Can a gringo run for president of Mexico?

Dear Mexican: The perception of Mexico having a defective culture has come up in your column several times. It's most important to point out the historical differences. The United States was invaded by settlers who came to live here permanently. Mexico was conquered by gold-seeking thugs who wanted to return rich to Spain. The U.S. received the Protestant work ethic. Mexico received Spanish feudalism and the authoritarian Catholic Church, which discouraged independent thought and dissent. Historically, Mexico has been dominated by a very small, overpowering, land-owning, abusive aristocracy — hence, lots of very poor people (essentially economic slaves) who could never get ahead. That's what the 1910 revolution was all about. Here in the U.S., lots of people could own their own land after the Indian land was commandeered. Is it any wonder that many Mexicans seem to not take as much personal responsibility as gabachos would like? Family mattered more than civic involvement because you could only rely on your family.

Amigo of Aliens

Dear AA: I appreciate your effort, but you're committing the same sins I rail about constantly without even knowing it! You nailed the economic analysis, but the false dichotomy of Mexicans weighed down by a Catholic-Spanish mindset and therefore not as predisposed to wealth, as opposed to the rapacious capitalism inherent to the Protestant-English worldview, is as clichéd as a Mexican sleeping underneath a cactus. Mexicans, no personal responsibility? What's immigrating in search of a better life called? Mexicans, no civic involvement? Who do you think booted out the autocratic PRI party after decades of ruling Mexico — or beat the shit out of the Spaniards in 1810 and American industrialists in 1910? Who beat down Sharron Angle in Nevada? And hate to break it to you, broder, but we aren't the only country in the Americas ruled by an abusive elite — and I ain't talking about Guatemala, either.

Dear Mexican: How come everything Mexican jumps? They got jumping cars, they jump the fence, and Mexican jumping beans. Confused Gabacho

Dear Gabacho: You forgot the Mexican Hat Dance, lucha libre, the voladores of Papantla that fling themselves from hundred-foot poles, Acapulco's cliff divers and our preferred way to deal with schoolyard bullies. Answer: a Freudian-Pavlovian response to life after undergoing a childhood of nalgadas.

Dear Mexican: Can a gringo run for president of Mexico?

Call Me Presidente Pendejo

Dear Gabacho: Sure! Although Article 33 of the Mexican Constitution explicitly prohibits foreigners from running for office, Artículo 82 states that those eligible for the presidency must be "a Mexican citizen by birth, in full enjoyment of their rights, child of a Mexican father or a Mexican mother and have resided in the country at least twenty years." Article 30 establishes that a Mexican citizen is someone born in Mexico regardless of the citizenship status of their parents, or born outside Mexico to at least one Mexican citizen who attained said citizenship by birth or by naturalization. It's conceivable, then, that a full-blooded gabacho can run for la presidencia of Mexico, but not likely: Although we like our leaders light-skinned, we already got our share of a part-gabacho president in Vicente Fox — and he was as much of a pendejo as his American counterpart, Dubya.

GOOD MEXICAN OF THE WEEK: Daniel Hernández (the reporter, not the Tucson hero) is the reason that you're reading this columna. His new book, Down & Delirious in Mexico City, is a dizzying, dazzling collection of essays about his experience in la mera capirucha. If you want to understand Mexico in all its twisted glory, this tome is a must-read. More information at Daniel's website, danielhernandez.typepad.com.

 
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6 comments
SanFelipeGuide
SanFelipeGuide

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Diane Garcia83
Diane Garcia83

I've got news for you thatswhyweliveinamerican, there were many other cultures building, raising children, etc, besides Mexicans. But, gee, you don't mention the Irish, Chinese, Scottish, Germans, Polish, etc in your little diatribe. Could that be because you're Mexican? The main difference between all of those other cultures and Mexicans, is that they assimilated when they came to America. They adopted this country as their own, flew the American flag, their children fought in America's wars. And Gmvte1 is absolutely correct, Mexicans demand respect without showing any in return. So wonder they have a negative stereotype, and sadly, it will continue that way because so many of them show no inclination to better themselves.

Gmvte1
Gmvte1

that'swhyweliveinAmerica doesn't really know the side most Americans have had to adapt to with invading Mexicans. They are a very proud people, and demand respect without showing any to us. While they are putting up bridges, building shopping centers and what housing that is going on while no hobbing, even though they do. The true Americans that pay their taxes have to teach the proper functions to these people that don't listen, because we are Americans, and if something goes wrong, it's the gringo's that have to suffer a new substandard way of life, just so the rich can save a buck. Most likely due to the self denial people like that'swhyweliveinAmerica tell themselves at night so they can sleep. However, back to the part about a gringo being president in Mexico. White people that go to Mexico on the lam, if caught are thrown into jail. If you are legal, you are pretty much dictated to do what they say you can do as of work situations. Because they are allowed to sneak in and out of this country at will, and because their president can come into our country and shake his finger at us for even trying to enforce our laws, makes us out of line. Reguardless of all that, well off people hire them, and help support the degrading of America. Why I really wrote this was to say, this article has run for over a week. It is time to move on. Besides, does a gringo want to be presendent of a country that has the most corruption tangled Government. Why go there when you have that at home! If you are a American, anything could happen here. There, we are nothing but a gringo, if you are not at a resort spending too much American money!

that'swhyweliveinAmerica
that'swhyweliveinAmerica

I love the hilarity and poignancy of this article, and I love when writers 'wake' people fromtheir stupor, stupidity, and their factual past...I'm not Mexican but I knew there was anotherreason America kept acting so full of themselves, and conveniently 'forgetting', Mexicansare still building our bridges, raising our children, putting up our shopping centers andputting up with our crap, you go family...we call them dysfunctional but over time we have destroyed what was important to them by acting as though they didn't know whatthey were doing and taking advantage of them and swindling, no wonder we are more than irritated now and still lacking humility...what goes around...

 
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