It is true that we Mexicans have a couple (or more) bad habits that can't seem to wear out, one of them being the weird love/hate relationship with Latin American dictatorial presidents. Mexican leftists 'love to love' Fidel Castro even if more than 50 years have gone by after
(They also tried loving Chavez but he made it impossible).
In my opinion this weird fanaticism goes back to the fact that Mexicans love to say that "they hate Americans" ever since Santana lost that huge chunk of our land. So any president that
manages to make his US hatred -- part of his flag -- is quite admired down in Mexico.
However, such anti-gringo sentiment is very well disguised because you will find many of those Mexicans boarding planes flying to the other side of the border and spending their pesos-turned-into-dollars in various American items like GAP sweatshirts and Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirts. You will also find them standing in long lines at Disneyland and buying outrageously expensive princess costumes on their way out.
But it is during sobremesa conversations when it's very common to hear phrases like "pinches gringos, capitalists, oh how much I hate them."
And me? I'm the Mexican that takes offense when it happens. Not because I believe gringos are the best, but because I have been living in the US for the past 16 years of my life and I have an enormous respect for a country that has given me opportunities and has allowed me to have choices.
Now, this doesn't mean that you won't ever find me criticizing North Americans (especially NYC moms) but I refuse to make generalizations across the board being that I also have many North American friends whom I love and respect.
Every time I come to Mexico to visit my friends and family I fully embrace my country of origin,
But when people ask me, "How are things in the US? How's the economy? How's life up there?" -- and before allowing me to answer they follow their questions with, "That Obama has done a lousy job" -- I simply just snap.
The other day someone dared to say, "Romney is winning this election for sure" which really infuriated me.
I guess part of it is because I have a deep fear that it could happen. If there's one thing I truly dislike about the United States it is the Republicans and I also consider myself one of the
biggest Obama fans (even though I still can't vote). Now, that doesn't mean I find the President to be perfect, I know he has had his share of mistakes -- but Romney? -- You got to be kidding me.
And having Mexicans rooting for him is preposterous.
First and foremost the Republican candidate has a big problem with women and Latinos, so I take personal offense -- since I fall after all --in both categories.
But when my Mexican leftist friend stated that Romney was going to win the election and thus help the country's economy, I couldn't help but wonder if he had actually (and secretly) voted for Peña Nieto.
He went on to say that Romney knows more about economy than Obama since he has proven to be a successful businessman.
I said to him, "Please tell me you don't believe that is enough reason to vote for him and if you do, I have a couple of questions for you: Is Romney's experience doing business really a factor to consider? Most probably he'll use such "experience" to help his rich friends but do we really believe he will actually do something to impact the life of others? The rest of the common people?"
I seriously doubt it. The Republicans have made it clear that they don't care how lowering taxation may adversely impact the lives of the poor.
So if the US election is mainly about how either candidate can improve the economy, then people should really ask themselves "Who's economy are we talking about?"
Paul Auster, whom I strongly admire, did a pretty good job of describing the Republicans during the interview he just gave to Salon,
I think of the right-wing Republicans as jihadists; they're as crazy as those people. They want to destroy the country that we want to save. And you know they're not doing it with machine guns and bombs, but they're doing it by electing insane people to enact insane legislation that is going to do as much damage to us as bombs would in the long run. So that's my position. I'm for Obama, I wish he were different, but I know that, under the circumstances, he can't be different. Anybody farther to the left would never have a chance of winning.
The Republican Party seems to be of a bunch of misogynistic men and delusional women like Sarah Palin, who seem to have no regard for the poor, for women, for Hispanics, for African Americans or for Muslims. They're against gays and lesbians, they're against environmentalists, they're against unions and many of them are absolutely intolerant. So why on earth would any Mexican believe that Romney it's a better choice for the country that's our closest neighbor and that I have decided to call home?
Romney's politics are a frontal war with many of the things I hold important: he is proposing deep cuts to Medicaid, he also wants to roll back the Affordable Care Act by allowing states to opt out, he wants to eliminate Planned Parenthood, he supports secular employers that deny medical treatment to which they may object to for moral reasons, he is opposed to gay marriage, he believes carbon emissions aren't harmful and he opposes regulating carbon dioxide and other gases that scientists have linked to climate change, he is pushing for the self-deportation solution and he opposes amnesty for undocumented immigrants a clear example is his posture on the DREAM Act which he has publicly qualified as a "handout", so how on earth would we want him to govern?
But yes -- I told my friend -- people will vote for him. In the same manner they voted for Peña Nieto. Conservatives exist, that's how we manage to spot the liberals.
Mexico is a land of contradictions but I love it and I will continue to defend the "good gringos" in my hometown - especially Obama. And if by any chance Romney becomes president I am sure that I won't hear the end of it -- and I'll take it -- but I will still be wearing my Obama-Biden t-shirt (while crying).
Follow Sofia Aguilar on Twitter: www.twitter.com/slapnyc