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••• The International Writers Magazine - Our 20th Year: Reality Check + Readers Responses

The Mexican Flip Off
• James Campion
How Mexico Keeps Embarrassing Donald Trump
and Why He Allows It


Our Game Show President’s latest fuck up brings his old political dominatrix back for more punishment when he threatened to impose tariffs on another nation that has a stranglehold on our manufacturing infrastructure to stem the tide of weird paranoias in his head. This makes no sense to anyone with a modicum of understanding about treaties and international trade, and certainly for every member of the U.S Congress, including even those suddenly appalled Republicans who normally kiss his ass. But for Donald Trump, it was a winner. The minute he rode down that escalator and started calling Mexicans rapists and killers, or well…some of them are fine…but mostly rapists and killers, he had himself a fine argument to run the free world instead of having his contract renewed by the National Broadcasting Network. Soon there would be a wall and Mexico paying for it and more racist nonsense that went over big in the anti-free-trade wing of the Republican Party heretofore relegated to a dark quasi-conservative philosophy once pitched by the kind of laissez-faire isolationists that doomed the economy for generations. Then there’s the aforementioned ill-conceived tariff threats that forced Trump to cave and then, as is his childish wont, claim victory and get all pissy when anyone not affiliated with state-run television at FOX News couched it has an ass-kicking.

Let’s unpack this baby.
Unfamiliar with anything that has occurred in American history or the basic tenets of governance over the past centuries, Trump – who continues to float the idea of nations paying the U.S. for our occupations of said countries for our national security post-WWII – merrily conflates the idea of trade with national security. His ridiculous China trade war (including executive orders that are so wildly idiotic it would take four columns to cover, and I am beyond tired citing stupid shit this guy does, so go research it yourself) is destroying our farming industry, causing market unrest resulting in billions in big-government bailouts, and has just begun effecting our consumer bases. It also forced Trump’s National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn to quit in protest. So, of course, this growing fiasco became the basis for the president’s reasoning on taking on Mexico, which he has deemed an existential threat to our nation, even though illegal immigration has been down for ten years and was at an all-time low during the previous administration. In fact, Barack Obama’s border run was so invasive he began to get serious backlash from the Latino community that most likely resulted in the less than stellar turnout for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

A short aside here, it should be noted that the laws Trump uses to its most horrific depths in jailing children in inhuman conditions at our border was supported and enforced by the Obama Administration, which Trump and his usual lackies have cited to get the backlash for this national blight off their backs.

Mexico held firm against being threatened with tariffs for weeks, while waiting for the U.S. Congress to lose its shit, which it did. Even Mitch McConnell, who has been using Trump’s empty philosophical husk to ram-rod outdated right-wing crap through the Senate for over two years now, told El Douche to snap out of it. Trump, as he did with Nancy Pelosi after shutting the government down and bringing us to the brink of war with North Korea, and then relenting, avoids the catastrophe based on his own original decisions then reverses course at the last minute to claim that his brilliance saved the day. This is tantamount to someone lighting your house on fire and then after putting it out says, “You’re welcome.”

The Mexican government even tried to save Trump from himself by agreeing to things they had already agreed to months before his showboating to throw him a PR bone, but then they heard Trump was doing a victory lap and telling the international press he had bested them. So, Mexico came clean and told everyone nothing was changed by the phony tariff threats. Trump then did the Trump thing and called an impromptu press conference waving a piece a paper around telling everyone a “secret deal” was made. Mexico, unfamiliar with “secret deals” to sucker the great unwashed up north, not only denied this goofiness, Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign minister produced paperwork of the actual deal and then when reporters studied Trump’s paper-prop, it jived with Mexico’s and he looked like an idiot. Again.

I say again because for some reason Mexico is the gift that keeps on giving for Trump (helped him get elected and the ongoing whipping post for his fear-mongering that fires up his base, which is his only support left) and the pill that taketh away (as in the fabricated “caravan” nonsense Trump tried selling to stem the tide of the Blue Wave that inevitably turned into a tsunami last November). The whole “Mexico is paying for the wall” thing has been an abject embarrassment. Even Trump knew it when less than a week into his presidency he begged then Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to go along with the ruse to cover his ass. Leaked White House transcripts has Trump whining, “The fact is we are both in a little bit of a political bind, because I have to have Mexico pay for the wall – I have to.” Peña Nieto literally laughed and then told the president he would not be taking any bullets for his lying, forcing Trump to ask him to simply keep it under his hat. “You cannot say that (you will not pay for the wall) to the press. The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that. You cannot say that to the press because I cannot negotiate under those circumstances.”

Trump even tried threatening to shut down relations because of this, but Peña Nieto instead told his press that he told Trump to go hump it and watched his approvals go through the roof. Trump ate shit. And then this week happened and, well, bon appétit!

But to be fair to Trump, he counts on people not having a clue what is really going on, which has kept his 38 to 42 percent of Americans digging his schtick and he absolutely needs Mexico as a villain in his ongoing MAGA bullshit. And that is why, despite getting skunked again and again by Mexico, he keeps going to that poisoned well.

The president needs Mexico, and it appears, Mexico, or at least it’s government really needs him.


Here’s the issue with what you’ve written here. (TIME FOR MUELLER TO SPEAK – Issue: 5/8/19) Why don’t people actually READ the damn document???? It clearly implicated the president on numerous counts of obstruction of justice, which you covered here recently. I don’t think Mueller needs to speak nor should he. The man has given the last two years of his professional life under brutal scrutiny and hand grenades of insults and accusations from Donald Trump and the right-wing media for his country. He has been given the mantle of messiah to save us from this disgusting human filth who occupies the White House like a disease. And on the other hand he was a demon trying to run a coup against the leader of the free world. Yet, he forged ahead. Did not give into media pressures or leaks and threats from outside. His team never wavered and never leaked and took all of it with pride and produced this document. Much of it is redacted, yes, but more of it is not and it has plenty of evidence for clear-thinking, open-minded, educated voters to decide if they should continue to back this sinkhole presidency and for congress to do its job and investigate these obstruction charges.
Mueller has spoken. His Report is 488 or so pages did so. I am reading it. If you consider yourself a mindful, caring American, you will not take anyone’s opinion, but your own, after you see the facts laid out here. If you are congress you should heed it.
Let the man retire as the hero he is.
He gave us the report. This was his job, not to talk endlessly about it and explain it to people who have no interest in the actual welfare and moral foundation of America.

Matty C.

Excellent, point, Mr. Campion. How many people have to misinterpret this thing before its author stands up. The entire DOJ is in the bag for this gangster president. Stand up, Bob! Tell us what you believe is in the report and not through some vague accusatory note to the AG, but to us, the American people, who have paid for this process in full and need and want and deserve answers! No congressional filter! No media outlet. No interviews! You, unfiltered, facing us. Stand up, Bob!

Sarah M.

OMG YES!!!! We need Mueller to speak!!!! We need an investigation!!! We need Mueller to speak to why he thought he could successfully manufacture a Coup against the Trump Presidency!!! We need Mueller to speak to whether he wishes to reside in Joliet or Marien for his federal incarceration over his ties to this Coup. We need to investigate why unemployment is at 3.8%!!! We need to investigate why Trump’s economy has consistently bested expectations!!!
You really are milking this anti-Trump thing for all its worth, aren’t you?

Bill Roberts
Conservatively Speaking

Fuck the Mueller Report. Why isn’t Trump impeached for campaign finance abuses his lawyer just went to prison for? That’s a crime. He’s Individual One. He is already guilty. Bam! Impeach!


This is the normal way in which normal people react to someone going out of his/her to hide stuff: They are guilty or feel they are guilty. (HOW BAD CAN TRUMP’S TAX RETURNS BE? – Issue: 5/15/19). And I’m not saying there are not extenuating circumstances like people protecting their privacy and all that. Although let’s face it, you kind of have to abandon most if not all of that when you run for president, but this appears to be a constant theme with Donald Trump and always has been. This is how he got away with lying in a book and creating con jobs like his university or selling sub-par products and getting out of paying contractors and subverting real estate laws and laundering money and paying off porn stars and working in tandem with a shit rag like the National Enquire for years to smear opponents, and eventually Hillary Clinton, and take information from a foreign enemy to sue against fellow Americans, and then covering it up and then dangling pardons to criminals and turning the Justice Department into his own defense team and letting people die in Puerto Rico and children to be in cages at our borders and finally obstructing justice left and right in front of us all.

The taxes thing then becomes a microcosm of his behavior, a series of events of hiding his true nature and what he is capable of because if we knew what is in there then I assume at least some of his solid 40 percent would erode. I mean, his legacy now is one of obfuscation time and time again and a dark time in the history of this country, which has had many dark leaders who have led us down terrible paths. Somehow, it is like the tax thing has become the reason we as a people are wholly responsible for this madness. We knew he would not come clean, and yet, stupidly we just (or at least those who voted for Trump) let him just say, “Trust me”, which we would never do with a car salesman or an advertisement or a plumber or anyone! Yet we did with the POTA. This is why the tax thing is so important, and yeah, James, your question about how damn bad they must be if he has gone this long to this length to hide them from us is VERY BAD.


Man, this column is great. I learn so much about human nature from it. Yours in general. You see the bullshit so clearly. It is remarkable stuff. Thank you.


All true. And so wittily expressed.

Vincent Czyz

I would think you would defend anyone keeping his secrets from the government or the press. Not sure you are measuring Trump with the same instruments you may for all of life’s institutions. I do not agree with most of what this president stands for, but I think his taxes and those of every public official should be a decision they make and not up to history. There is no law that demands it. I think it is actually more harmful to Trump that he doesn’t release them now because it looks like they do contain very questionable if not damaging and maybe borderline immoral or even illegal stuff, but again, I think the act in a vacuum jibe with the idea that everyone even the president of the United States has a right to his privacy. And the consequences be damned. That’s all I’m saying.

E. Freidman

Sometimes I get the idea Trump just doesn’t understand how anything works. Almost daily he makes decisions that disintegrate his credibility. It’s as if he has just woken up to the world and acts as if he does not realize the consequences of his actions. And the weird thing is that no one around him seems to make any attempt to stop him. And when they do like Don McGhan’s “not going to do his crazy shit” it just fades into the mist. It’s as if he doesn’t even possess the bottom line instinct to not repeat stupid things. I think this whole presidency is a study in how someone so sheltered as a rich kid can be exposed so blatantly. Fascinating if not frightening stuff.


© James Campion June 21st 2019

Do yourself no favors and “like” this idiot at or, if you dare, follow on Twitter (@FearNoArt) and Instagram (@jamescampion)

James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, "Midnight For Cinderella" and “Y”. and his new book, “Shout It Out Loud – The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon”.

Campion/Zevon ** Published 06/16/2018
Accidently Like a Martyr, The Tortured Art of Warren Zevon

Order the new book here.

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