Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Home World López Obrador, the deceitful populist | International

López Obrador, the deceitful populist | International

It is easier for López Obrador to love or hate him than to try to understand him. The right detests it and the enlightened sectors despise it, the modern left mistrusts it and the leaders of most of the countries do not know what to think about it. For many Mexicans, the majority according to polls, the president is a redeemer of change, for others a burst of institutions. Six months after coming to power, his words and actions have intensified the polarization that he provoked as a candidate.

In practice, what we are seeing in reality is a president, himself charged with chiaroscuros, engaged in a task that at times would seem impossible: to dismantle the privileges and excesses in a country that has them so entrenched and to favor a transfer to the sectors impoverished, without causing economic and financial instability. His theses are considered to be a left-wing populism, but a good part of his economic and public finance strategies are impeccably neoliberal. The austerity of public spending, the control of inflation and government indebtedness and the reduction of bureaucracy are measures that the most orthodox of the IMF would subscribe to. There is talk of the authoritarianism of López Obrador and the risk posed by an intolerant government. But at the same time he is criticized for his passivity to use the use of force, which has led, even, to a rosary of excesses against the military by villagers.

At times a humanitarian statesman, at times a voluntarist and quarrelsome leader with power; days when it would seem to get involved in unrealistic rhetoric, and other days in which he acts with impeccable responsibility immersed in the real politik (the negotiation with Trump, for example, that could lend itself a thousand wonders to get involved in the nationalist face to the street, she was led with a permanent eye in the markets and productive chains).

This ambiguity thrown up by the readings of the López Obrador government is due, in my opinion, to three factors. On the one hand, the contradictions caused by trying to change the regime against the grain of the elites, which means at times to oppose them and at times to negotiate and conciliate. Maybe he does not always do it with the necessary tact, but he is convinced that the best strategy is a mixture of invites and recriminations. One day he establishes ties of blood with a major international investor who visits him or with a group of elite businessmen; the next day he shakes the hornets' nest of business with a seemingly unnecessary twinge. Many of the inconsistencies that we observe have to do precisely with the unknown terrain in which the intentions of change are moving. López Obrador takes two steps forward and one step back, trial and error, typical of someone who opens the way between jungles and obstacles.

A second factor has to do with its own idiosyncrasy. The man, this man, is his circumstance: little traveled by the world but an assiduous visitor of the deep Mexico, with visions and language that connect with the rural and marginal urban world, although unfit to communicate with the economic and intellectual elites. Convictions very firm, covered by readings of history and politics reduced but deeply rooted. An opponent whose trajectory was marked by the infamies of what the Mafia calls power. At times a president who knows what he wants and has confidence in what he is doing, at times a leader who assumes that all opposition and criticism is part of the conspiracy and bad blood of his usual enemies (which, of course, exist) . In the morning he proposes a thesis that a statesman of humanistic inspiration would subscribe to, in the afternoon he launches an outburst, voluntarist and hasty, against international rating agencies that do not coincide with his assessments, convinced that there is a hidden game against his Government. In short, days in which all Mexicans are included in the country that proposes us and days in which only fit the poor and those who think like him.

And a third factor has to do, in effect, with its detractors of good and bad faith. Those who are determined to prevent any change that affects their interests and privileges and those who are concerned about the excesses that derive from the power that the president has accumulated and their disdain for the institutions of bourgeois democracy in their eagerness to empower the poor. In practice, the polarized vision of the 4T Government is a result, also though not exclusively, of this third factor: everything it does and says is qualified and disseminated as an additional sample of disability or perversity.

These are the risks, I think, of a president who has come to power by the vote of the many who wanted things to be done differently, even if we are unable to agree on how.

@jorgezepedap

(tagsToTranslate) lópez obrador (t) populist (t) deceptive (t) tomorrow (t) president (t) mexican (t) propose (t) thesis (t) subscribe (t) statesman (t) inspiration (t) humanist (t) late (t) throw (t) exabrupto (t) voluntarista (t) run over

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