In which I will attempt to surmise what Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was "thinking" when he decided to invite Donald Trump to Mexico.
Disconnected from reality by his own infatuation with power and surrounded by fawning yes men, all EPN could think of was how to reverse his precipitous freefall in popularity polls.
How could he make the Mexican people stop arguing about his very recent college plagiarism scandal? How could he make them forget the new $2 million condo in Miami used by his wife, real estate hoarder and ex-telenovela star, Angélica Rivera, a house that is connected AGAIN to a construction company that has been awarded big projects by her husband's government?
How to make them forget their tsuris with the recent devaluation of the peso, or the horrific insecurity and violence all over the country, or the 43 massacred students at the beginning of his mandate that still no one has been found accountable for? How to stop Mexicans from deploring and relentlessly mocking his obvious lack of presidential stature, and his incompetence?
Reflecting that he needs to recover his mojo, a simple idea arises in his little mind (if not in the mind of some sibilant advisor):
"Who do Mexicans hate more than me?"
He didn't have to look very far.
"Bingo! I'm going to read señor Donald Trump the riot act. Hell, I'm gonna lay down the law to the guy I compared to Mussolini and Hitler, right here in our country. That'll show that bunch of ingrates, the Mexican people, who's their daddy. I will go down in history as the guy who stood up to Donald Trump."
Alas, yesterday Peña Nieto went down in history as the guy who went down on Donald Trump.
In one fell swoop, as many Mexican commentators have lamented, he did what no one had been able to do yet: he made Trump look presidential, made his cockamamie idea of a wall a feasible notion, he legitimized his racist rhetoric and treated him like a head of state. If the invitation in itself was not humiliation enough, Peña Nieto got totally played and humiliated by Trump, the superhuman troll, who then came back to Arizona to a triumphant rally where he espoused his "immigration policy", which is nothing but the dangerous racial scapegoating of a demagogue.
Peña Nieto, other than perhaps privately dying of shame at having lost his shriveled manhood to the human Cheeto, will suffer no real consequences. As per the Mexican political system, he is enshrined in power for 6 years, since there is no reelection (two long years to go), during which he, his vulgar wife and his corrupt cronies will continue trading on their shady deals and their violent contempt for their country. Then he will vanish into the sunset like the rest of all the other bad presidents we've had (most of them from his party, the P.R.I.), yet another forgotten blemish in our history. There will be potholed streets with his name in sleepy towns empty of Mexicans who will be found in the US looking for dignity.
I'm not as flummoxed as some by the logic of Mexican political thinking, because, in essence, it is very simple. It goes something like this:
"The Mexican people are idiot infants that are better off not knowing the truth. We have always lied and talked down to them and pretended that we govern, when in fact, all we do is steal and take long (six-year) baths of intoxicating power. We have always staged this dog and pony show that they innocently call "democracy", and pontificated with meaningless, highfaluting words, communicating nothing true and nothing essential.
In fact, we're a bunch of deeply corrupt cynics who only care about fattening our bank accounts and safeguarding our uncontested, untouched, magical impunity. We steadfastly refuse to work for the improvement of our country, let alone reform its putrid institutions, which we deliberately keep inefficient, bureaucratized, moth-ridden and bloated, so we can continue the status quo.
We conspire with the rich, to whom we give monopolistic powers so they can prop us up, whether they are drug cartels, the richest man in the world, or privately owned media monopolies. We buy the votes of the poor with free sandwiches and sodas. We don't give a flying fuck about the smart, hard-working people who love this country and have truly good ideas to make it better. We just smother everything in bureaucracy and impediments.
We deliberately keep people in poverty and ignorance so that they don't get any ideas. Through our brilliance at entrenching corruption at almost every level of social interaction, we have created a nation ruled by distrust. We must admit, though, that despite the fact that almost everything we do conspires against progress and against greatness, Mexicans somehow still manage to be productive and creative. Imagine what they could do without us."
This visit is no different. Like all their other farces, this is pretend statesmanship that is not fit to belong to a second rate circus, just like the president's guest.
Which brings us to the uncanny parallels between Trump and the current Mexican President:
• Both are playing pretend at being presidential
• Both have been irresponsibly propped up by vastly corrupt and incompetent political parties.
• Both are constitutionally incapable of true leadership, let alone statesmanship.
• Both are crooks.
• Both inherited their power from their families (Trump financially, and Peña Nieto politically).
• Both are uneducated, anti-intellectual and married to uneducated, flashy floozies (one steals speeches, the other traffics in houses).
• Both have had more than one wife, and children by several.
• Both have unsavory friends. (For Trump, see Christie, Chris; Manafort, Paul et al. For Peña see Castillo, Alfredo).
• Both have ridiculous hair, though Trump wins this contest hands down.
So this little nightmare scenario we witnessed yesterday is nothing but two impostors getting together to convince people that they are real.
Finally, this is what I imagine transpired behind closed doors at their meeting:
Let me cut to the chase: My wife wants an apartment in a Trump Tower. Any Trump Tower will do. We'll pay for the wall if you make it happen.
Deal! Believe me, you're gonna be very happy. It's gonna be yuge.