After sundown at the White House, President Donald Trump climbs into a laundry truck and in utmost secrecy rides to an undisclosed airport where he boards Air Force One and flies to an unnamed airstrip near the Rio Grande. He then overrules agents and drives his armored beast to the shores of the eternal river, steps into black hip waders, and plows to the middle where Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, also attired in waders, awaits him. Newscaster Jorge Ramos, sleek in a gold wet suit, stands to their side, ready to translate.
“On July first I shall be elected president of Mexico for six years,” says Lopez Orbrador.
“That’ll be a helluva sad time for Mexico,” Trump says.
“You continue to be frightened by your neighbor to the south.”
“I wouldn’t say frightened. I’m mad as hell about all your illegal aliens and those from Central America you permit to use Mexico as a pipeline to the United States. That’s going to stop and so are the massive trade surpluses in your favor, seventy billion dollars last year alone.”
“There’s nothing sinister about our trade,” says Lopez Obrador. “You buy more because you have immeasurably more money. The deficit is economically irrelevant but a political weapon for you.”
“You’re ripping us off just like the Chinese and the Europeans and pretty much everyone else.”
Lopez Obrador frowns as Jorge Ramos finishes the sentence.
“You seem to have a persecution complex that’s likely to worsen when I, as president, continue to urge Mexicans to move to the United States. That’s their inherent right, and we’ll defend it.”
“Listen, Manuel, we’re going to build a wall and add many more border agents and maybe even use our military to secure the border. You’re not going to be able to defend anything.”
Pointing an index finger at Trump’s face, Lopez Obrador says, “You can’t even get your Congress to pay for the wall. And I don’t hear any more absurd claims that Mexico will pay. What we’ll do is continue to reap our geopolitical inheritance and populate the United States with residents first, and then citizens, who like me are socialists, or at least anti-Republican, and that means anti-fascist.”
Trump slaps his finger away and says, “Don’t give me sob stories of being mistreated, and forget about being entitled to live in the United States. We’re a sovereign nation. Why don’t you absorb most of the Central American refugees? They live right next door to the south and you speak the same language. You’re a hell of a lot tougher on them than we are on you. But that’s changing, Manuel, that’s definitely changing.”
“I’m sure you realize that many things I say are campaign rhetoric.”
“I used plenty of campaign rhetoric, too, but I’m still saying the same things now, and doing them. Soon we’re going to start taxing your damn remittances from the U.S. to Mexico that drain thirty billion dollars from our economy every year.”
“Mexicans work very hard and cheaply for that money and in so doing they build the wealth of the United States. It’s strange that a rich man in such a wealthy nation feels so oppressed.”
“You and Mexico just aren’t used to dealing with a president who defends American rights.”
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador smiles, hands a paper to Jorge Ramos, and asks him to read these points recently in the news: “Your most influential enemies are in the United States, not Mexico. Leaders in California farming, and I mean white leaders, are calling for an ‘agricultural visa program large enough to accommodate California farmworker needs, and recognize current high skilled immigrant employees and help them gain documentation.’ Owners of agribusinesses are tiring of rising business costs that resulted from your immigration crackdown.”
“We’re going to give those farmworker jobs to American citizens.”
Laughing, Lopez Obrador says, “Yes, and I’m a Bostonian. Listen, Donald, the Republicans just lost a bill that would’ve slashed legal immigration, increased border security, and forced employers to use electronic systems to verify if workers are legal. You’re on the wrong side of history.”
“It gets down to this, Manuel. We have to do something to build Mexico’s economy.”
Lopez Obrador nods. “Don’t you know?”
“Please tell your aides to pass along the good news already widely reported in the United States. I have the most ambitious economic program in Mexican history. Most immigrants now come from southern Mexico and Central America. My economic team is every day planning to manifestly increase agricultural production in our southeast, and we’re going to do the same in forestry, planting millions of trees, and I’m going to link our grand economic development, which will encourage Mexicans to stay and work in their country, with high-speed railroads to the Gulf of Mexico, and then from the Gulf to the Pacific Ocean. I’m amazed you hadn’t heard.”
“All I’d heard was the America bashing of your campaign,” Trump says.
“I hope this gives us some common goals.”
“It sure does. In a business climate like that, you’d have great tourism, and I’ll help with special deals on Trump hotels, casinos, and golf courses. We’ll turn that region into paradise.”
“I’m a socialist but accept your farsighted offers.”