mexican city resembles Tijuana or that Mexicans bring crime, drugs and rapists into the United States.
“Of course, this is all based on misconceptions,” said Lozano.
“The United States is a nation of organizers – a nation of people who came together to get things done and question authority,” said Lozano, who earned his M.A. in American Politics from New School of Social Research in NYC where he’s also a Ph.D. candidate.
“We study American politics, culture and foreign policy because there is no other country in the world that’s as important to Mexico as the U.S. We should study it more.”
Lozano also discussed the importance of remedying inequality in the United States, noting how the OECD considers it to be the most unequal democracy in the world.
Due to these disparities, he stressed how U.S. political and economic systems have only benefited the country’s top tier. His main theme, however, was the lack of proportional gender representation in the United States.
“The United States is among the few democracies in the world without gender quotas in politics,” said Lozano. “A record number of women joined the U.S. Congress last election but the percentage of female representatives is still less than 22 percent. In Mexico, we’ve had 50 percent of women in office since 2018. Parties are obliged to nominate females candidates to win congressional seats.”
According to Lozano, prevalent sexism combined with fake news is what ultimately prevented Hilary Clinton from winning the 2016 presidential election.
Heralded for his coverage of that contest, Lozano reminisced about attending the Clinton campaign’s election night party, where everyone expected her to give a victory speech.
Surrounded by celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, Lozano was one of many who thought the Democratic candidate had broken the glass ceiling for female politicians in the United States.
“It was as if I attended a quinceañera where the birthday girl died. It went from a party to a funeral,” Lozano said. “I think it was a tremendous defeat for liberal democracies. After the 2016 U.S. election, there have been ongoing crises to liberal democracies across the world.”
But, surprisingly, Lozano refused to name Donald Trump as the worst president in U.S. history,
“One of the reasons why he is president today is because of George W. Bush, whose legacy made the world an insecure place,” said Lozano. “He left wars in Afghanistan and Iraq where people are still suffering today, not to mention stoking Islamaphobia, the Patriot Act to keep the wars going, plus the rise of rightwing Evangelicals. There has never been such a terrible president as Bush, but of course, I hate Trump, too.”