Tuesday, March 24, 2009


We all know that CNN's Lou Dobbs has made a name for himself rallying conservatives, the Minutemen, and other extremists over Mexico. Well, now it looks like Pat Buchanan wants to become his side-kick ...

That Buchanan replaces Sunnis and Shiias with Mexicans in his fear-mongering says much about the direction he wants to take the issue.

Look, I just finished grading papers and exams for my Politics of Mexico class and can say that my students (even the "C" students) understand the issues confronting the U.S. and Mexico over the next 20-30 years better than Buchanan. Very quickly, let me state that illegal immigration is a problem. So is the drug issue.

But we need to remember who does the hiring, and who creates demand for illicit narcotics here in the U.S. Simply put, in any market economy there is no supply without demand. Period.

The problems Buchanan sees are not going to go away any time soon as long as we have people like Pat Buchanan, Dobbs, and their Medieval-like approachs poisoning the airwaves. The challenges we face when it comes to Mexico require Marshall Plan-like vision and patience. Whether we want to believe it or not, we are in this together. I know that this is disappointing to many, but there is no other way to put it.

Moreover, as I pointed out more than 15 years ago when NAFTA came into force (see also Chapter 3 of Robert Pastor's book), simply signing empty and misguided "free trade agreements" with Mexico and Canada will not do the trick. You might find this hard to believe, but George W. Bush seemed to understand all of this, which was made clear when he hosted Mexico's President Vicente Fox days before 9/11. I'll have more to say about this at a later date, or whenever Buchanan and Dobbs start ramping up their ignorance.

For now, count me as someone who doesn't like the scapegoating and ill-will that Buchanan and Dobbs will create as long as they are allowed to become the face of the debate.

- Mark

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