In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 13, 2006 / 20 Elul 5766

End the Mexican Standoff

By Mort Zuckerman

Mort Zuckerman
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Americans typically don't take much note of what happens in Mexico. Yet Mexico remains our closest and most important neighbor, a big customer, and a major supplier of oil and gas-and people. It matters very much that Mexican democracy not be hijacked by demagogic ambition, and that is the threat now posed by the conduct of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the leader of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).

López Obrador is behaving less like a democrat than like the Mexican caudillos, the strongmen from one party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), who ruled Mexico for 71 years. They were arbitrary supreme bosses among bosses, ruling over a group of regional bosses until 1987, when Carlos Salinas de Gortari, a Ph.D. from Harvard, became president. He brought in a group of young, free-market, highly educated técnicos, who banished the bosses.

I met all of these reformers in a series of interviews in the early 1990s. The most impressive was Ernesto Zedillo, the minister of planning, who succeeded Salinas as president. Zedillo introduced an independent federal election authority with autonomy for conducting, monitoring, and verifying every federal election, an independent electoral court to review any violations, media access for all parties to conduct their campaigns, and independent financing to protect the elections from undisclosed sources of funds, especially from drug traffickers looking for political protection. Critically, Zedillo declared the end of dedazo, the pointing of the big finger, which enabled one president to personally select his successor, thus ending a system of serial despotism. Zedillo decided that the PRI presidential candidates would henceforth be determined by a national primary, rather than being arbitrarily selected by the president alone.

Revolt. Ever since then, elections in Mexico have been seen as fair and credible and the results astonishing. In 1997, the PRI lost its majority in the Chamber of Deputies, then it lost control of the mayoralty of Mexico City. In 2000, the PRI lost the presidency to Vicente Fox, the leader of the center-right opposition PAN party, ending decades of oligarchic rule.

Democracy, however, is defined not by the voluntary abdication of power once, but twice. The big test came with the election of July 2. On that day, the votes of almost 42 million Mexicans were monitored by 25,000 national observers and more than 600 international observers. López Obrador campaigned on a radical vision to help the poor and dispossessed through an economic revolution that he believes Mexico needs. But he failed to convince quite enough voters of the wisdom of his vision. The leader of PAN, Felipe Calderón, beat López Obrador by a narrow majority of 240,000, whereupon López Obrador declared himself the winner. He claimed a massive fraud and orchestrated civil uprisings to protest the election-but said nothing about the fact that voters had made his leftist coalition the second-largest party in the legislature and awarded it the mayoralty of Mexico City. In response, the Federal Electoral Tribunal ordered a recount of 9 percent of the total vote from polls weighted in López Obrador's favor. The charges of fraud were not validated, and the tribunal has now confirmed the election results.

López Obrador, however, refuses to accept those results, even though his civil revolt since the election had caused his support to drop to 30 percent, compared with Calderón's 54 percent, and now says he will convene his own National Assembly and set up a parallel government.

Such behavior threatens to undermine the ability of elected authorities at all levels in Mexico to govern effectively, while potentially encouraging extremists to take violent actions on López Obrador's behalf. This is tantamount to kidnapping Mexican democracy, much like the actions of Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, who obeys the law only when it suits him.

López Obrador must fail. He must be limited by the constitutional separation of powers, the press, the respected Federal Electoral Institute, the powers of the governors, the individual Mexican states, the church (which already opposes López Obrador's power grab,) and the Army.

Truly, Mexican democracy is not perfect. Losers often cry foul and try to destroy the legitimacy of the victor in an atmosphere suffused with political and drug-related violence; Mexico's major cities are overwhelmed by crime, especially by kidnapping. Still, there remains genuine cause for optimism as Mexico enters the 21st century. Fiscal responsibility has become the norm, vast expanses of the economy have been privatized, and the North American Free Trade Agreement is generating nearly $200 billion in trade-all in the context of creating more equitable economic policies to combat poverty and inequality.

Forceful American support for the legitimacy of the election of Felipe Calderón will be a critical step in continuing the progress of our important southern neighbor, of whom it has long been said, "So far from G-d, so close to the U.S."

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JWR contributor Mort Zuckerman is editor-in-chief and publisher of U.S. News and World Report. Send your comments to him by clicking here.


© 2005, Mortimer Zuckerman