This is phenomenal...first a bit of history:
The Mexican election looked to be a landslide win for PRD candidate López Obrador. In response, PAN candidate Felipe Calderón started a pretty hefty smear campaign against him, pretty much the dirtiest piece of work I've seen in politics (including Howard's "Children Overboard" affair). Still, all's fair in politics, right?
Come the election Calderón is declared the winner by a gnat's whisker, despite some apparent tampering with the polls. There was a clear need for a complete recount, but the government institutions sided with the current government and a recount was declared unnecessary, and Calderón the President of Mexico. At which point López said he would set up an alternate government, which he has proceeded to do.
Anyway, the point of this post -- September 15th is Mexican Independence Day, and at 11pm there is the "El Grito", which is highly traditional and reflects the call to arms uttered by el Cura Hildalgo that started the conflict for independence. This was my third Grito.
The retiring Mexican president, Fox, decided to do away with tradition. First, he gave the shout in Guanajuato, which was understandable since the traditional place -- the Zócalo in Mexico City -- is full of López supporters. However, he also decided to change the words of the Grito. At the end, completely out of the blue, he shouted:
"¡Viva nuestra democracia!
¡Vivan nuestras instituciones!"
At the "democracy" shout people were just confused, and there was uproar in the house I was in (watching the grita on TV). In the democracy shout, when the TV cut to the crowd to the return the shout they were just laughing. I guess they have the same contempt for Fox that he has for Mexico.
I think it's disgusting that he abused Mexican tradition to score a cheap political point.