Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Ignorance from FAIR

If you believe the Federation for American Immigration Reform and American Family Radio, then you would think that the Mexican PRI, the long-time ruling party until Vincente Fox, is a "Communist" party.

Some days I listen to one or two radio news broadcasts of American Family Radio. They're the folks that got all apogoleptic about "The Book of Daniel." A far right, Christian fundamentalist operation. Lately, they been flirting with Reconstructionism, an even more dangerous and openly theocratic right-wing strain. And, they've jumped on the anti-immigrant bandwagon. Luckily Agape Press, a far-right, Christian conservative news service, has transcription of the broadcasts. Otherwise, I might have had a hard time believing I heard things correctly.

This is pretty much the substance of news reports carried on the American Family Radio on Feb. 14.

Susan Tully, national field director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), says she is not optimistic that Mexico's national elections this summer will do anything to change the corrupt and arrogant attitude of Mexico with regard to illegal immigration. In July 2006, Mexicans will decide whether to stick with President Vicente Fox or turn the presidency over once again to the left-wing PRI. That group, Tully notes, is actually a communist party that "has been in control of the major politics of Mexico for 80 years." Fox, on the other hand, came out of the party PAN, which Tully describes as "a more conservative, non-communist party." Unfortunately for Fox, the immigration reform activist says, the PRI still controls Mexico's Chamber of Deputies and that party has thwarted the current president's efforts to accomplish many of his aims. Tully believes when Fox leaves office after completing his six-year term -- re-election is not possible under the Mexican constitution -- little will change as far as the U.S. is concerned. "It will not matter in terms of illegal immigration which party is in charge," she asserts. Mexico's leaders "are corrupt," Tully says. "They're elitist in their thinking. They are promoting and will continue to promote illegal aliens from Mexico [coming] into the United States." [Chad Groening]

It's one thing when you denounce (or praise) Hugo Chavez as a new Lenin, but when you label the corporatist and corrupt PRI as Communist, you've gone off the deep end.

There is actually a third major party in Mexico, the Party of the Democratic Revolution. Virtually every informed observer rank the PDR's Presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador as a front runner in the 2006 election. The PDR is a leftist, social democratic, or populist party. And, several left-wing parties, including the old Communist Party, were involved in its formation. It is not a Leninist or democratic centralist party, but if one were to smear a Mexican party as "Communist," the PRD would a far better candidate.

The American right has a long record of looniness about Mexico. As far back as 1918, there was a panic that Lenin had placed a revolutionary Russian army on the Mexican border. (see Theodore Draper's The Roots of American Communism). And, in the 1960s, Billy James Hargis and the ilk.

FAIR likes to protray itself as a responsible, mainstream organization and the media, unfortunately, too often buys it. But the informed observers like Center for New Community have dug out its extreme right-wing and racist ties. See this report for example. (PDF)

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