Vicente Fox's July 2 victory over the luridly corrupt Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) that had ruled Mexico for 71 years has been universally hailed (notably by the Wall Street Journal) as a sign of profound change. But as regards Mexico's Stealth Invasion of the U.S.—don't hold your breath.
Fox's election has reconfirmed in spectacular fashion the fundamental social fact of the last 479 years of Mexican history: whites rule, mixed-race mestizos toil, Indians endure. In a country where height is a major racial marker — white men look down upon brown men both figuratively and literally — much of Fox's vaunted charisma stems from this, being about a foot taller than the average Mexican. Most publications state that he is 6''5" tall, although the New York Times Magazine pegs him at 6'6".
(For Mexico's racial caste system, which we are now busily importing, see my earlier column Importing Mexico's Worsening Racial Inequality. For the Caligula-level scandals that brought down the PRI, see Shackled To An [Ungrateful] Corpse.)
Where did Fox get such genes? Amusingly, under some definitions of "Hispanic," Mexico's new leader couldn't even qualify for affirmative action in the U.S. "Fox" isn't a Spanish surname. His grandfather brought it to Mexico from Ireland. Then the old Irishman's son, Vicente Fox's father, achieved that widespread ambition of Mexican men: he married a woman born in Europe.
I have no idea what Señor Fox's personal character is. But then, who does? The American press routinely portrays new Presidentes as models of honesty and modernism. Six years later, Presidentes just as routinely exit to catcalls and rotten tomatoes, salving their hurt feelings with the billions they've stolen. Whether changing the party label will change this time-honored tradition remains to be seen.
What we can understand with some confidence is that Fox is highly unlikely to change Mexico's racial structure. His attitude toward emigration to America resembles that of his predecessors. Like the rest of Mexico's white power elite, Fox wants to funnel as many hungry mestizos and Indians into the U.S. as possible. By getting us to take Mexico's angriest young brown men, Mexico's white ruling class has been able to forestall the kind of brown vs. white race wars that were a recurrent feature in 19th and early 20th century Mexico.
Further, both Fox and the defeated PRI want Mexican immigrants in the U.S. simultaneously both to retain their Mexican citizenship, including the vote, and also to become voting American citizens. From the white Mexican's perspective, brown emigration to America creates a virtuous cycle. The more peasants who head north and become dual citizens of America and Mexico, the more votes in America for letting in even more Mexicans, thus further easing the threat to white privilege in Mexico. Outgoing President Ernesto Zedillo said openly that he wanted to "help create an ethnic lobby [in the U.S.] with political influence similar to that of American Jews." (New York Times, December 10, 1995.) And Fox campaigned in Alta California's Mexican enclaves on a platform of demanding "open borders" between America and Mexico.
Now Fox has hit upon an even cleverer ruse. The Wall Street Journal's news department obtained one of his policy memoranda, reporting on 7/7/2000:
"The proposed plan would commit the U.S. to granting Mexicans many more visas in exchange for what would be unprecedented Mexican cooperation in reducing the northward flow of illegal immigrants… In exchange for a substantial increase in the number of visas awarded to Mexicans, Mexico could implement a program of carrot-and-stick incentives designed to deter emigrants, says the foreign-policy adviser.
"This is a heartbreaking dilemma, since any co-responsibility in regulating the flow of undocumented migrants means restricting in some ways the free travel of Mexicans within the Republic," the document says. Because emigration is an important economic safety valve, such a program would be widely unpopular among Mexicans."
I have a hint for everyone in Austin and Nashville currently preparing to greet this with rapturous cries: think drugs. The Mexican security forces would no more crack down on human smuggling in the future than they've cracked down on drug smuggling in the present. Just as numerous Mexican police and military units have become wholly-owned subsidiaries of the drug lords, Fox's scheme would simply mean that the "coyotes" sneaking illegal immigrants into America would have heavily-armed government troops conveniently at hand to assist their operations, at a price.
Each year our President informs Congress that, despite all the evidence to the contrary, the Mexicans really, really are finally cracking down on drug smuggling. Similarly, whether the next President is Bush or Gore, you can bet that he'd ignore the rampant failure of Fox to meet his side of any immigration bargain.
Fox is likely to become the next American President's very own Boris Yeltsin: a glamorous symbol of democracy, free markets and pro-Americanism that we will feel compelled to bail out over and over again. The two most likely ways we'll bail out Fox: financial rescues – and more legal and illegal immigration. You heard it here first.
[Steve Sailer [email him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and
movie critic for
July 11, 2000