Lopez Obrador, the 65-year-old who commonly goes by his initials AMLO, won by a landslide in July behind a campaign of promising widespread transformations to Mexico and kicking out the “mafia of power” that had embedded itself within the city. It was his third presidential bid.
“The government will no longer be a committee at the service of a rapacious minority,” Lopez Obrador said at his confirmation, according to Reuters.
Lopez Obrador also promised a “radical” rebirth of Mexico and condemned the previous “neo-liberal” regimes. The new president is also beginning his term with a 56 percent approval rating.
“Nothing has harmed Mexico more that the dishonesty of the rulers,” he said according to CNN.
Lopez Obrador is certainly a fascinating case of what a politician looks like in a post-Trump world.
Similar to President Donald Trump, Lopez Obrador’s campaign has been built on a “drain the swamp” and populist mentality. Previous Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was a deeply unpopular man whose failings were a natural catapult for Lopez Obrador. That’s not all that different from how Trump promised to be a breath of fresh air after the Obama administration.
And unlike America’s other neighboring leftist leader, Justin Trudeau of Canada, Trump seems to happy to work with Lopez Obrador.
Congratulations to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on becoming the next President of Mexico. I look very much forward to working with him. There is much to be done that will benefit both the United States and Mexico!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2018
To his credit, Lopez Obrador seems just as willing to work with America and Trump to improve relations between the two neighbors. In fact, he personally thanked the United States for sending Vice President Mike Pence and first daughter Ivanka Trump to his inauguration, according to CNN, and noted that Trump had treated him “respectfully” since the election.
Granted, Lopez Obrador also thanked Trudeau and immensely unpopular Venezuelan socialist president Nicolas Maduro, but still. It’s nice to see a world leader avoid taking cheap pot shots at the Trump administration.
Lopez Obrador also seems willing to work with Trump and Trudeau to rein in the growing issue of illegal immigration, according to Reuters.
But don’t let the trimmings obfuscate the fact that Lopez Obrador is still, in fact, very much a leftist. His party, the National Regeneration Movement party, is analogous to the socialist Democrats in America.
The new Mexican president still firmly believes in a socialist welfare state with government playing a heavy role in regulating the economy. In fact, he has already discussed his desire to double the minimum wage in Mexico.
Keeping citizens locked into government handouts and wanting big government to play a role in the economy are some of the hallmarks of the far left, including former president Barack Obama.
So it is with great trepidation and cautious optimism that I look forward to seeing how Lopez Obrador works with Trump in the coming years.
For the sake of our respective countries, I hope it works for the best.
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