A reader writes:
Dear Mr. Dreher,
Gratia copiosa et pax! Receive my regards from Chihuahua, Mexico, where my fellow countrymen gallantly fought the Battle of the Sacramento River, defending their homeland from the invading yankees. Everytime I drive the Chihuahua – Ciudad Juárez highway, I see the monument honoring their memory. I see it and have flashbacks to my childhood where, as any Mexican kid, I would ask my Dad about Texas, California, New Mexico and what could have been. He’ll blame it on the freemasons, more worried on destroying the Church than in organizing the defense of the country. I learned from my father that only one decent American has ever lived: Henry David Thoreau. Now, thankfully, I know better. He taught me to love the Irish, who switched sides because they were Catholic. This is my first hint for you into the Mexican soul: the wound of 1848 hasn’t healed; it might seem it has, but it hasn’t.
As one of the few Mexican readers of your blog, I have been apalled by the comments to your post. I would have expected that level of animosity toward Mexicans on the comments section of Fox News or Breitbart. I have been apalled by the hubris, the ignorance and the lack of charity. The hubris: “sinkhole of corruption”. For Mexico, you call it “corruption”. For your own country, you call it “lobbying”. Didn’t Trump promised to “drain the swamp”? Have your readers forgotten the Clinton Foundation? The ignorance: “the Prime Minister of Mexico”. I can’t recall Emperors Agustín and Maximiliano having Prime Ministers… The lack of charity: “victory by humiliation is a lot cheaper than victory by tanks and bombs”. Really? If we don’t pay the wall you are going to invade us? Again, this is not what I would have expected from the readers of TAC. And yes, there is corruption and violence in Mexico, but that doesn’t automatically translate in us paying whatever silly project your President might have. As for the cartels, as bad as they are, they haven’t killed as many children as Planned Parenthood in the US.
Now on to my predictions of what Trump will achieve. The winner of our 2018 Presidential Election will probably be the leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, since he is an old school “antigringo”. Not good for Catholics. He has always been careful not to alienate Catholic voters, but he surrounds himself with people that have supported abortion and the LGBT agenda. Irony of ironies: Evangelical voters in America bringing the Mexican Left to power.
Scrapping NAFTA would destroy the livelihood of millions of Mexicans — mine included, since I work in the auto industry. It’s gonna get ugly for both sides: no guacamole on Super Bowl Sunday!. I’ll give you a second hint into the Mexican soul: we have a knack for glorious defeats; we can’t go away quietly. Expect our children to learn Chinese or Russian in elementary school. We’ll stop the war on drugs. If the gringos want pot, let them have pot. It’s kind of silly that Mexicans are shooting at each other on the streets when pot is already legal in California…
One of the first posts I ever read from your blog was about how an article by Anthony Bourdain had spurred your interest in visiting Mexico. I think you should come. Mexico is part of the West. We’re poor Westerners from the Hispanic branch, but Westerners nonetheless. That guy on the bus stop has part of the DNA of sailor in the Armada. That guy’s lastname is Matamoros (Moor-slayer); each of its syllables smells like Old Castile. Our first Saint was a jesuit crucified in Japan. We don’t require “extreme vetting”. Come visit. As you like to write: it’s important.