Published On: Mon, May 14th, 2018

Obama vs. Trump in SMA

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If you expecting a profound bipartisan explanation of US politics on the local economy, you’re, well, right, sort of.  Expect maybe for the profound part.

When I started doing fundraisers for children’s literacy via tours and lectures during the Obama years I could go months without any attendees.  Obama’s administration did a banner job of making Mexico scary with swine flu, instant decapitation, being “taken” and much else that then the US press stated was happening in Mexico.  All the more reason to spend spring break in Daytona or other Florida beach communities.

taken

I simply assumed the obvious, the then administration had a relationship with the Florida Board of Tourism to keep those travel dollars in the US by any means necessary.  And, kudos, they did well.

Under President Trump Mexico is a neighbor that is presented as a scary mix between Mrs. Kravitz and The Munsters.  The difference this time is folks from the US have spent last year and this year flocking to San Miguel.

When queried, tourists’ reasons fall in several categories:

  • As petty, and pretty, as it sounds, don’t underestimate the power of the film, Coco. It’s colorful and exceptional portrayal of Mexico, much less Day of the Dead, in an easy to swallow child’s film that has had a profound impact.
  • Whereas folks from the US swallowed the Obama era Kool-Aid, today’s folks aren’t doing the same for Trump administration. In fact, it appears coming to Mexico in these times is a metaphorical bird to our President and the birds are coming south in gaggles.
  • Forgetting Coco and President Trump, perhaps San Miguel’s past politicians have simply done a banner job promoting our town in the international press as being number one city to visit on this or that list.
  • Location, location, location. For being physically next door, we offer a foreign experience on par with Europe with a much better exchange rate and not having to fly across that pesky ocean.

The irony of gringos visiting at this time is not lost on me.  The current mayor’s administration focuses solely on drawing tourists from the 1 or 2%, economically, from Mexico City.  That’s why so many of our bars and restaurants were remodeled to resemble bars and restaurants from Miami or Manhattan, where the uber-wealthy crowd of Mexico City are used to hanging out at.  Folks from the US coming to visit are fine, but not the target audience.  That statement is hard for many of my fellow countrymen to hear, must less absorb.

With local elections coming up the politics of our Mexico-US relations may change greatly once again.  Thank goodness for those constant Canadians that routinely come down after Christmas and leave before Easter’s Holy Week (the week before Easter).  Having successfully avoided the two most faith-based times in San Miguel, Canadians bring English speaking culture and events with the regularity of the North/South bound Canadian geese.

Oh, snow birds, ba-da-bum, finally I get it!



JOSEPH TOONE JUNE 2016

Joseph Toone is the Historical Society’s short-story award winning author of the SMA Secrets book series.  All books in the series are Amazon bestsellers in Mexican Travel and Holidays.  Toone is SMA’s expert and TripAdvisor’s top ranked historical tour guide telling the stories behind what we do in today’s SMA.  Visit HistoryAndCultureWalkingTours.com, and JosephTooneTours.com.



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