by Jim Hightower
America stands for democracy throughout
the world, right? George W says so in nearly every speech he gives.
He points to Iraq, Lebanon, the Ukraine and other distant lands, declaring
that if people living under autocratic leaders rise up, "America
will walk at your side."
So, when hundreds of thousands of people rose up in
April against an elitist, autocratic regime, pouring into the streets
to demand an unfettered democratic vote for the presidency of their
land, surely George leap to their side, right? Mmmmmm... no.
It seems that democracy is a relative value for the
Bushites, to be applied only where it fits their ideological view
and corporate agenda. The Mexican people, for example, need not apply.
As in many countries just to our south, there's a growing popular
rebellion in Mexico against the self-serving elites who've ruled there
for years. It's a rebellion that repudiates the free-market nostrums
of corporate globalization that have further enriched the corrupt
elites and furthers impoverished the many.
The mayor of Mexico City, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador,
has become a rallying point for this democratic rebellion. He has
criticized NAFTA, helped workers and the poor, challenged the corporate
regime of Mexico's current president and become the most popular politician
in the country. He is by far the leading candidate to be Mexico's
This has so unnerved the moneyed establishment that
it is attempting to imprison Lopez Obrador on trumped up charges and
prevent him from running for president. All across Mexico, this dictatorial
action has prompted outrage and spurred the new democratic movement.
So has George W assured these democracy fighters in our neighboring land that America walks at their side? No. He's ignored them, leaving it to a spokesman to dismiss their popular protest as an internal Mexican affair.
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Lets Stop Beating Around the Bush, on sale from Viking Press. For more information, visit www.jimhightower.com.
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