It seems that the main threat to democracy is in the discourse. It touches the most sensitive fibers, the most radicalized feelings, and the most vulnerable groups. The 21st century is the century of the implausible; it offers us the possibility of seeing almost unthinkable scenarios become a reality. Unheard of leaderships gaining strength and taking root (or becoming encrusted) in power.
All this, with a substantial (and not always majority) approval, we see examples of a new left that with a neo-populist platform is not very interested in preserving the institutions, the balance of power, and a genuine democratic exercise.
Spain, Mexico, and France are clear examples of the confrontation between the left and the population. Of course, the people are not akin to the radicalization, polarization, and fear that discursively seeks to permeate the left in power. In an atypical manner, the United States, from the extreme right, exercises a neo-populism that also divides and segments, undermining the institutions. Today, on the eve of the elections, faces the most challenging moment for the survival of democracy and its project of nationhood.
Through discursive strategies, terms, scenarios, and decisions are positioned that make the process of lobbying and decision making within the State even more complicated.
The emergence of citizens’ movements seeks to generate healthy and necessary counterweights in any democratic scenario; however, in France, these movements developed a clash of forces that threatened the prevalence of an environment conducive to and conducive to the development of democracy, the pandemic came to raise questions about governance and governability.
This clash of forces reaches the people when the left cannot meet its management commitments, not necessarily due to inability. In the French case, the failure to comply has been part of the complex European scenario and the economic, political, and social system’s growth curve.
For its part, the pandemic management in Spain has generated the opportunity to address the population with social assistance programs, far from the line of welfare that the European Union marks.
Mexico’s government finds its origin in a well-known context; boredom, disillusionment, and recurrent corruption from the political system. The unresolved challenge of Mexico’s current president was to end the inertia that, for decades, was the engine of the system’s inherent corruption. Today we know that corruption, nepotism, and impunity are inherent to the system, not to the party or the person in power.
The overexposure of President López Obrador in the so-called mornings has generated a comprehensive division among public opinion, a definite polarization, and a constant opening of fronts of confrontation with diverse sectors of the population.
From the children’s ranches, the National Guard, the NAIM, the Mayan Train, the civil society, the presidential plane, and the topics of debate that are opened day by day, the population observes with uncertainty the lack of public policy but the constant campaign that discursively does not stop.
The statements, disqualifications, accusations, accusations, and frictions with the press, the citizens, and Mexican national life’s strategic leadership make the public scenario more complicated.
And the panorama has become more complex with the more than 70 thousand deaths by Covid-19, the growing wave of violence in the country, the excessive unemployment, and fragile institutions that struggle to survive.
The outcome of the U.S. elections will add complexity to the national scene as the degree of commitment to Trump puts Mexico in a weak position for negotiation.
The leftist government today seeks to silence the claims and questions of a worn-out society, which in the absence of options, viable projects, and authentic leadership, may once again fall into the trap of “más vale malo por conocido que bueno por conocer.” Meaning “a known evil is better than an unknown good.”
Arlene Ramirez Uresti for Forbes Mexico
Arlene Ramírez Uresti has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the Tec de Monterrey Campus Estado de México, with Honorable Mention (1998), and a Master’s degree in Diplomacy with a specialty in Terrorism from the University of Norwich (2010) where she also studied a Ph.D. in International Relations.