La Lucha Por México


Written by Matthew Mendez, Journalist

La Lucha Por México

The Mexican Presidential Elections of 2018 remain one of the most critical and controversial elections yet to be held in the country’s recent history. The main presidential candidates for the elections consist of the centrist José Antonio Meade, conservative Ricardo Anaya Cortés, and left-leaning populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Selected by a coalition of the P.R.I, P.V.E.M., and Nueva Alianza parties, Meade’s presidential bid is characterized by a continuation of the status quo, which has faced increasing opposition during the current Peña Nieto administration. Ricardo Anaya’s campaign is characterized as an alternative to the corrupt and unpopular ruling party and represents a coalition of the P.A.N., P.R.D., and Movimiento Ciudadano parties. Perhaps the most controversial of the three front runners, Andrés Manuel López Obrador is distinguished as a left-leaning populist with a promise to radically transform the Mexican economy and end decades of rampant corruption. Ultimately, whomever assumes the presidency will greatly affect Mexico and decide its role on the world stage for years to come.

José Antonio Meade represents an attempt by the embattled and greatly discredited P.R.I. to consolidate its place among the Mexican people and continue the status quo. Perhaps the most politically experienced of the major candidates, Meade has held four cabinet positions and served under both the Peña Nieto and Felipe Calderón administration as Finance Minister. Meade also maintains a clean political record, with the only major point of criticism remaining rising inflation rates during his positions as Finance Minister. Regarding his bid for presidency in 2018, the former Finance Minister promises to curb the power of the cartel in Mexico and reduce corruption. Despite his great political experience, Meade is rather soft-spoken compared to his opponents and his failure to denounce the corruption of the establishment while Finance Minister may cost him support among the populace.

Ricardo Anaya Cortés is the least radical alternative to the unpopular political establishment and has garnered widespread popularity among younger voters. Beginning his career as an attorney, Cortés has built quite a resume over the years, having ran for office in the state of Queretaro at the age of 21 as well as other important positions in the country. The young candidate’s campaign emphasizes the need to end corruption as well as the reign of the establishment which accompanies it and the importance of respecting human rights in the country which have so often been violated. Cortés also promises to provide the Mexican people with unconditional basic income, a raise in the minimum wage, as well as an overhaul of the educational system. Though young and not as experienced as his other opponents, Cortés serves as an alternative, yet relatively moderate, candidate to the much hated political establishment.

Representing the most extreme alternative to the status quo, Andrés Manuel López Obrador is characteristically leftist and popular in his policies, garnering both much criticism and support among the Mexican populace and abroad. Obrador promises a reduction of government salaries and unnecessary spending in order to stabilize the Mexican economy and end years of financial mismanagement. He also supports progressive fiscal reforms, believing that the amount of taxation imposed upon a Mexican citizen should be based on their income. Obrador’s economic policies have received much criticism from the political and economic elite of the country, who see the potential increase in taxation as a threat to their wealth. The leftist candidate is also a supporter of providing amnesty for drug cartel members in an attempt to end the years of drug violence which have cost so many Mexican lives. Concerning diplomatic relations with other states, Obrador remains ardently opposed to globalization and seeks to end Mexico’s membership in N.A.F.T.A. Such opposition has further angered the political and economic elite, who have benefited greatly from a relaxing of trade policy and Mexico’s membership in N.A.F.T.A. While Obrador has garnered much support from the common people of Mexico, political and economic elite view him as a threat to precarious Mexican stability.

The Mexican  Presidential Elections of 2018 remains one of the most controversial and decisive elections held by the country in recent history, as the major candidates prove radically different from each other. José Antonio Meade promises a revitalization of the status quo as well as an end to the rampant corruption which has characterized the political establishment for years. Though Meade proves extremely qualified for the presidency, the tainted reputation of his party as well as his lackluster time in office as Finance Minister may prevent him from garnering support.  Ricardo Anaya Cortés represents a moderate alternative to the historically corrupt and inefficient status quo and has already gained much popularity among much of Mexico’s young middle class. Although Cortés promises a variety of reforms which would aid in the revitalization of the Mexican economy and the dismantling of the corrupt status quo, increasing populism may cost the moderate the presidency. Signaling a radical change in Mexican politics, Andrés Manuel López Obrador proves the most radical of the candidates, pushing a leftist and populist agenda which has garnered much support from Mexico’s poor and disenfranchised. Due to his anti-globalization stance and his promise to eradicate the corrupt status quo, many moderate politicians have grown suspicious of his campaign and view him as a threat to Mexican stability. Whether it be the moderate José Antonio Meade and Ricardo Anaya Cortés or the radical populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico’s place on the world stage will surely be decided in this year’s decisive presidential campaigns.