Calderon’s Comments

by David Simmonds

Well it seems as if Mexican President Calderon has stirred the immigration pot a bit with his recent comments on the White House lawn during his meeting with President Obama. A list of the usual suspects cried out in indignant harmony that Calderon should mind the business of his own country and not his northern neighbors’. So what exactly did he say that caused the controversy? According to the official transcript, it was either this:

“We can do so with a community that will promote a dignified life and an orderly way for both our countries, who are, some of them, still living here in the shadows with such laws as the Arizona law that is placing our people to face discrimination.”

Or, because of a “translator problem”, the official statement was listed as:

“I know that we share the interest in promoting dignified, legal and orderly living conditions to all migrant workers. Many of them, despite their significant contribution to the economy and to the society of the United States, still live in the shadows and, occasionally, as in Arizona, they even face discrimination.”

So that’ it? That’s what got Limbaugh, Beck, Senator McCain, Senator Hatch and apparently millions of others so outraged?

Here’s my take on this. The U.S. never refrains from opining in public on the domestic policies of other countries. Hell, we have historically even sent in troops, rigged foreign elections, and otherwise done whatever is necessary in the “best interest” of our country. Sometimes it works out well for us, other times not so much. Given that, surely we can handle another country’s leader stating a fairly innocuous statement on behalf of the people he represents. I won’t even take a position of the Arizona law here – that’s not my point. I just think that if we are going to be a country who meddles in other countries affairs, we should not be surprised or offended when the tables are so slightly turned. Dish it out – and be able to take it. We need to remember some of our school yard lessons.