Now it is our daily bread. Turn on the television, tune in to the program of your choice on the radio or choose the analysis table of your choice on the Internet. You will most likely hear fashion commentators describe – almost desperately – the PAN senator Xóchitl Gálvez, solemnly using the word “outsider”.

That Xóchitl Gálvez is an outsider, anti-system, who burst onto the Mexican political scene, is perhaps the most repeated statement in these gatherings, where everyone seems to agree.

The triumph of Javier Milei in Argentina and the fact that since 2019 to date in Latin America, opposition candidates have won 18 elections, as described by Gerardo L. Munck in “Electoral keys in Latin America in 2023”, seems to have ignited the encouragement of the opinion-creators and enthusiasts of the former delegation head of Miguel Hidalgo.

The statement, however, does not seem very spontaneous. More than a true analysis, the repetition of the verbiage seems to have the intention of convincing, or as they themselves admit, of “constructing a story.”

“I am not a member of any political party, I have been a frank, direct, disruptive woman, because rather I support the causes in which I believe. (…) I am an outsider, I came from outside, no one saw me coming, not even the president.” – Xóchitl Gálvez declared in a press conference.

More than four months ago, however, on July 3 of this year, to be more precise, López Obrador revealed in his morning: “I have all the information that he (Claudio X. González) carried out consultations so that Xóchitl Gálvez represents this group. About two weeks or a month ago I found out. My deep throats.” – He said ironically.

A little more than a month later, on August 31, after a process that was sloppy at best, in which they ended up removing Beatriz Paredes, the Frente Amplio por México agreed with the president and announced that Gálvez would be the standard bearer of the PRI, the PAN and the PRD in the 2024 presidential election. 

Not so unpredictable! Indeed, a week later, on July 10, López Obrador made another revelation: “I already said that they are obvious, predictable. What is Taboada? The one from Benito Juárez? That’s the one! Because the one from Miguel Hidalgo was also there, but no.” – And so Obrador once again anticipated what the Frente Amplio announced just last November 18, another imposition that left out Sandra Cuevas and Adrián Rubalcava in their aspirations to govern Mexico City.

Does López Obrador possess the gift of clairvoyance? Of course not. Contrary to what Xóchitl Gálvez claims, from afar you can see where they come from. In his case, Diego Fernández Cevallos’s birthday, eating quail with oregano vinaigrette, Sacher cake with vanilla custard and champagne with former presidents Carlos Salinas de Gortari and Felipe Calderón; with Luis Carlos Ugalde, the former INE advisor in 2006; with Eduardo Medina Mora, former minister of the SCJN or with the former cardinal, Norberto Rivera Carrera, among others. Anti-system they say?

And if such exquisiteness whetted your appetite, if it made you hungry and thirsty and you still wonder what you eat that outsider food with, let’s get to it. Broadly speaking, those who are not part of the establishment, or the political class are considered outsiders. They are those who have never held public office and they concentrate on the votes of dissatisfied voters of the status quo and their political parties.

However, Xóchitl Gálvez Ruiz was general director of the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples during the government of Vicente Fox in 2003. In addition, she held the leadership of Miguel Hidalgo delegation in 2015 and was a senator from September 1, 2018 until last November 20. 

In his legislative activity, until July of the current year, of 35 decrees of reform or creation of laws considered relevant in the six-year term of López Obrador, Gálvez participated in 30 with 14 votes in favor, 15 votes against and one abstention. The majority of those votes, in the same sense as National Action.

While the PAN voted in favor on 16 of these issues, Xóchitl did it in 14. Likewise, her bench voted 14 against and she 15. On the other hand, that parliamentary group abstained on 3 occasions and the senator on one.

I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that there is a very well-defined political career here. Xóchitl Gálvez not only represents a political party, but the three parties that were once the main political forces in the country. 

Stating that every opponent is an outsider by definition is almost as foolish as arguing that by winning at the polls you represent the establishment. This foolishness is best explained when  you take a look at the recent version (October 30) of the Enkoll survey, which asks: Which party would you never vote for to elect president of the republic?

49 percent of those surveyed responded that they would never vote for the PRI, one of Xóchitl Gálvez’s parties. Well, yes, that’s how anyone wants to be an outsider.

This editorial first appeared in Revista Sentido Común and was translated by the Mexico Solidarity Project.

Image via EneasMx, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons