Republican Contenders and Mexico: It's Amateur Hour at the Rio Grande
Bennet Kelley - Huff Post Politics
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December 31, 2015
Trump says Mexico is sending “crime” and “rapists” across the border – but some are “good people” (Global News)
Diplomacy is a craft that requires knowledge of both historical forces that define our relationships with other nations and an understanding of the dynamic forces impacting a nation in the present. A diplomat's worldview cannot be tied to the past when we live in a world where major nations from a generation ago, such as the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia or Yugoslavia, no longer exist.
When it comes to Mexico, however, the Republican front-runners are clueless amateurs. Their view of Mexico, which shares a nearly 2,000-mile border with four U.S. states, appears shaped more by 1960s Clint Eastwood movies then anything resembling reality.
Donald Trump clings to a cartoonish image that is a half-century old of a nation that is a cauldron of banditos directed by a corrupt government to pour across the border to traffic narcotics, rape, commit mayhem and spread disease in El Norte. Trump stresses that "the Mexican government is not our friend."
Not our friend? Guess again Donald. Mexico is the second largest buyer of U.S. goods and sustains approximately six million American jobs. In addition, far from pouring across the border, since 2009 more Mexicans are leaving the United States than coming across the border. Those that do cross the border into the U.S., however, have a substantially lower crime rate than other demographic groups.
Senator Ted Cruz, who is neck and neck with Trump in Iowa, has embraced "the Donald's" anti-immigration rants. To his credit, Senator Marco Rubio has denounced Trump's rhetoric on Mexico as "offensive and inaccurate," but he and Cruz have laid their own claim to the diplomacy dunce cap by putting a hold on a final Senate vote to approve Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson to be the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico (despite bi-partisan support for the nominee), over her role in implementing President Obama's easing of the failed 55-year Cuba embargo.
As President Obama explained, "The Cold War has been over for a long time. And I'm not interested in having battles frankly that started before I was born."
Read the rest at Huff Post Politics
Related: 2016 Republican Presidential Race Dropouts (UPI)
Related: Mexico in 2016: From Pope Francis to Donald Trump (Fusion)
Related: Gael García Bernal: ‘Donald Trump Calls Mexicans Rapists and Drug Dealers. It’s Hate Discourse’ (The Guardian)
Related: New Cartoon Gives Immigration Debate an Archie Bunker Twist (El Daily Post)
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