What politician would not want to be president of Mexico? He’s not surprised that many are raising their hands, saying they’re willing to run, touring the country to please themselves and test (and hopefully show) their strength. There are many and there will be more. “He who does not move does not appear in the photo” is from other times. No one is going to beg those who play hard to get because there is plenty to choose from. There is everything in the herd, and it is numerous.
Just got on the already populated ring the figure of José Ángel Gurría Treviño. Not long ago he threw his glove Santiago Creel Miranda. Enrique de la Madrid has been building a candidacy for some time. Lilly Téllez and Claudia Ruiz Massieu, both senators, are in the fight. To all of them we must also add Gustavo de Hoyos, Ildefonso Guajardo and Miguel Ángel Mancera.
Some have more experience, there are several former secretaries of state, many with extensive experience in the Legislative Branch, some with a partisan career. Who would be the best as the head of the Executive? It doesn’t matter, because it’s impossible to know. Debating the strengths and weaknesses of the many applicants will involve rivers of ink and endless exchanges on electronic media and social networks. An important exercise, without a doubt, but after all secondary. The man of power, said Luis Spota, is known in power. Or as Robert Caro, Lyndon Johnson’s biographer extraordinaire, puts it, power unmasks. An exceptional example of this is the authoritarian demagogue who now rules (it is a saying).
There are three people, however, who must be forcefully ruled out as soon as possible: the leaders of the opposition political parties. They cannot be judge and party, use their position to promote themselves (and block others). Ricardo Anaya’s experience in the PAN in 2018 is the best example: he damaged his party and also lost. If they feel like getting to the National Palace, they must move to the ground that others are treading on that field that should be as even as possible. An even field will help the losers in being the flag bearer of the Opposition (with a capital letter) to join whoever wins.
The President will need to be a person of extraordinary vision, an outstanding capacity for conciliation to heal the wounds of a divided country. But that will be later: what is sought now is for the Opposition to unite forcefully behind one person, and for this person to have the physical and intellectual capacity to resist a long campaign and the incessant attacks of the demagogue and his hosts. Very thick skin, extremely short tail and very powerful tongue. The battle will take place on multiple fronts, but the street level is still essential, so you have to add shoes with very thick soles and the willingness to walk all over the country in exhausting days.
All the candidates have their supporters, the most enthusiastic in that their rooster leads what hopefully will be a solid and winning coalition. But the most important thing is to defeat the demagogue in the person of his corcholatasave Mexico another six years of economic decline, political polarization, social destruction and international disrepute.
Who? Whoever, but with a united Opposition and willing to give everything in what will be an extraordinarily unequal electoral contest, with the dice loaded against it by the authoritarian demagogue. In the long war to come, it is the first battle to be won.