By Sabrina De Santiago
MEXICO: Mexico and the U.S. are very different.
I know that should be obvious, but since I’ve grown up sharing both cultures, somehow before all I ever noticed were the similarities — hard-working, traditional, family-oriented cultures that share the desire for improvement.
Those things are still true. I am more convinced now that people of the U.S. and Mexico work everyday to better their respective nations.
This applies to both politics and society at-large. Yet, the differences between Mexico and the United States seem to center more these days on how the people feel about their leaders.
For example, this week the Congressional report on the Iraq War has been all over the news. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) report finds that the Iraqi government has made practically zero political progress.
President Bush and the Republican media machine have already begun to spin the bad news, trying to make the report out to look like partisan politics.
U.S. President George Bush
What it all boils down to is a country asking itself, is our president leading us down the right path?
Similarly, the big news in Mexico has revolved around the president as well.
This past Sunday, President CalderÃ³n gave his Mensaje Presidencial, or loosely translated, Presidential Message. Oddly enough, the biggest news about the Mensaje wasn’t anything in CalderÃ³nÂ´s actual speech, but what happened before it.
In years past the President of Mexico, has presented the Congress with his informe in a ceremony/speech that lasted two hours. This year, due to continuing tension between CalderÃ³nÂ´s PAN and the PRD, the President spent scant minutes before Congress in which he delivered his report without the usual pomp and circumstance.
In contrast to the United States, where 69% of the country disapproves of the way President Bush is handling the situation in Iraq (according to an August 8, 2007 CBS News Poll), the tension in Mexico is the result of partisan politics.
An Ipsos-Bimsa/EL UNIVERSAL August poll, demonstrated that approximately 68% of Mexicans approve of President CalderÃ³n’s tenure.
Mexico President Felipe CalderÃ³n
So how does each nation answer this question?
Well, while polls aren’t perfect indicators of a nation’s will, they do shed light on general sentiments. President Bush has made mistakes that go beyond ordinary errors. They are profound errors in judgment that highlight the limited view of President Bush’s reasoning.
In Mexico, President Calderon hasn’t been perfect, but at least he hasn’t led his nation into an unwinnable war.
Learn more about Sabrina:
Sabrina De Santiago was born and raised in Los Angeles. She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants who worked hard to achieve the American dream.
Before leaving the United States, she spent ten years on the east coast, five of which she spent working for the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate.
She currently lives in Mexico City and serves as the Executive Director of Young Democrats Mexico City.