By Paulina Anaya.
Neither the Republican nor the Democratic party candidates receive a gold star for transparency or honesty, both having their share of defamation attempts. Their approaches at the Presidential campaign are on opposite sides of the table along with the policies they propose. A look at poll results, which are coming in extremely close, is all you need in order to understand that America is divided between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. With the forthcoming elections, the country is turned on its feet and so is the world. It is unclear what the approach of voters will be on Election Day, scheduled for November 8th, 2016, as many are in disapproval of Trump and Clinton but admit to supporting the one they believe is “less worse”. It’s time to get your shoes on, with the most controversial Presidential candidates in history, the race is on.
Since the Presidential race began, Republican Presidential Candidate, Donald Trump, has consistently made the headlines for his bold comments on immigration, minorities, Mexicans, and Latinos, among others. Trump has sworn to build a wall along the U.S./Mexico border in order to stop drugs, weapons and illegal immigrants from crossing over. He has made several remarks over the past few months towards specific individuals, but none have been as direct as those meant for Mexican immigrant “rapists” and “murderers” whom he deems responsible for a generous percent of the country’s violence. It would seem those kinds of comments in the 21st-century would have American voters pouring into the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton’s side, but on the contrary, what won him the Republican candidacy were the same audacious statements.
An Unexpected Move: Visit Sparks Outrage in Mexico
On Wednesday, August 31st, 2016, the Republican candidate flew to Mexico City and met with Mexican President, Enrique Pena Nieto, in Los Pinos, the presidential palace, upon the latter’s invitation. The question is, why?
Pena Nieto’s approval ratings have slumped, and Donald Trump is one of the most unpopular men in Mexico, could there have been any positive outcome for either from this one-hour meeting? If so, there wasn’t for Mexico. Upon Trump’s arrival to Mexico City, hundreds of Mexicans protested his presence outside of Los Pinos. Despite this, the meeting went on and everyone awaited official statements of what was discussed in its duration. Thereafter, Trump got on a flight to Phoenix, Arizona, where he was to give his much anticipated speech on immigration. During this speech, Trump reiterated that the wall would be built and paid for by Mexico, a statement that was quickly denied by Pena Nieto through social media, so what exactly did they talk about?
A Strategic Mistake; Could the Mexican Government be in Trouble?
Trump arrived in and left Mexico City in a matter of hours, but the trouble he left behind, especially for Pena Nieto, surely will last more than weeks. The Mexican President has been under heavy criticism for the past few days for his “incompetence”. His “inability” to clarify that Mexico would not pay for the wall under any circumstance has been widely regarded as a sign of “weakness”. With his approval rating of barely 25%, the meeting couldn’t have come at worst timing.
Pena Nieto has compared Donald Trump to Hitler in the past, so the whole invitation to Los Pinos and his courteous greeting have confounded Mexicans. Unofficial sources are already saying that Luis Videgaray, the Secretary of Finance and Public Credit in Pena Nieto’s cabinet was implicated in the setup of the meeting whose purpose remains unclear. The visit actually boosted the Republican nominee’s approval rating, making the gap between the U.S. candidates shorter than ever; Trump is down by a few points from Hillary Clinton, which Mexicans attribute to the highly unpopular meeting.
If one meeting did not provoke enough dislike among Mexicans, a second one in the future was implied by Pena Nieto and Trump after the meeting when statements made by both contradicted each other. The Mexican President first said that the wall was discussed but not its financing, then, Trump said Mexico would pay for the wall “one hundred percent”. Soon after, Pena Nieto clarified through his official Twitter account that he had been very clear about Mexico not paying for the wall. During a press conference, Trump said that payment of the wall had not been discussed. Knowledge of what really happened during the meeting has so far been confined to the meeting room and its participants in Los Pinos, meanwhile, the world can only await what will happen next.