Don’t pay much attention, it’s a safety image
“The day had to come, and as such it did”
Is what I typed on Facebook moments after Peña Nieto was sworn in six years ago.
Back then I didn’t really know what I was doing I just knew I didn’t like Peña Nieto, and people didn’t notice what I had written (why it was related to Peña Nieto) but I think that I finally get it now.
Mexico has had a tough history and we’re peaking. We truly are. Our economy is the strongest, our population lives the longest, and our institutions are the strongest they’ve been. Which all culminated with the best elections we had in our history. I cannot stress enough that to the eyes of many, seeing a third party win, and then have the incumbents accept it immediately and accommodate the peaceful transfer, felt like something they would never see here.
Yes, we have a lot of issues and I try not to hide them. But it’s besides the point today.
So, for seventy years the Federal government had zero parties change power, and then all of the sudden in the last 20 years we’ve seen parties swap position now three times. It certainly beats zero, does it not?
But it’s different with Obrador because he has been a thorny motherfucker in the political world for the last twenty odd years. We knew one day he’d find a way to the Presidency. One public post, tens of millions of dollars, hundreds of lawsuits, a derailed impeachment, three parties, three campaigns and twelve years later... here we are.
It had to come, and as such, the day did.
But who is going to be sworn in is still an issue: Populism thrives on the weakness of institutions... How can a populist bow to strengthen the institutions of government? Institutions that investigated him, that stopped him, or gave him the right of way?
What I’m wary of is that it seems that in this peak of ours, we’re not celebrating the institutional achievements that lead us to a fringe politician winning the highest office in the land, or a three year old party having a new control of two branches of government, but celebrating (or mourning) “him.”
I mean, he broke the law multiple times as mayor and he’s done it multiple times again as President Elect... he just doesn’t care because he knows that what matters in this nation is Perception. Which is why Nieto won in 2012. How did an adulterer from the most corrupt party win in a conservative country with trust issues? Well, he won because he was handsome and he sounded nice.
So. Today I’m happy for the strength that brought us here, but I’m scared that our confidence might debilitate us back to square one.
Back to government of men, and not of institutions. Not that we ever were the latter, but at least, for a few months, we approached it.
So I guess that I’m going to drive somewhere this weekend. I want to go somewhere far from this celebration of personal achievement that will overwhelm the city. Hopefully I get it together. If not I’ll pour one out and wait for it to end.