Now that the Kavanaugh saga is over, and we’ve got a few moments before the next bout of insanity, it might be good to reflect on what’s really at stake. Take a quick look at what’s going on south of the border. If you’re trying to understand what motivates the dissident right, it’s an excellent example of what it seeks to avert in here in the US.
In Acapulco, a city with a population of nearly 1 million on Mexico’s southern Pacific coast, the situation has gotten so bad that last week, the military was forced to surround police headquarters and arrest the entire force of around 700 officers. Apparently, they’d been colluding with drug gangs for murder and other crimes. Although not a surprise, it’s another striking illustration of just how atrocious things are in this land which supposedly produces better Americans than ourselves.
This is the sort of issue that should be driving mainstream discourse about mass illegal migration from the south. Unfortunately, it does little to lend credibility to the notion that our country will be better off once these people outnumber us. So, it’s all about kids in dog cages and “our values.” What the public should be focused on is their extreme violence and appalling dysfunction.
Things are very bad in Mexico. In the last election cycle alone, over 130 politicians and their staffers were murdered. This staggering death toll doesn’t get a lot of press precisely because it’s a reminder that bribes and bullets are how political matters are settled down there. Sure, they’ve got a constitution which forbids this stuff, but it doesn’t impart the same teary-eyed respect that our yellowed document conveys to a boomer Republican.
The dysfunction pervades every aspect of Mexican society. For example, Pemex, the national oil company, once provided nearly one third of the government’s revenues. That paid for lots of graft, but also roads, schools, and hospitals—the type of things that keep a country functioning. Now, it produces around one fifth. There’s a complicated set of factors at work, but among them are the facts that the company is mismanaged, and, even worse, can’t prevent organized crime from siphoning oil. Military escorts are required for workers who need to repair the damage to pipelines.
Whenever these issues do get brought up, the disclaimer is generally that it’s all happening because the gringos have an insatiable appetite for drugs. The reality is that while drugs are fuel for the problems, they were all there long before an American ever took his first snort of cocaine. Vast disparities in wealth, corruption, civil unrest, weak institutions, a predilection for barbarism—these are decisive factors behind why criminal cartels can flourish in the country. It’s not geography. If that were so, people would need kidnapping insurance in Canada.
Canadians share a massive border with the US. Most of it is under basically no surveillance whatsoever. Before 9/11, a passport wasn’t even necessary for citizens to travel between the two countries. Yet, there’s no Canadian “El Chapo” who earned billions exporting poison to the US while working in collusion with the government, slaughtering along the way. Is it just because there’s not that type of money in maple syrup, or because that activity and organization wouldn’t be tolerated by Canada?
The bottom line is that Mexico is a mess. Things are clearly getting worse, not better. People’s opinions about the cuisine are irrelevant. A decisive correction to immigration enforcement is required and a fortified border established. Otherwise, we’re going down with them. Just look at the Border Patrol. It has the highest Latino percentage of any federal agency, and by the government’s own admission, the highest rate of corruption by far. Because we allow them into our country, what happens there spreads here. It’s been happening for decades.