This is not a shot at Mexicans. They are humans in the exact same way as Americans, Nigerians, Italians, Indonesians and every other people group. In the Christian view, they are made in the image of God. In the American Founders’ view, they like all men are created with inalienable rights granted by God.
But this is a shot at the Mexican government and, to a degree, the Mexican culture. And despite virtually every media story out there fretting and warning about America being a bad neighbor because of Trump’s policies, the actual evidence that Mexico is the bad actor in the relationship is pretty compelling.
We are treated to liberals and Democrats lecturing Americans on being bad neighbors for Mexico, and apologizing to Mexico and the world for being bad neighbors. 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.
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.
So let’s look at Mexico and the United States as neighbors. Who is the better neighbor and worse neighbor?
• Would a good neighbor send their problems next door? Mexico has an undeniably de facto policy of illegally exporting their poorest citizens, and those of neighboring countries. The 11 to 20 million illegal aliens in the United States today almost universally came here poor, uneducated and untrained. The poorest in a country are always a burden, so Mexico encourages them to head north and does nothing — nothing — to stop them at the border. When we see the trains of migrants from Guatemala or Honduras or other Central American countries, that is being done with the active participation of Mexican authorities. They don’t want those poor people in their country — they have too many of their own — so they usher them on to America. How is that being a good neighbor? Canada doesn’t do any of this.
• Would a good neighbor criticize you for locking your doors at night so they couldn’t break in? Well, Mexico does. 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 most Americans understand a sovereign nation needs borders and the ability to determine who comes in and out. Yet Mexican leaders were openly hostile, criticizing Trump, with Former Mexican President Vicente Fox said the U.S. was returning to the “era of the ugly American” and repeatedly called 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 residents in Mexico, they want them in the United States sending $28 billion in remittances back to Mexico from America. How is that being a good neighbor? Canada doesn’t do any of this.
• Would a good neighbor take your generous donations to help them with such ingratitude? The U.S. gives Mexico $320 million in aid annually. Yet is there gratefulness for this generosity? Nothing apparent. They take the money and spend it.
• Would a good neighbor who has 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 or deporting those we find to be here illegally, Mexican authorities criticize the U.S. No gratefulness for unburdening them from their poorest citizens. Just criticism.
No. The case is very strong that the Mexican government is the bad actor in this relationship.
Here’s what America has been doing to be a good neighbor — oftentimes to our own detriment:
➞ Accepting some of Mexico’s poorest, providing 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 an awfully good neighbor.
➞ Providing $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. Obviously, a portion of it goes to the graft that is undeniably rampant in the Mexican government.
➞ Allowing people who sneak into America to transfer back to Mexico a whopping $28 billion out of our economy and into Mexico’s. We don’t tax it or take a portion of it. We just allow it to exit our country and economy and help the nation on our Southern Border. Of course remittances flow everywhere, but from the United States to Mexico is by far the biggest.
➞ Of course, Mexico does not really need to spend much money on a large military because they are an ally and because of their geographic location next to the United States. We essentially act as a deterrent for anyone who would be aggressive against Mexico.
If you look at the relationship, and who benefits the most by far and who gives the most by far, there can be no doubt that the United States is the far better neighbor than Mexico. So maybe American politicians and those supporting them should step back and try to appreciate their own country more, and not paint some romantic and unrealistic picture of Mexico.
Rod Thomson is an author, former journalist and current TV talking head, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.
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