The independence celebrations are finally over, all the gritos have been yelled: at the National Palace, at the government headquarters of each state and in thousands of municipalities throughout our country. Mexican communities abroad, as well as consulates and embassies, also joined in the celebration.
We might have celebrated one more year of national independence with several tequilas, or maybe something else, but we are no longer hungover, although we might still have a sore throat after singing out or shouting, “Viva Mexico! Viva Mexico!”
However, this is a good time to ponder if that’s all there is to our patriotism, just partying and shouting, and wondering at the fireworks. Should patriotism be instead bound to exemplary behavior with one’s family, community, region or country in general?
We can’t help but ask: is a man who drinks in excess and abuses his wife a good Mexican? Are the hitmen and leaders of organized crime groups good Mexicans? Are the corrupt politicians who use public funds for their personal benefit, or that of their relatives and friends, good Mexicans?
Are those who live cheating and lying to the people? And what about those who don’t go to work but still get paid, are they good Mexicans? Or those who block streets and cause losses of thousands of man-hours and affect the regional or national economies?
What about those who abuse their power and mistreat and extort migrants, or traffic in women or children? Are all of them good Mexicans, good patriots?
It’s been said recently that Mexico is going through one of the worst crises of its history, that everything is falling apart. Others, not so good Mexicans, talk about the disaster but refrain from acknowledging that most of our problems stem from external causes, and that other countries are suffering way more than us.
Brazil, once said to be the goal for which we had to strive as a country, finds itself involved in a serious corruption scandal that not only involves President Dilma Rousseff, but also former president Lula da Silva.
The Brazilian economy, instead of growing, will contract 2.2%, while its currency has suffered a 38% devaluation. This is the situation in which they find themselves as they prepare to host the 2016 Olympics.
Other emerging economies find themselves in very similar situations, but the critics of our government fail to note this, even those who hoped that Andrés Manuel López Obrador might become the Mexican Lula da Silva.
And, for the record, they also introduced him as the national Hugo Chávez, may he rest in peace.
Armando González is a journalist and broadcaster who lives in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca.