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Pres. Obama, Mexico, Border Issues

Driving to work 30 minutes ago I was listening to an NPR report on Pres. Obama's upcoming visit to Mexico.

The report included comments from Mexican citizens about Obama and what they felt his responsibilities are , regarding both countries' wars on the illegal drug trade, poverty, border security, etc.

Now, I'm a pretty damned sympathetic guy to people trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents.

But the tone of the comments struck me as misdirected. One man who said he lives in a hovel said he wanted Obama, like JFK before him, to visit shanty towns in Mexico so the U.S. president could get a close view of Mexican poverty and plan appropriately to do something about it.

Shouldn't that comment have been aimed at Mexican Pres. Felipe Calderon?

Another man quoted in  the story referred to "dumb Americans" and said something to the effect that he hoped Obama would demonstrate that he wasn't one of them by treating Mexico like a neighbor and not a problem.

Yet, another man who said many friends and neighbors had slipped across the U.S. border for work, said he hoped Obama understood that these people were slipping into the U.S. for money to take home, because there were no jobs for them back home. He added that he hoped Obama might do something about the lack of working class jobs in much of Mexico.

Again, shouldn't he have been aiming that wishlist at Pres. Calderon?

Sorry, I'm not a political analyst. But I am a pretty good journalist if I do say so myself, and I think the interviewer should have asked follow-ups to these commenters. These aren't black and white, simple issues, I know. The U.S. gives foreign aid. I get it. It's part of diplomacy. I understand.

I'm just saying if someone I interviewed blamed his trouble on his next door neighbor, I'd ask him to be more specific and explain why his neighbor and not he is responsible for his troubles.

If a Canadian news outlet quoted Americans, like residents of the fictional South Park, Colorado, saying "blame Canada!" RE America's domestic problems and lack of jobs, and the Canadian interviewer did not challenge the Americans quoted to justify their arguments, Canadian news consumers would go nuts.

Just sayin'.

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Sallie

Mexicans have a love-hate relationship with the United States that goes back to "the war of U.S. intervention." They feel that they have always gotten the short end of the stick economically and politically when it comes to U.S.-Mexican relations. Read history and you will understand that better.

Sallie

Oh, and Lou Dobbs doesn't help either.

James B.

Sallie, I understand the scope and ramification of U.S. intervention in Mexico.

But rather than take a cheap shot at me about understanding better, why don't you explain yourself.

This is like when I was a kid and would utter a three-syllable word and ask my pops what he thought of it, and he'd dodge an explanation by dutifully telling me to go look it up in the dictionary. Share your take on why Mexico has been short-shrifted "economically and politically." What does that even mean?

Don't tell me to look it up. This post didn't go that deep. You want to talk intervention in Mexico, we can. But this post was about specific requests and wishes made by Mexican citizens of Pres. Obama.

Nothing in your answer explained one lick why Obama should be more responsible then Pres. Calderon for ending poverty and establishing better jobs in Mexico.

And what does Lou Dobbs have to do with "the war of U.S. intervention" or this blog post?

And don't give me a generic answer like "Watch CNN! Lou Dobbs hates Mexicans!"

I'm not Lou Dobbs, and I didn't express any hate. Explain your stance. Like it or not, I explained mine.

Isa

The way I look at it... This jerkoff of a wannabe president needs to STOP trying to be a WORLD leader because he is NOT. Secondly this OBAMA BINLADIN president needs to focus HERE in the states and pull out REAL proof of where he is BORN, because so far none of his family is straight with a REAL hospital in Hawaii. And lastly. Quit trying to be friends with terrorist to show you are really on their side. You became Some other peoples Choice for President and you should at least try and act like one and worry about where you live. Sad you wanna say the school system is top notch, but then claim its substandard thats why your kids are in a Private school.

Kay

Umm, wow.

Ok, moving on past the crazy.

I think you raise a good point Mr. B... the same thoughts crossed my mind. Yes, the US has a responsibilty toward its neighbors... but we aren't our neighbor's keepers are we? What I think is the most important aspect is that the money and guns that get used in the Mexican drug trade come from the US (right? heard this on NPR) and if that is the case, then that is what we should be focusing on up here while the Mexican people focus on other things down there.

Why are there so few jobs in Mexico? Could you comapre the economic situation with places like... Brazil? France? Australia?

ok, the meter has run out on my two cents.

James B.

Isa, um, OK. If you've read this blog before you know I don't do censorship...unless comments get really offensive. Your comments don't offend me 'cause you're entitled to your opinion, so welcome. But they do baffle me, 'cause they don't directly address the subject of this blog post. Your feelings about Pres. Obama are clear. Now, what do you have to say about the requests being made to him by Mexican citizens? And whatever you feel about the president, how would you have reacted if your political opposite had given either of the former presidents Bush a nickname blended with a terrorist's name? There are things I've liked and disliked about every U.S. president since I've been old enough to vote. That includes two Bushes, a Clinton, and now an Obama. And regardless of how I felt about any of those men at different times I always had enough respect for the office of the presidency to draw a line beneath which I wouldn't hit, even to emphasize a dislike.

Kay, I hear ya. And welcome back. I agree with you on how we should be working on our border problems. Since there are certain problems that span both sides of the border, we should be working on the one that most immediately affects us at home - the drugs and drug money. I don't think we have the time or money though to right Mexico's economy, when we can't stabilize our own. And good question about Brazil, etc.

Pamela

A no win situation.
First, US is chastised for dabbling into other countries business, and then frowned and blamed for problems because it doesn't.

mark

This is a complicated subject, but when you "shuck it down to the cob" it really comes down to keeping the state of California on the Democrat side of the ledger until the end of time. So therefore nothing will EVER be done to stop the illegals from entering the US. And if the illegal drug trade from Mexico was ended the economy of Mexico would grind to a scheeching halt sending millions more illegals across the border. The US has no stomach to stop them with weapons. We have surrendered our birthright and our country and nary a gunshot has been fired. Our brave fallen soldiers and our forefathers are turning over in their graves.

The CEO

I'm sure you remember the free trade zone that were established in Mexico, and the controversy that surrounded them. And the fact that so many manufacturers started manufacturing and assembly plants in Mexico and shipped jobs South to Mexico. Farah Pants is one example. Eventually, the idea was to establish a North American free trade zone from Canada down through Mexico. We are still far from that.

A lot of the problem is the drug trade. It's hard to allow truck traffic to come North with no inspection and run North to Canada. Imagine the terrorist possibilities if not the drug possibilities.

I suspect that the followup questions might reflect some form of compliant stemming from the lost hope of what was hoped for from the above programs. But, I'm speculating.

Kay

@Mark

California is more conservative and Republican than you might think.

(Much to the chagrin to a few of us, but that isn't the point.)

It seems like a key way to keeping illegals from coming to the US would be for Mexico to find a way to make staying in Mexico a better option... yes? Not sure how they should go about that, but it is a thought.

BobG

Mexico needs to solve its own problems. If they didn't have so much corruption at all levels of government, they could probably progress more. When you have what amounts to an aristocracy running the country, and a lot of people at all levels of government on the take, you end up with a country like they have now. There is no reason their economy should be so bad; they have people, land, and resources. The culture itself is the problem; they have never gotten over the mindset of the Aztecs and the conquistedores, in that everyone grabs what they want, and anything you can keep is yours.
Just my opinion.

C

James I tend to have the same apathy shown by Pamela... not that I feel she is being negative. It's a state of mind that we can't fix everything. Mexico like all other countries has a corruption afoot that goes deeper than plain history and the little man has very little control in economic changes. Hence, why I am a Mexican-American.... doing my bit to survive... I don't want to be kept by man or country. Amen ... I only answer to one and that's God.

Erik

James, You ask some great questions. I think the answer to your questions is that they wanted to portray things in the manner they did.

Reporters have converted from reports to editorials. Whether it is the way they frame the question, the way they follow up, or don't follow up.

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