President Trump’s threat to close the southern border indefinitely because of the growing crisis is another reminder that despite the fluffy official rhetoric over the years, Mexico remains a bad neighbor — and getting worse. Honesty would go a long way in building good policy here.
Of course, there won’t be an honest discussion, because such a pronouncement as the above — even followed by all of the actual data and evidence below — will inevitably result in charges of racism, white nationalism, fear of others and more nonsense because rational thinking is directly under attack.
Let’s make this point perfectly clear: Mexicans as individual humans are not the problem. Trying to escape crushing poverty on top of crime-ridden regions and government corruption is natural enough — particularly when the bright, shining city on a hill is right next door. In the Christian worldview, Mexicans like every human on earth are made in the image of God and have desires and drives for a better life for themselves and their progeny. That should be just acceptable as reality for decent people. From the traditional American view, they have inalienable rights from God.
But their government, and the culture that produces that problematic government, does not recognize such a dynamic as individual inalienable rights because man is made in God’s image. And so it causes no end of headaches and threats to the United States for precious little in return.
That the Mexican government and leadership in general continues to operate as a quasi Third World corruptocratic country while living right next door to the most prosperous and free nation ever is disgraceful. The example for how it’s done has been staring them in the face for two centuries and yet they don’t change. Given that broad swaths are controlled by drug cartels and corrupt police, they may be even worse than they were. That’s on Mexico.
Of course, just the opposite is what Americans are treated to in virtually every media story fretting and warning about America being a bad neighbor because of Trump’s policies. America is racist, afraid of people who look different and overflowing with white nationalists. Along with the media pushing this narrative there are the large tech companies, which are of the same worldview as the Democratic Party and the media. If you google ‘Mexico is a bad neighbor’ all you get are endless stories about the U.S. being a bad neighbor.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is hogwash. Let’s revisit what I wrote almost a year ago.
“If these critics really cared about Mexico’s well-being — and the well-being of Mexicans — they would be more critical of the corruption and culture that has left a fertile land with a great climate, access to two oceans and next door to the greatest economic power in history, in impoverished misery. They would be calling on Mexicans’ better angels, calling them to change and actually become more like the United States with individual liberties and market economics and accountable government. Trashing America is nothing more than political expediency and opponent demonization that causes yet more division.”
Here’s the tale of the tape on who is the better neighbor.
• Do good neighbors or bad neighbors send their problems next door? Mexico has an undeniably de facto policy of illegally exporting their poorest citizens north to the United States to deal with. Additionally, they allow the poorest residents of neighboring countries to pass through in caravans, frequently aided by Mexico, to also be shipped to the United States. This is what is causing the crisis at the border today.
The 22 million illegal aliens in the United States today almost universally came here poor, uneducated and untrained — unwanted by Mexico’s leadership. The poorest in a country are always a burden, so Mexico encourages them to head north and does nothing — literally nothing — to stop them at the border. The trains of migrants from Guatemala or Honduras or other Central American countries overrunning our southern border cannot be successful without the active participation of Mexican authorities. These authorities don’t want the burden of those poor people in their country — their culture and government creates too many — so they usher them on to America.
How is this possibly being a good neighbor? Canada doesn’t do any of this.
• Do good neighbors or bad neighbors attack your moral character for locking your doors? A nation’s borders are like a family’s home exterior. Homeowners only let in people they want and keep out others. If someone breaks in it’s called breaking and entering and they are arrested. When America does this with its borders — like every other nation, including Mexico on its southern border, Mexico openly criticizes us for doing so. President Trump ran on securing our border with Mexico (because the northern Border does not require this level of security) and he won election as Americans understand a sovereign nation needs borders and the ability to determine who comes in and out. Yet Mexican leaders were publicly hostile, criticizing Trump.
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox said the U.S. was returning to the “era of the ugly American” and repeatedly called it a “useless wall”? Why useless? Because Mexican authorities will continue to find ways to ship the poorest, uneducated residents to their neighbor? They don’t want a wall because they don’t want those Mexicans in Mexico. They do want them in the United States where they are useful in sending $28 billion annually in remittances back to Mexico from America. How is that being a good neighbor? Canada doesn’t do any of this.
• Do good neighbors who have received so many benefits by living next to a generous neighbor openly criticize that neighbor? Absurd, yet that is exactly what Mexican authorities do regularly. Whether it is beefing up our southern border security, to increasing citizen IDs to deporting those we find to be here illegally who have broken more U.S. laws, Mexican authorities criticize the U.S. No gratefulness for unburdening them from their poorest citizens. Just criticism. Canada doesn’t do this.
• Do good neighbors take generous donations to help them with ingratitude, disdain and belittling your morals because you did not give even more? The U.S. gifts Mexico $320 million annually in aid. Yet there is not gratefulness for this generosity? Nothing apparent. Not a thank-you note. Nothing. They take the money and spend it and then criticize us. Canada receives $26 million, but that is all for joint environmental issues that affect both countries. We work together on habitats crossing the border — like good neighbors cooperating with each other.
No. The case is overwhelming that the Mexican government is the bad actor in this relationship. The U.S. is the good, generous, protective neighbor.
In fact, America has demonstrated repeatedly that it is the best neighbor.
A good neighbor accepts some of Mexico’s poorest people and provides them with healthcare, schooling and opportunities that they had no chance of getting in their home country. We even teach the children of families that break into our country — in their own language. Now that’s being a ridiculously good neighbor.
A good neighbor provides $320 million annually in direct financial aid to Mexico. The largest chunk goes to security issues and drug cartel fighting, but also to education and infrastructure.
An absurdly good neighbor allows people who broke in to transfer back to their country $28 billion, taken out of the American economy and put into Mexico’s, without taking one penny of it.
Just their proximity to such a great neighbor makes Mexico safer from foreign predators. Knowing they are at no risk from the gentle giant next door, the Mexican military can be used mostly for domestic use because they are a U.S. ally and neighbor. The U.S. essentially acts as a deterrent for anyone who would be aggressive against Mexico.
In this neighborhood, even this cursory look at who gives the most and who receives the most in the relationship demonstrates that the United States is a very good neighbor, and that Mexico is clearly not.
I would not do this story except it’s tiresome and counterproductive to hear the constant drumbeat by the American left and the media that America is the bad neighbor.
It would be refreshing if American politicians and their supporters could actually appreciate America more — a lot more — and stop painting an unrealistically romantic picture of Mexico and a near demonic picture of America.
Rod Thomson is an author, host of Tampa Bay Business with Rod Thomson on the Salem Radio Network, TV commentator and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod also is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.