Sunday, May 16

Elections 2021: Conservatism and corruption: López Obrador’s veins to campaign without seeming to do so


The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, this Monday.
The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, this Monday.Presidency of Mexico / Presidency of Mexico

Andrés Manuel López Obrador cannot from this week use the platform of his daily morning press conferences to support his formation, Morena, or openly highlight the Government’s achievements. The electoral ban that regulates the campaign of the federal and local elections of June 6 prevents him, on paper, from doing what he does on a daily basis: trying to strengthen his political project. However, propaganda and electoral campaigns are made above all of words. And beyond the promises, the melee or the formulas to ask for the vote, what penetrates the voters is the speech. Those words, in the case of the president, are conservatism, corruption and everything that in his opinion his adversaries represent. And to that, he advanced on Monday, he will not resign in the next two months.

The president limited the bulk of his speech on Tuesday morning, together with his team, to report on the evolution of the pandemic and the vaccination campaign. Yesterday he had vindicated his right to speak of “general matters”. And, immediately afterwards, he added: “What has to do with corruption, I think that is allowed; it is allowed to talk about health, education, security; of course civil protection, we are going to talk about these issues and inform citizens ”. That starting point opens the door for you to keep your usual background messages in practice. Starting with qualifying your political rivals. “That I do not mention, that I do not do in general, to parties, but I can say that our opponents are conservative, yes,” he wanted to make clear.

López Obrador’s daily appearances, with the exception of the holidays, are the Government’s main instrument to guide the agenda of public debate and, ultimately, of political confrontation. Faced with the prohibition of naming a name, a party or a campaign issue, the president chose to push the generalization of his accusations to the limit. “I speak of conservatism, because, furthermore, conservatism has no visible party. It is a thought, as it has always existed ”. “Every time there are changes, every time there are transformations,” he added, referring to the so-called Fourth Transformation, “there are reactionary movements, that is, there are movements that oppose, that react.”

“Conservatism exists in Mexico and in the world, conservatism exists everywhere. And they are very authoritarian and expensive. In general, the conservative is facho, but people already know that. For example, the conservative is classist, he is racist “, continued the president who has given as an example of” conservative thinking “the assumption that” the people are lazy. ” “Conservatives resent it, but it fills them with rage that the people are supported … The conservative is also a hypocrite. What is given to the top, that looks good, they call that rescue or investment promotion, but what is given to humble people, a scholarship, that, what is given to young people, Well that’s why all they did was call them ni-nis, label them, treat them in a discriminatory, derogatory way, towards young people. It is a thought that comes from long ago, ”he said.

Added to that was the red thread of corruption. That is one of the great axes of López Obrador, who in 2018 assumed power in a country that has effectively had a structural problem of corruption. However, it broadened the focus of irregular practices in the administration to turn it into another category, which serves to give a sense of rupture with the recent past, starting with the Government of Enrique Peña Nieto, and polarize with his adversaries.

“I am not going to mention parties, I am not going to say: vote for this one, vote for this other one,” he justified himself. But immediately he added: “Another issue is also that, if they are distributing pantries to buy votes, I am going to say that, because I have to defend democracy, we must all defend democracy and we cannot remain silent. There must be free and fair elections ”.

The president, despite his institutional role, and his party have maintained an open confrontation with the National Electoral Institute (INE) until last week, which challenged the candidacies of several pro-government candidates. Among them is Félix Salgado Macedonio, a politician close to López Obrador, denounced for two rapes and accused of several cases of sexual abuse and who, however, if the cancellation of his list is confirmed, would be excluded from the electoral race due to irregularities in the expenses of pre-campaign. The friction with the INE reached such a point that the president adviser of the organization, Lorenzo Córodva, rejected the attempts to intimidate the referee. Asked about it, the head of the Government has declined to comment on this position. “No, no, no, because I can not, I can not comment on anything, I have already spoken enough on that subject and now I can not speak,” he said. This Tuesday the Secretary of the Interior, Olga Sánchez Cordero, recalled that the referee must be neutral by definition “or he is not a referee.”

However, López Obrador’s position did not prevent him from exhibiting on Monday the development of the vaccination campaign, despite the delays, talking about scholarships, boasting about public health and even emblematic works such as the Mayan Train. “The Government”, he has affirmed in reference to the previous Executives, “was a facilitator for corruption, it was not made to serve the people. There are very few public works that were not concessioned, highways were built, but all were concessioned. The Mayan Train is a public budget. The [tren del] Isthmus, public budget. The airport, public budget. It is not debt ”. Thus begins the electoral ban for López Obrador.

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