Aren’t you getting tired of the President’s “deal-making” that leads nowhere and at the same time creates chaos in our national democratic system and international order? The latest episodes in this regard are mirror images of policy disarray that threatens a life and death struggle on the world stage and serious economic consequences at home.
Octavio Paz, the great Mexican philosopher, in differentiating Mexican and American world views pointed out that while the Mexican mind is geared toward throwing things out whether they work or not, Americans tend to take what we have and work to improve them. A good example of this is a Mexican Constitution that is amended often while its American counterpart tends to remain the same.
In our current environment however, the notion of improving what we already have is no longer an accepted way of doing the people’s business as everything from major programs like the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to our governmental institutions and even the Constitution and its guarantees are under threat. It is within this context that we find the latest actions on Iran and the planned dragnet for 2,000 undocumented families in the United States.
An international group of countries led by the Obama administration worked out a deal with Iran to cease activities that would led to the development of a nuclear devise for at least 10 years in return for the lifting of the sanctions caused by its nuclear program. Trump campaigned against the agreement and pulled the U.S. out of it after becoming President.
President Trump declared that he would make a better deal and proceeded to impose severe sanctions on Iran to get them to the negotiating table. Instead the two countries have come very close to a war that would involve all of the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan and cripple oil supplies especially for Asia and Europe.
Iran knocked down an American reconnaissance drone and Trump responded by ordering an air attack on Iranian missile sites before he blinked and called off the strike. The deal he promised he could make (like that of North Korea) is going nowhere and instead, we may have another war on our hands.
Domestically, Donald Trump is going after Mexicans again by pursuing families in the United States that have some undocumented members. He ordered an operation against 2,000 families this past weekend before again changing his mind for the time being.
The irony is that is not where the stated problem is according to the administration that is dealing with a tremendous influx of Central Americans on our southern border seeking asylum in this country. There is another irony in this as seeking asylum is a legal process that is being largely denied.
Before, the cry was that there were Mexicans crossing the border illegally and many added that they would be welcomed if they came legally like the Cuban refugees that had only to touch American soil to be “legal.” Now we have Central American refugees, many of them that have “touched” American soil and there is no room for them.
The fact is that we have a chaotic foreign policy based on “deals” that never get done and tariffs taxing American consumers that can least afford the extra cost of the store. There is an even worse possibility that we may end up in a war that nobody wants.
Americans in general and the Latino community in particular are feeling the effects of chaotic domestic policies. Our response should include the ballot box.