Why do you do it, Mr. Trump? On Mexico, America and the Reasons for Politics.
Why do you do it, Mr. Trump?
Politicians are questioned remarkably little about their personal motivations. This is a definite statement. In the media circus created around men in search of governing or in the process of doing so rarely figures the simple question of why do they bother to do it in the first place. Do we presume to know the reasons why a man would seek to obtain power? Do we consider it obvious? It would be pertinent to also ask President Peña Nieto or any other currently holding public power, but in Mexican politics I suspect the truth is more tangible. The modern Mexican politicians seek to enrich themselves. To increase their personal net worth. There would be no lack of offended Mexican citizens arguing such a generalization. My apologies, I guess, but I don’t buy it. I see the need for status in the eyes of the ruling class in this country. The cannibalism hidden behind their gestures, their words. There is a hunger for socioeconomical power and its clear that whatever comes out of their mouths is just a medium for reaching it.
I don’t suggest there is a difference in their American counterparts, of course, beyond maybe a more advanced capacity for discretion, great exceptions notwithstanding. Let’s give Mexican representatives some time to develop their technique. But in Trump’s case, one would hardly argue that he does it for the money. The possibility remains, of course, but I assume that to continue developing his business empire would be a better way to generate revenue. At least the world’s press wouldn’t be up in his case all the damn time. (The fact that the current American administration considers journalistic labor a nuisance and an obstacle is well known. They have told us themselves.)
Now, there is much to be said about the nature of power and why men seek to obtain it. Much more enlightened minds have worked on and explored the subject since the dawn of civilization. The history of power is classically interpreted as the will of a few to rule over many. But in the era of reality politics, the hunger for power diminishes in the face of the hunger for fame. And if one is to believe on the declarations of people close but opposed to the orange dictator that occupies the oval office today, fame is a much more important factor on his daily motivation for occupying the position.
A New Yorker article comes to mind, that in times of the campaign was pretty alarming but given the situation and the election’s result is in retrospective downright terrifying. Tony Schwartz, author of Donald Trump’s successful book The Art of the Deal, (Because of course The Donald didn’t write it himself. The fact that he is able to write his half-assed early morning tweet storms is enough literary merit for him) lamented having helped create the image of Trump as a skillful negotiator, and efficient business man. Nothing but lies, says Schwartz. We’re dealing, he declares, with a sociopath that runs only on ego. With a profound attention deficit, whose success in business is due precisely to a system that puts disproportionate value in men with such characteristics. A man whose only motor is the desire to view his name printed in an ever-increasing font size. He must be feeling quite good to see it written in the world’s most visible if quite not prestigious marquee. It is a remarkably different modus operandi than that of the Mexican politik. I’m sure the mafia currently running this country would be more than glad to disappear completely from the spotlight, to operate completely in the shadows. Public funds are more than enough for them.
What is jarring, then, is not the fact that Trump has sought and obtained the presidency. It is abundantly clear that he lives to congratulate himself and the bigger the achievement, more reason he has to do it. What motivates me to write this is the suspicion that every action taken in his presidency is accompanied by a complete lack of sense. The man wanted only the title and the accolades, and I venture the notion that the storm that my country, Mexico, weathers and is about to endure much more is direct consequence of the actions that, for the man doing them possess no meaning. Of course, I could be completely wrong, and Trump’s agenda could be precisely calculated to create his own specific version of the world, his ideal America. In which case it’s even more pertinent to wonder:
Why do you do it, Mr. Trump? And while we’re at it, why do you do it, British gentlemen, wanting to break up with the European union? An immigrant-free Europe with no influence from the Middle East does not, and will not, exist, simply due to numerical projection. The redistribution of wealth that Trump is proposing to the impoverished American goes contrary to the economic system that he advocates. The ideal America in which a man like Trump could have success and the happiness available to a man like him already exists and is about to stop existing, if we’re to believe his words. What will arise in its place is debatable at this point, and how it will affect our own corners of the world. Given the situation is difficult to worry about other people, other latitudes. Although we should. We always should. The magnitude of these men’s decisions will affect generations to come. These old conservative men will not live to see the effect their actions will have. They are playing with the future of their countries’ youth, which by the way is crushingly, majorly against them. We know the feeling, bro. To the Mexican people this is everyday life.
Look, man, the North American Free Trade Agreement was never beneficial to Mexico. It came to take away what was left of our agriculture, to deliver to private interests what was owned by so many, to advance the neoliberal agenda that has so badly damaged us. It was a bad deal, Mr. Trump, in that we agree. Not in the sense you seem to perceive, but hey, let’s not dwell in the details. But to remove it like that, in a single swoop, is akin to treating a finger cut by ripping the whole arm off. Or more like ripping your Mexican neighbor’s arm off. Maybe even more, but let’s not take the anatomical analogy further. It doesn’t hold up anyways.