At Mexico City’s historic central square, or zócalo, Jose Adan Garcia Canales was busy balancing a small pipe organ on a wooden peg. He turned its crank, and the instrument let out a shrill tune reminiscent of circus music. Garcia’s partner strolled amid the shoppers, tourists and vendors with a hat in hand, asking for change.
The organillero, or organ-grinder, is one of many in the capital’s massive unofficial economy. He’s a man of the people, with his fingers on the pulse of the city, and that’s why I asked him about one of the most pressing issues in Mexico today: Donald Trump.
What does the everyday Mexican think of “The Wall,” or Trump’s plan to send 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States back to Mexico, among so many other contentious proposals?
Garcia’s response was to the point: “They’re very radical,” he said in Spanish. “I don’t like them.”
In the weeks leading up to the Republican National Convention, I interviewed a number of Mexico City residents — from teachers to musicians to fellow journalists — about Trump, and whether the demagogic candidate had changed their perception of America.
Responses varied. While the organillero didn’t believe Trump would win the election, some predicted that Trump would take it all in November. Others hinted at a conspiracy between Trump and Mexico’s president. A few bluntly compared Trump to Hitler. And some likened his campaign to a stunt, instead of an honest attempt to win the White House. Lots of people described the man with the darkest of humor: His campaign is a joke, but not a funny one.
One common theme emerged from all of these interviews: Trump has to go.
Or, in Spanish: ¡Fuera Trump!
“He’s Like a Clown”
—Fabiola Valdez Gutierrez, interpreter
Fabiola Valdez Guierrez is a Spanish-English interpreter — but her message…