I don’t like doing this, but this post is going to mix a bit of current politics and public policy with another musing about retirement.
You see, I’ve mentioned already that my wife and I intend to visit North America while hauling our RV behind our (now repaired) pickup truck.
What I’ve neglected to say is that North America includes another set of countries. They are south of the United States, starting with Mexico and going into Central America.
We are a bit concerned about traveling into Mexico. It has nothing to do with the people there, or the country. We’ve both ventured across the border. The last time we crossed the border was in 1974, when we drove from San Diego into Tijuana and then to Ensenada. We took a cruise with our sons from Galveston to Cozumel in 2011, but that doesn’t actually count as a “border crossing.”
What is troubling to me is the rhetoric coming from Washington since the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the United States. He campaigned on a pledge to build a wall across our southern border; he vowed to make Mexico pay for it. He accused Mexico of “sending criminals” into the United States, as if suggesting that the Mexican government is responsible for some so-called deluge of illegal immigration.
He has continued to sound sharply critical of those who live in Latin America.
My fear is the potential fomenting of anti-American bias in that part of the world, which could put tourists — such as, oh, yours truly — at risk of harm by those who might notice the Texas license plates on our RV and our truck.
Do you get my drift? Of course you do!
I ventured to Mexico City in 1997 on a four-day journalism-related trip. I love that city. I want to show my wife the Aztec pyramids I got to climb. I want to take her to the spectacularly colorful Folklorico Ballet that I watched. I want to treat her to tacos the way they are prepared in Mexico.
At this moment, though, I am fearful of hauling our RV there to see those sights.
If only we could cease this in-your-face rhetoric that I suspect is not being lost on those wonderful continental neighbors.