A Christmas without AMLO | Opinion

A López Obrador supporter distributes political propaganda in Mexico City.
A López Obrador supporter distributes political propaganda in Mexico City.Moisés Pablo (Cuartoscuro)

The inevitable family reunions that the end of the year parties bring were different this time around. In at least two ways. First, a much calmer attitude towards covid. Faced with the radical and to some extent desperate decisions of a year ago, when most families decided to suspend festivities or keep them to a minimum, explainable because no one was vaccinated, now most households celebrated the holidays in a kind of “Neonormality”. The prolonged pandemic has led to the adoption of a professional style in the managers that exist in each family clan: the sister or the uncle who to their traditional tasks defining menus and schedules now added that of inventorying who was vaccinated and who was not, of warning the nephew that he had to be tested for antigens if he wanted to see Grandma or establish the density of relatives the ward could support. I suppose that learning to live with covid will end up turning us into that, professional managers of the calculation between risk of infection and the need to move on with our lives.

But regardless of the pandemic, this year I noticed another significant change from previous years. I have the impression that for the first time so far this six-year term, the family tribes decided to leave their phobias and affiliations about López Obrador and 4T at the front door, along with coats and scarves. In some cases, surely obeying a sharing, in others as a result of individual resolutions as a result of bad previous experiences. Already the mixture of alcohol, the confinement for hours and the many pending issues between relatives who stop seeing each other for months constitutes a breeding ground for the gestation of tricks and passions. There are few Christmases that between mutual complaints and many “with all due respect, but” ended in lawsuits and grudges that took the whole year to appease. The presence, moreover, of the explosive ingredient of political polarization had turned the good nights of supposed peace and happiness into true fratricidal battles.

Several family tribes that I know banished any attempt to turn their meetings into tribunes to convince another to love or hate AMLO. Perhaps the fact that last year we could not meet made us better value the experience of seeing the nephews despite having to put up with the unbearable brother-in-law (unbearable, among other reasons, because the idiot is at the other end of the political extreme) .

We are entering the fourth year of the most controversial six-year term in memory. Perhaps we could extend the common sense that we show during the holidays to the rest of the months and to other areas of our social and professional lives. A kind of herd immunity against political toxicity. It is natural that the start of a singular political project such as that of the so-called Fourth Transformation would generate reactions for or against in each one of us and the impulse to share such reactions with others is understandable. But, as a cousin told me shortly after the grapes of the twelve wishes, “I was consumed by my anti-lopezobradorism, every morning I started the day documenting new information to maintain my indignation and feed my anger.” Which can be very helpful in solving a problem, I would add, but not in living six years. Two steps away, his sister listened to him, dedicated for months to hunting fifís from their family environment to confront them because of “their selfishness and indifference towards the poor”. That is, consumed by the opposite rage.

There are three years left of López Obrador’s six-year term, and except for the protagonists of public life, it would be advisable to assume political passions with greater restraint. This does not mean shunning our responsibilities as citizens, far from it. Expressing our opinion when decisions have to be made, going to a ballot box, participating in a political event when we consider it pertinent are civic tasks that we must not renounce. But intoxicating daily life and that of those around us with the string of permanently renewed grievances about the perversity and stupidity of others, facing the day with disqualification in our mouths, condemns us to have a bad time. Three years is a long time to live badly.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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