by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Monday, October 31, 2022, 18:59 (146 days ago) @ Padrino

It is so refreshing to see this dialogue, devoid of name calling and chock full of ideas and insights. Rob and HRomero, you two would be welcome on any debate time! I applaud the both of you. Thank you! Now, true to debate time form, you two should swap positions and argue the other side of the debate.

Personally, unless there is a U.S. or North American angle to the political debate, I steer clear of any Mexican politics. I find it hard to penetrate the local and national issues with any success. For what it is worth, two good friends here in Tijuana / Rosarito have diametrically opposing views on AMLO. One believes he is an erratic crackpot with delusions of grandeur. The other believes he is Mexico's best and last chance to build a stable democracy. In any event, I wish him the best of success in his stated efforts of reducing violence and corruption. But of course, any and all efforts will be all for naught if the U.S. doesn't stop Prohibition II first.

I used to detest AMLO. I didn't vote for him. I booed him when he campaigned in Zihuatanejo. Then after he won and his support continued to maintain itself if not improve, I made an effort to give him a chance. I simply kept my mind open and watched what happened. I wasn't crazy about a new oil refinery in the mangrove estuaries of Tabasco, but we had a similar thing happen in St. Croix, USVI when I lived there. Hess Oil. It kept St. Croix going when the tourists stopped coming after the Fountain Valley Massacre. Between the Dos Costas and the Deer Park refinery he purchased controlling shares of in Texas, Mexico is making itself much less dependent on overseas refineries. A necessary evil considering Mexico's own oil reserves. He got his airport built for hundreds of millions less than the Texcoco version would've cost. Maybe not as snazzy, but he had a mandate to cut costs to make his social programs viable, so I'll settle for a less elegant airport and I believe most Mexicans will also. The Tren Maya seems to be a product of a demand for economic opportunity in that entire region of long forgotten people, so I'll defer to their wishes. Apparently there is local support for the project. I wish it had been an elevated train so as not to cross the natural pathways used by inhabitants of the jungles or interrupt the flow of water and the harmony of the natural habitat, but the presidente's a politician, not Sir David Attenborough. He's keeping his promise to those people.

So I criticize a lot of what he does, but I also have to applaud the efforts he's making across the country to improve the lives of Mexico's forgotten people to whom the politicians promise everything for their votes but then deliver almost nothing.

Security was always going to be the toughest job, but the only remedy that will work is what neither he nor the United States are currently prepared politically or socially to do: legalize all popular recreational substances and remove the multi-billion dollar a year black market from the hands of violent organized criminals. Alcohol is by far one of the absolute worst drugs, yet we live with it and have an entire alcohol culture which most people accept (oddly) as "normal". So in the absence of a mass epiphany, the long-failed and utterly counterproductive "war on drugs" will likely continue here and around the world for decades to come and abominations like private prisons will continue being traded on the friggin stock market, which we must all support, right?

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