By RICARDO CASTILLO
Even if the daily assault by the Mexican press and opinion columnists on President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) is no less than brutal, the problem they all face is that while he has a long-range program he strictly complies with, most of his critics live on a day-to-day basis. At the end of the road tally, this makes an abysmal difference in results.
On the other hand, opposition political parties are still not getting very far in terms of voter support. For sure, when they criticize the entire performance of the president, they see nothing but failure and national demise. But in real life, most of the country’s undenied problems are being tended to as best as can be under the current circumstances.
Over the weekend, AMLO visited the central eastern state of Veracruz, which has a National Regeneration Movement (Morena) governor, Cuitláhuac García, and there, the president made predictions for the midterm elections in June 2021, saying that Morena will continue to beat the opposition by winning most of the 15 governor seats up for grabs.
His secret, AMLO claimed, is no secret. First of all, he said, all “national political support is local” and it is at the grassroots level where he is the strongest.
Opposition parties, he said, believe in the Mexico City limelight, also home of the so-called “national press” and political parties, The national newspapers still believe that because CDMX is at the seat of the nation’s government, the place remains, as the Aztec believed, “the bellybutton of the world” and the place where the earth bore the moon.
The truth is that Mexico is much bigger than Mexico City, even if centralism continues to rule in the minds of opposition party politicians.
There is much more to AMLO than his now-strong Morena political party, which he founded but makes sure not to lead nor be president of.
AMLO attracts multitudes in all the small townships, and even hamlets where he speaks and preaches the same thing all the time: that he is “foolish, persevering and stubborn” in carrying out his ideals.
Nothing will stop him in his six-year mandate to consolidate his Fourth Transformation project, not just to have Mexico be a democracy, but also to evict as much as he can the corroding corruption practices typical of many past politicians.
He has gone so far as to claim that he is the opposition as he continues to wield the same opposition views he’s held for the past 18 years, which finally led him to the presidency in July 2018.
He has called upon his opponents to be ready for the upcoming political fray.
“The conservatives had better ready themselves because we’re not going to offer them a truce,” he said.
“Not one step backwards, not even to take the next jump. We are going forward with the transformation of Mexico. so they can start forgetting about the old corrupt regime that was so full of injustices and privileges.”
If you read this past statement correctly, AMLO is employing the concept, as the theory in professional boxing has it, that the best defense is an offense.
Besides his weekend outings, like the one to Veracruz, AMLO is on a daily defense against the daily assaults by the press, be they financed by his political opponents or genuine anti-AMLO believers, attacking from the bottom of their hearts.
AMLO is using his daily press televised conferences from the National Palace, for the most part, to continue an assault on his opponents by defending his achievements.
On Monday, Sept. 28, he took extra time to claim that he has complied with or is in the process of complying with the 100 promises he made during his 2018 presidential campaign. He read them aloud one-by-one.
No doubt, today, Tuesday, Sept. 29, there will be a slew of opposition writers claiming the exact opposite. But no matter, AMLO is now one step ahead of in publicity game and gaining grassroots support, which may, of course, may translate into solid votes for Morena candidates next year.
The truth be told, the main newspapers in Mexico just don’t know how to deal with the AMLO’s publicity stunts as he oversteps each of the media claims against him.
This week, there is a pending issue in which most conservative Mexican columnists are predicting that because one Supreme Court judge has deemed that the document he sent for approval to have a public referendum to decide if the country’s past presidents should be brought to trial is “unconstitutional”, the rest of the judges will follow suit and agree. There will be a vote on Thursday Oct. 1, to decide the matter, but in the meantime, the press has already voted no while AMLO is still calling for a yes.
Another current issue is the ongoing protest of the National Front to Stop AMLO (Frena), whose members now, in addition to occupying of the Zócalo, are protesting wherever López Obrador goes with car cavalcades in order to draw more AMLO haters.
On hearing of threats that his life could be endangered, AMLO reiterated the he would “not use bodyguards for protection.” By the way, the hordes of AMLO lovers are increasingly aggressive in attacking the Frena protesters.
In short, with his “defense attacks,” AMLO is already setting the stage for next year’s elections. He’s using a tactic of exasperating his opponents in open confrontation that further polarizes public sentiment.
His objective is to keep the bulk of the 15 state governor seats in the 2021 midterm elections, as well as the majority at the Chamber of Deputies. Should that happen, nobody will be able to stop AMLO in his quest to consolidate the Fourth Transformation.
And that will be very bad news for Mexico’s conservatives.
…Sept. 29, 2020