But that can change. Not content with proposing a totally unnecessary wall across our entire southern border, President Trump felt the need to insult and humiliate Mexico. It began with the accusation that the Mexican government was “sending” the illegals who crossed the border and somehow complicit in their traffic of crime and drugs. In fact, the Mexican government cooperates with the U.S. in fighting drug trafficking and other crimes.
Naturally, Mexicans are offended and outraged by this insult. And they’re worried, and should be, that Trump has proposed to “renegotiate” the NAFTA trade agreement.
So the two areas of maximum importance to stability and prosperity in our hemisphere, trade and mutual respect, are both under assault by our president.
It is not written in stone that Mexico will remain a stable nation and friendly neighbor. A left-wing, Hugo Chavez-like demagogue named Andre Manuel Lopez Obrador could stand to benefit from the current uncertainty and understandable resentment.
Good fences may make good neighbors. But this wall, and particularly the way Trump has rubbed Mexicans’ noses in it, may turn a good neighbor bad fast.
Mona Charen is a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.