By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
Just like Alice in the 1865 English children’s novel by Lewis Carroll, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has fallen through a rabbit hole into a fictional world of nonsense and absurdity.
While the majority of Mexicans are forced to live in a deplorable reality in which poverty is up by 7.3 percent since the president took office, where inflation is soaring at 7.29 percent (and counting), where an unchecked covid-19 pandemic has led to the deaths of more than 322,000 people, and where violent organized crime wars have displaced more than 400,000 residents, mostly women and children, AMLO lives happily (hopefully not ever after) in his own self-made wonderland, re-enforced by a flurry of imaginary “otros datos” that have no founding in facts.
According to SPIN, the independent research consultancy group that has taken on the gargantuan task of keeping tabs on López Obrador’s copious output of untruths and blatant exaggerations, during his first three years in office, AMLO uttered no less than 55,042 outright lies, an average of 74 for each of his 684 so-called press conferences during that period.
If statements that are evasive or misleading are also considered, SPIN said that the president’s fable tally jumps to a total of 67,000, that is, an average of 90 lies per day.
In 2018, López Obrador began his monotonous monologues, which at that time, averaged about 70 minutes a day.
Since then, his self-lauding eulogies have only expanded in length, reaching an average of 114 minutes a day in 2021, interrupted only by accolades from his faithful band of bootlickers disguised as journalists.
But while there is no denying that AMLO has a zealous following for his Mad Tea Party press conferences, his rhetoric and statements during these tedious soliloquies have become so repetitive and tiresome that even some of his most-devout groupies are starting to tune him out.
SPIN director Luis Estrada put it plainly: “Day after day AMLO’s mañaneras have become far less press conferences and much more exercises in propaganda and simulation.”
For the most part, when he is confronted by a reporter’s question, AMLO simply ignores the query and instead proceeds to recite a joke he found funny, recount a past incident rewritten into his personal version of history, or rant about his chosen political foe of the day, usually accusing them of corruption and other crimes, while never presenting solid evidence of their alleged wrongdoings (López Obrador’s equivalent to the Queen of Hearts’ “off with their heads”).
And when he is confronted by facts and figures from his own administration that contradict his accusations, López Obrador resorts to his favorite standby retort, “yo tengo otros datos” (“I have other data”).
Just like the Queen in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” AMLO prefers to repaint the “white roses” of truth with the red paint of lies for no other reason than because he finds reality to be uncomfortable.
Yes, in the wonderland world of AMLO, up is down, black is white and true is false, all because AMLO says so.
Like the Cheshire Cat, López Obrador is nothing more than a giant empty grin, detached from the tangible world, hiding in a labyrinth of riddles and fantasies intended to delude the Mexican public from the stark reality that he is leading the country into a black hole of social and economic collapse.
No doubt, López Obrador would be perfectly happy to live forever in his Wonderland of Lies, but for the rest of Mexico, just like Alice, the harsh reawakening into the cold world of facts and reality is inevitable.