I grew up in San Diego and surfed until I retired and moved to Arizona about nine years ago, as a surfer, I traveled deep into Mexico on quests for the perfect wave. Along the way, I met many Mexican people and established friendly relationships and surfed their warm waters and in general appreciated the Mexican people. I also witnessed their poverty and lack of services. I took no comfort in their suffering from lack of clean water, health issues and lack of infrastructure including roads, sewage treatment, electrical power grids just to name a couple of the more obvious ones.
While I was young, my mother volunteered at an Orphanage in Tijuana and discovered that one of the small children in the orphanage had been born in the United States. The child had a father that worked as a street vendor in Tijuana and she located him and got his permission to bring the child back to the United States. He became my little brother.
His father did not want to give him up for adoption, so my parents had him placed in a foster care program so that he could have medical coverage—he became my foster brother. At age ten, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease and had to undergo multiple surgery’s and suffered great pain. At the end of his treatments, he was bitter towards my mother because he had associated her with his suffering. My mother convinced his father to allow him to be adopted. He was adopted by an American family where he was very happy—he became a high school football star and we would read about him in the newspaper. He still lives in California.
I could go on with other stories of my personal relationships just as compelling and true as the ones above. The bottom line is, I have always loved the Mexican people and have actively participated in some of their lives.
I am a person that believes in helping your neighbor and I was very much in support of NAFTA when it was first discussed. I was not concerned about a trade deficit at the time; I knew the Mexican people needed a hand up to escape their poverty. However, Mexico has now reached a point where they can be self-sustaining and our trade with Mexico has reached the point where it is transferring so much trade that it has created massive unemployment in our industrial cities, meanwhile the United States has been transitioning from an industrial based to a technology based economy. Those with high level technical skills are living better than at any time in history while middle America turns to rust. The technology centers have absolutely no empathy for those living in mid-America.
Bottom line; We must renegotiate NAFTA or eliminate it—it has outgrown its’ usefulness for America and Mexico needs to be reigned-in and trade needs to be more balanced. At the same time, we must stop illegal immigration. Importing masses of uneducated people is bankrupting our country. Mexico should have been using their newfound wealth building schools and uplifting their people and not just shipping them off to the United states. I do not hate the Mexican people, but it is like having a child reach adulthood and asking them to go out into the world on their own. It is time for Mexico to take care of its own people.
Donald Trump is a rough-edged man, but he is a man that has compassion for all Americans, including the poor. He is also a brilliant man that understands all of America and the complexities of the relationships between people and between States. The country needs to come together and stop the bickering—because if we do not our country will fall just as all the great civilizations have before it.