Thursday, November 19, 2009

National Self-confidence

Mexicans have lost the will to believe in themselves, according to Miguel Carbonell:
We have lost the way. We don’t believe in ourselves, we don’t know where we stand nor in what direction we are going. The nation navigates, aimlessly, between the yoke of a mediocre, abusive, myopic political class, and population that debates the question of whether it’s better to return to the past and the desire to hop on the train of development that every day seems farther away.

While Brazil, Colombia, and Chile show us that it is possible to combine social inclusion, economic growth, and the rule of law, years ago we stopped believing in our capacity to continue improving.


We have to believe in ourselves again. Not in the Tlatoani incarnate, not in illuminated saviors that propose to throw us off a cliff, not in corrupt union leaders, not in those deputies who worry about their Christmas bonus, not in those parties that are sterile with proposals and avid about more money for their campaigns, not in the yellow journalists, disrespectful of the intelligence of the citizens. The answer doesn’t lie in them: it’s in us, who can do what we want, that must do so better than ever before, for ourselves and our children. The country is in play. We’ll have to see if there are patriots than opportunists and criminals. And we’ll have to see it soon, before everything falls apart.
I think there's a lot of truth to that; Mexicans are relentlessly down on Mexico. Of course, there's been a lot of reason for that lately, but much of it is not directly related to the grimness of the evening news. People just repeat the tired old saws because they've heard them a million times before. It makes me wonder a Reagan or an Obama-type of politician who builds a campaign that on hope and optimism, who focuses more on what Mexico can become rather than where it is lacking, could find a very responsive electorate right now. Peña Nieto would seem to be the most likely to implement such a strategy, but really, the door is wide open.

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