Our southern neighbor of Mexico has been Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s favorite whipping boy, blaming Mexican immigrants for all of our nation’s imaginary troubles, disparaging them as “drug dealers and rapists” while rousing poorly educated working-collar whites into a frenzy of ethnonationalist fury with his ridiculous promises to “build a wall” across the Mexican border – and to make Mexico pay for it.
Former Mexican president Vicente Fox recently hit back at Trump for his offensive remarks, saying tha there is no way that Mexico would be paying for “that f*cking wall”. Today, the sitting President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, decided to add his two cents to the discourse, alarmed by Trump’s surging popularity and by the implications of his racist propaganda.
“There is no scenario,” he said when asked by the Excelsior newspaper if Mexico would ever pay for the wall. “I have to say that I regret (the plan), and of course, I can’t agree with this American politician’s position.”
He then went on to compare Trump to fascist dictators like Hitler and Mussolini, mocking him for proposing “very easy, simple solutions to problems that are obviously not that easy to solve.” He then went on to issue a stark warning about the dark path that Trump’s demagoguery leads:
“And there have been episodes in human history, unfortunately, where these expressions of this strident rhetoric have only led to very ominous situations in the history of humanity. That’s how Mussolini got in, that’s how Hitler got in, they took advantage of a situation, a problem perhaps, which humanity was going through at the time, after an economic crisis. And I think what (they) put forward ended up at what we know today from history, in global conflagration. We don’t want that happening anywhere in the world.”
He’s absolutely right. Too many politicians have played the game of minority scapegoating and ended up with terrible violence for us to not take this threat seriously. While assessing Trump’s campaign as a whole indicates that he doesn’t actually believe any of the things he’s saying and just wants to win, the energies and the fury and the frustration that he’s channeling and inflaming will not subside when he loses.