President George W. Bush's decision to make his first Presidential trip abroad a visit to Mexico highlights the deference the Bush Administration has been paying to Vicente Fox and his Boris Yeltsin-like glamour. Bush's desire to build a special relationship with the new Mexican government means that Fox's formidable Foreign Secretary Jorge G. Castañeda deserves closer inspection than he has so far received. “Castañeda is widely credited with advising the conservative Fox to push the United States harder for immigration preferences and monetary aid for Mexico,” wrote Lisa J. Adams of the Associated Press.
Insight into Castañeda can be found in his 1995 book The Mexican Shock: Its Meaning For the U.S. In it, Castañeda called on America not only to legalize Mexican illegal immigrants, but also to give these aliens the right to vote in California elections. (Click here to read his chapter containing this proposal.)
Castañeda professed concern that Mexican immigration is “directly linked to the 'de-democratization' of California society.” That a large fraction of California's Mexican residents cannot vote because they are not American citizens leads, he wrote, to “electoral apartheid.” He complained, “This could be named the Richard Riordan syndrome: How did the most cosmopolitan, tension-ridden, socially and racially diverse city in the United States elect a white male Republican millionaire over the age of fifty as its mayor in 1993?”
That's a very interesting question. Personally, though, we would also want to ask these other interesting questions:
Here's a brief history of Castañeda's partisan loyalties:
Despite Talleyrand's blatant opportunism, he was often an effective advocate of France's national interests. In Castañeda's first big splash on the world stage, a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on January 30th, the flexible Mexican showed he might indeed be a worthy successor to Talleyrand's mantle. Castañeda asserted Mexico's demands that America weaken its anti-illegal immigration and anti-drug-smuggling policies with such confidence that he made it appear as if Mexico was the world's only superpower. In turn, General Powell behaved as if the United States of America was a Third World supplicant fearful of offending its mighty neighbor. (Click here for a transcript of the remarks.)
Yet the new Foreign Secretary has a potential Achilles' heel. Ambrose Bierce defined diplomacy as “The patriotic art of lying for one's country.” During his long previous career as a pundit, however, Castañeda had a habit of occasionally telling harsh truths about his country. He has left a paper and Internet trail of frank observations that offer ammunition to sophisticated American critics of the Bush policy of appeasing Mexico.
Consider these admissions by Castañeda:
Here are excerpts from Castañeda's essay:
Judging from these (admittedly sharply edited) excerpts, if this Mexican Foreign Secretary gig doesn't work out for him, there will always be a job open for Castañeda as a columnist for VDARE!
Seriously, though … Secretary Castañeda is a Mexican patriot. That's why the obvious solution implied by his analysis – that America should crack down hard on illegal immigration – was not the one he ultimately offered. No, as an honestly partisan advocate of Mexico's interests, he recommended:
George W. Bush, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page, and other GOP enthusiasts of mass immigration should note carefully what Castañeda expects Mexican immigrants would do with their votes:
If fate had made Castañeda an American patriot, however, there can be little doubt, based on his hard-headed evaluation of Mexico, that he would be working diligently to defeat the Fox administration's immigration policy offensive against America's national interests.
But what excuse do Bush and Powell have?
[Steve Sailer [email him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and
movie critic for
The American Conservative. His website www.iSteve.blogspot.com features his daily blog.]
February 15, 2001