The rush of the ultraconservatives
Antonio Salgado Borge
The ultra-conservative groups are in a hurry. Motivated by activists, and against the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, various local Congresses in Mexico are hastily promoting initiatives to include the “parental PIN” in state laws; a modification to state laws that will make it difficult for girls and boys to access information about diversity and sexuality, gender perspective or reproductive rights.
The ultra-conservative rush is not unique to Mexico. In the United States, Donald Trump and the Republican Party are moving at full speed to appoint ultra-conservative Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court Justice replacing the recently deceased Liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Given that everything seems to indicate that Trump will not be re-elected, if this appointment is not given before the beginning of next year, it would be Joe Biden who would nominate the -probably liberal- replacement for RBG.
In the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson has moved at full speed to materialize, at any cost, the exit of his country from the European Union. A central factor behind Brexit is the idea, promoted by ultra-conservative groups, that the UK is in decline mainly because of non-European immigrants.
The rush of the ultra-conservative groups in these three countries has a common explanation: time is running out. For them, it is now or never. If they do not implement the changes they want soon, their causes are likely to appear in textbooks alongside those of those who once opposed racial integration or legal recognition of equality between men and women.
A clear trend clearly exposes the race against time of ultra-conservative efforts.
While Frena speaks of a “communist plan” to reform education for equality and a progressive agenda in favor of “homosexuality”, and while the FNF rips its clothes off at the “threat” of a conspiracy theory that they call ” gender ideology ”, in Mexico 74% of people under 30 years of age say that rejection of homosexuality is not justifiable. That is, either the laws are changed soon, or these groups can simply be fired from their agenda.
A similar trend is observed in the United States. Almost 70% of people under the age of 30 unreservedly approve of same-sex marriage and say they are in favor of abortion in most cases. If the Supreme Court of Justice does not obtain a conservative majority now, it is very difficult for it to do so in the coming decades.
In the UK, 70% of young people voted against Brexit. But the majority of individuals over 60 considered that the United Kingdom should leave the European Union. This means that the time it takes Johnson to make the exit is proportional to the resistance and problems he may encounter in his path.
The ultra-conservatives listen in panic to the sound of his last call. As the previous cases show us, their terror stems, at least in part, from the fact that, if they do not intervene now in the institutions capable of shaping the world of the future of younger people, these people will end up shaping it by themselves .
These attempts at intervention involve three fundamental problems.
(1) The first is that we are facing evidently regressive anti-rights efforts. Is easy to see why. [de las niñas y los niños]If groups like the FNF get away with their fight for the “parental PIN”, it would condition, in the words of the CNDH, “the exercise of the right to information on sexuality, sexual and reproductive health
, to the prior and express authorization of their mothers, fathers and persons who exercise guardianship so that they can receive these contents in schools ”. The lack of this information would, of course, encourage discrimination on the basis of gender. In the same sense, if the Congresses of states like Yucatán end up blocking equal marriage, they would continue to discriminate against homosexual people, who would have to resort to costly protections in order to marry.
If Coney Barrett makes it to the US Supreme Court, it will have six conservative ministers – two nominated by Trump – and three progressives. The new balance sheet would pave the way to the unthinkable: the limitation of the recognition of rights derived from the victories of activists since the 1960s. And if Johnson achieves what he wants, the United Kingdom will be “independent” of human rights policies implemented in Europe, including, of course, the new agreements to address migration.
(2) The second problem is that all the above cases are instances of a minority using back doors to impose regressions on societies that disapprove of them. By this I do not imply that human rights are a matter of consultation. Simply that if the ultraconservative groups resort to tricks it is because their positions are not representative. In Mexico only a third of the population rejects homosexuality. However, groups such as the FNF and those who sponsor them have been in charge of convincing local deputies to implement measures such as the “parental PIN” or to refuse to recognize equal marriage -in Yucatán this even involved a secret vote, which was already unconstitutional. it is studied by the SCJN. It is clear that the ultra-conservative groups have taken advantage of the absence of any political party that ends up representing the progressive and liberal ideals of the younger generations to sneak into the kitchen of state congresses.
In the United States, most people accept full recognition of the rights of homosexuals and women. The only way conservatives have to reverse the recognition of these rights is by controlling the Supreme Court. This is possible without the majority of the popular vote, because in that country someone can be president with fewer votes than his rival and the confirmation of the court ministers depends only on the Senate, another institution that does not reflect popular sentiment.
Although the strategy is different, the case of Brexit in the United Kingdom also exemplifies this logic. While the majority of people – 51% – voted for Brexit, this occurred in a referendum full of lies, manipulation and severely questioned strategies – such as the Cambridge Analytica case.
(3) The third problem with the intervention attempts mentioned above is that, in all cases, ultra-conservative people are directly affecting younger people; that is, to those who principally and decisively oppose his regressive ideals.
In Mexico, girls and boys who will no longer have access to their right to education and young people who aspire to live without gender-based oppression will find themselves, suddenly, in need of climbing a steeper slope.
In the United States, it is women under the age of 30 who will have to deal with resolutions that imply restrictions on reproductive rights. In the United Kingdom, it will be young people who will have to deal with an economic environment much more complicated than that experienced by their predecessors in the coming decades, who will not have the same opportunities derived from the link with Europe and who will see their quality of life substantially diminished.
The ultra-conservative groups are in a hurry. Their fight against time is to regressively shape and slip through back doors, a world that they will not live in and, consequently, to decide on issues that probably do not even affect them.
As if the social, economic and ecological effects of “their” world on the youngest people weren’t enough. As if his self-attributed moral superiority and supposedly glorious past could be taken seriously as benchmarks.— Edinburgh, UK
Antonio Salgado Borge
Doctor of Philosophy Candidate (University of Edinburgh). Master of Philosophy (University of Edinburgh) and Master of Humanistic Studies (Itesm)