July 3, 2018

Mexico Elects New President

on Sunday, setting the stage for the most left-wing government in the country’s democratic history at a time of tense relations with the Trump administration.” (Reuters)

Both sides are expressing skepticism about AMLO’s ability to fulfill his campaign promises:

See past issues

The left worries that AMLO has no clear plan to end corruption, the central theme of his campaign, and sees traces of Trumpism in AMLO’s populist rise to power.

“When pressed on how he would address corruption, AMLO often suggested that he could clean up government simply by leading by example.” One political scientist comments, “the idea of leading by example has its merits — it creates a negative incentive at all levels of government… But it’s not a political program.”


“The president might be very honest, and by all indications López Obrador is a very austere and honest guy. But what happens underneath, at the level of the bureaucracy, the municipal governments, the state government — that’s going to be very difficult to control.”


Some point out that “AMLO has shown in the past to have certain authoritarian tendencies… He doesn’t like to be criticized. In his Twitter feed alone, even fairly recently, you can find tweets à la Trump in which he adjectivizes… freely against the press whenever they report on things he deems untrue or uncomfortable or you name it.”


It’s true that “Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a longtime fixture of Mexico’s left, is no Donald Trump. But the wave of dissatisfaction that carried him to power, with millions of voters seeking the most anti-establishment candidate they could find, sure looks familiar.”

Washington Post

Counterpoint: While “AMLO captivated the electorate by running against the system… AMLO is more an insurgent than an outsider, an old-school politician who rose through the ranks during Mexico's authoritarian era of single-party dominance… To what extent he remains true to his populist, nationalist roots once in power is an open question.”


The right is alarmed by AMLO’s election, citing fears of his far-left ideology and increased US-Mexico tension.

The right is alarmed by AMLO’s election, citing fears of his far-left ideology and increased US-Mexico tension.

“López Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement party

Morena) openly wants to bring Bolivarian revolution in Mexico, despite the ongoing economic and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela… No wonder Mexican business people regard López Obrador as the most dangerous man in Mexico.”

The Federalist

Lopez Obrador has “been talking about a ‘radical revolution’ in Mexican society and it’s not entirely figurative in nature. This guy is a hardline socialist who many fear is modeling himself far more in the image of Hugo Chavez than Ronald Reagan… He’s calling illegal emigration a ‘human right’ and supports having migrants storm the border of the United States en masse.”

Hot Air

“Obrador is in a surreal position. He is posing as an anti-American, to channel popular anger at Trump, while at the same time assuming that an obtuse United States will continue to tolerate open borders, billions of dollars in remittances, interference in U.S. politics, huge trade deficits — and somewhere between 11 million and 20 million illegal aliens inside the United States.”

National Review

Counterpoint: “The Mexican state as it exists is almost entirely incapable of the sort of strategic vision and planning that Obrador’s detractors in the American press ascribe to it… Whatever risks Obrador presents, the far greater problem is that Mexico is becoming ungovernable—a failed state with which we share a 2,000-mile border.”

The Federalist

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