The American Interestrnby Srdja TriflioYtcrnMexico Under NewrnManagement: Wish ThemrnWell, and Build That FencernBecause of illegal immigration, there isrnno other countr that affeets America’srn\a’ of life as profoundl}’ as does Mexico.rnIts politics should he followed, therefore,rnwith the same attention to detail thatrncharacterized Krcmlinolog)’ at the heightrnof the Cold War. Instead, there was anrnair of unrealit}’ to the hundreds of Americanrneditorials that accompanied the endrnof over seen decades of rule by the InstitutionalrnRe’olutionary Part}’ in Mexico.rn”It’s like the fall of the Berlin Wall, thernend of apartheid and the end of thernPinochet regime all rolled into one —andrnit was done peaeefulK,” marveled EricrnOlson, an election observer for the independentrnWashington Office on LatinrnAmerica. Most eonunentators focusedrnon the opening of an era of democracy,rnstability and increased foreign investmentrnin Mexico.rnAs usual, they completely missed thernpoint. The real American interest in thernoutcome of the July 2 elections is clear:rnWill new Mexican leadership curtail therndemogra))hic onslaught upon America’srnporous southern border? Will the incomingrnpresident, ‘icente Fox Quesadarnof the National Action Party, turn Mexicorninto a more prosperous countrv? Willrnhe offer his citizens an alternative to takingrnlov-paying jobs from working-classrnAmericans? And will he attempt to stoprnthe flov- of drugs into the United States?rnVox has been trying to present himselfrnas a sensible and pragmatic politician.rn”We’re going to propose solutions for thernthree important issues of our bilateral relationship:rnmigration, trade, and drugs —rnvcrv concrete, long-term proposals,” hernsas. But Fox’s business credentials (hernused to run Coca-Cola’s operations inrnMexico) and his ostensibly nonideologicalrnapproach to problem-solving notwithstanding,rnon these key areas of Americanrnconcern, his views are less than satisfactor’.rnVox wants to terminate the annual re-rn’iew jjrocess that the U.S. usesrnto certify foreign-aid recipients as goodrnpartners in the war on drugs. He woiddrnreplace the review with an agreementrnamong the hemisphere’s drug-producingrncountries, transit states such as Mexico,rnand consumers such as the United States.rnEach would be responsible for meetingrnquanhfiable goals; the United States, forrnexample, would be expected to improxerndrug interdicHon and reduce the numberrnof users. These are fine words and loftyrnsentiments, but Mexico’s new presidentrnis mistaken if he thinks Congress will suspendrnits annual review while it negotiatesrna comprehensive multilateral drug-controlrnagreement. For all of his talk. Foxrndoes not intend to interrupt the massivernflow of drugs across the U.S.-Mexicanrnborder.rnWhile Fox’s views on drug control arerndiscouraging, his ideas on immigrationrnwould be disastrous to America’s nationalrninterest. Fox wants a “North Americanrncommon market” (like the EuropeanrnUnion) that would, after “five to tenrnvears,” allow the unrestricted movementrnof labor. “A worker on the Mexican sidernv’ill make five dollars a day; in the states,rndie same work[er] would make $60 a day.rnWhat we have to really worr’ about at tiiernend is reducing that gap irntiiosc differences.”rnThat’s simply another wav of sayingrnthat workers on both sides of the borderrnshould be making about $20 per da).rnThe equalization of wages. Vox believes,rnis how Cermany and other prosperousrnnorthern European countries stoppedrnthe influx of illegal immigrants fromrnSpain, Portugal, and Greece. But Spain,rnPortugal, and Greece have functioningrnpolities, low birth rates, highly literaternpopulations, and — by Mexican standardsrn—bureaucratic structures that arernand eliminatingrnparagons of efficiency, honest)’, and civicrnresponsibility. Mexico is essentially arnT’hird World country: Poverty is thernnorm for most people; drug trafficking isrnrampant; crime and corruption are rife;rneducation and criminal justice are woefullyrninadequate; and the unrest in thernpnnince of Chiapas is far from resoKed.rnReal wages have been stagnant sincern1970. Mexico has twice the rate of childrnmalnutrition as South ^Africa and Brazil,rnbut it also has the fourth-largest numberrnof billionaires in the v’orld, and theyrnmostiy owe tiieir fortunes to governmentrnconnections. Mexico has one of the mostrnunderfunded health-care svstems inrnLatin America —with even lower perrncapita spending than Peru, Nicaragua,rnand Bolivia.rnSmall wonder, then, that Fox wantsrnthe United States to open its borders andrnmarkets even further. Yet Fox’s agendarnhas been welcomed bv the American mediarnbecause America’s ruling elite is wellrnaware that it owes its financial fortune torna steady supply of cheap labor from southrnof the border. Our ruling elite does notrncare that the destruction of the UnitedrnStates as a distinct nation-state may be thernultimate price of this post-national mindset.rnThis outiook rejects the notion of anrnAmerican ethno-religious culture, inhabitingrna defined homeland from sea tornshining sea. Through its lack of responsibility’rnto its own people, America’s rulingrnelite has shown that the greatest price ofrnempire, its final domestic consequence,rnis the destruction of the erv nation thatrnstarts down ffie imperial path.rnI wish President Fox well in his attemptrnto reform Mexico, but let’s buildrnthat long-overdue fence from San Diegornto Brownsville. crnLooking for a g o o d book?rnSupport Chronicles by purchasing books, CDs, and other itemsrnthrough the link and search engine on our website:rnwww.chronicIesmagazine.orgrnChroniclrs\\ receive lietwecn 5 and IS percent on every purcJiase.rnOCTOBER 2000/43rnrnrn