Al Grito de Guerra: the Second Mexican Revolution

Dukakis' soft and peaceful rhetoric will not help him ITTL at all, however if Lloyd Bentsen were to win the nomination, I could see him winning. Reagan will be impacted by failing to calm things south of the border (a calm Mexico is better for America).
 
Dukakis' soft and peaceful rhetoric will not help him ITTL at all, however if Lloyd Bentsen were to win the nomination, I could see him winning. Reagan will be impacted by failing to calm things south of the border (a calm Mexico is better for America).

I can imagine Reagan or Bush on the phone with Madrid telling him to help keep the situation calm.
 
I can imagine Reagan or Bush on the phone with Madrid telling him to help keep the situation calm.


I can see a phone call happening but not much working out.


If mass violence breaks out in Mexico, it will seep into the Mexican-American border. An assertive Democratic candidate in '88 will say "Iran-Contra and now this?" and "The Republicans say they can protect the world from the Soviets, but they can't even protect America's borders from banditos".


Expect Lloyd Bentsen in that situation to win Texas.
 
Overnight, over 200,000 troops were called in to pacify the capital, and the atmosphere changed completely.
Interesting TL, but this number seems off. Haven't found a figure for 1988, but in 1996 the entire Mexican military, Army, Navy, Air Force etc. only had an active duty strength of 175,000 put together and was supposedly smaller in 1988. Did they call up reservists beforehand, as this cannot be done in one night, or are you counting paramilitaries?

Just a nitpick
 
I can see a phone call happening but not much working out.


If mass violence breaks out in Mexico, it will seep into the Mexican-American border. An assertive Democratic candidate in '88 will say "Iran-Contra and now this?" and "The Republicans say they can protect the world from the Soviets, but they can't even protect America's borders from banditos".


Expect Lloyd Bentsen in that situation to win Texas.

Wow! That could possibly the biggest election turnabout: Bentsen swinging Texas to Dukakis, on the basis of Mexican conflict.
 
Dukakis' soft and peaceful rhetoric will not help him ITTL at all, however if Lloyd Bentsen were to win the nomination, I could see him winning. Reagan will be impacted by failing to calm things south of the border (a calm Mexico is better for America).

POD's too late for Lloyd Bentsen to be the Democratic nominee short of Dukakis dying.
 
POD's too late for Lloyd Bentsen to be the Democratic nominee short of Dukakis dying.


Ah okay. I see a Bush presidency then, however with Bentsen on the ticket I think that ITTL with border violence Texas will go Democratic ITTL. California also, yet that's not enough.


Now, it depends on how much violence there is. If Reagan can hold it on the American side, then both states go Grand Old Party.
 
God, they can't even run martial law properly. The KGB and Stasi bigwigs must be laughing their asses off

To the extent that they still exist (this is 1988 after all)! As @Bookmark1995 points out, this isn’t the exact type of situation that the KGB and the Stasi are used to dealing with, so even they would have some difficulties if they were the ones in this situation. But then again, the KGB and Stasi are far more disciplined and professional than the Mexican Army in keeping civilian order, so they would certainly be doing a better job repressing dissent.

Although by 1988, the Mexican Army was generally seen as quite professional in the military sense, it had very little experience keeping order in a civilian environment. The most it had ever really done was put down the occasional labor dispute, land invasion or rural rebellion. The Army is totally out of its element in trying to pacify a city of 8 million people, and no one in the high command or on the ground has any significant experience dealing with such a situation. In addition, de la Madrid has tried to mobilize as many men as possible, meaning a significant chunk of the occupying soldiers are new recruits who haven't been fully trained or disciplined yet.

As a result of all this, the Mexican Army has no contingency plans for occupying a densely-populated area, and in the absence of a clear objective or even explicit instructions, the soldiers and policemen have decided to pass the time kleptocratically. The Mexico City police was already highly corrupt by this point, and I don't think it much of a stretch for soldiers to succumb to similar temptations.

Oh man, oh man. Capital flight was something I never expected. It appears 1988 Mexico is going to make 1968 Mexico look like a slumber party.

Large-scale capital flight has been the trigger behind many of Mexico’s OTL economic recessions, including the recession of 1981 (which still occurred ITTL since it’s before the POD) and the peso crisis of 1995. Being next door to the richest country in the world has been great for attracting foreign investment to Mexico, but when those investments leave, they leave hard.

As stated in the update, a lot of the fleeing capital isn’t even in foreign hands, but is Mexican-owned. Those investors certainly aren’t being fooled by the thin veneer of order being imposed by the government.

Dukakis' soft and peaceful rhetoric will not help him ITTL at all, however if Lloyd Bentsen were to win the nomination, I could see him winning. Reagan will be impacted by failing to calm things south of the border (a calm Mexico is better for America).


As @Minuteman mentioned, the POD is after the Democratic National Convention, so the ticket is still Dukakis/Bentsen. But the simmering unrest in Mexico may alter the outcome of the general election, which (along with the Canadian federal election and various international reactions) will be covered in Part 7.
Interesting TL, but this number seems off. Haven't found a figure for 1988, but in 1996 the entire Mexican military, Army, Navy, Air Force etc. only had an active duty strength of 175,000 put together and was supposedly smaller in 1988. Did they call up reservists beforehand, as this cannot be done in one night, or are you counting paramilitaries?

Just a nitpick
Thank you for telling me! I also wasn’t able to find a source for the size of the Army in 1988, so I just guessed how many soldiers would be mobilized, and it seems I overestimated by a long shot. Would you mind sharing your source with me so I can figure out a more accurate number?
 
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Ah okay. I see a Bush presidency then, however with Bentsen on the ticket I think that ITTL with border violence Texas will go Democratic ITTL. California also, yet that's not enough.


Now, it depends on how much violence there is. If Reagan can hold it on the American side, then both states go Grand Old Party.

I think you're overestimating home state bonus. It only happened like a couple times and even then it was just a small effect and it was usually the head of the ticket which swung a certain state, not the running mate. Clinton/Gore being an all southern ticket yet still winning 1992 and 1996 really put to rest the home state bonus.
 
I think you're overestimating home state bonus. It only happened like a couple times and even then it was just a small effect and it was usually the head of the ticket which swung a certain state, not the running mate. Clinton/Gore being an all southern ticket yet still winning 1992 and 1996 really put to rest the home state bonus.


Dukakis dragged the ticket in middle America.


My main point: if there was violence in southern and western Texas and people were being killed due to the failure of the Reagan regime to protect the people of Texas, than Bentsen, a Texan, would with his forceful personality do well in bringing Texas to the Dem column in '88.
 
Dukakis had way too many gaffes (plus hiring Susan Estrich, whose flaws have already been pointed out here) and unforced errors in 1988 to win (let's see, there was the tank ride, the response to the Kitty Dukakis question (1), not responding to Bush's attack ads, produce confusing campaign ads, etc.); he will do better, though...

(1) After saying no, he should have called out the moderator for asking that question; Bill Clinton would have done a similar thing, IMO...
 
I mean even a small 1-2% swing in his favour hands him some pretty big electoral prizes, namely Pennsylvania and Illinois off the top of my head. While he won't win, it'll be a far closer affair in the electoral college even with a tiny shift in votes owing to the close nature of a few states in OTL 1988.
 
I mean even a small 1-2% swing in his favour hands him some pretty big electoral prizes, namely Pennsylvania and Illinois off the top of my head. While he won't win, it'll be a far closer affair in the electoral college even with a tiny shift in votes owing to the close nature of a few states in OTL 1988.

It would definitely give the Dems some major stuff in the future to use and may have some long term effects in local, state and regional elections
 
I can see a phone call happening but not much working out.


If mass violence breaks out in Mexico, it will seep into the Mexican-American border. An assertive Democratic candidate in '88 will say "Iran-Contra and now this?" and "The Republicans say they can protect the world from the Soviets, but they can't even protect America's borders from banditos".


Expect Lloyd Bentsen in that situation to win Texas.
It's hard seeing how electoral corruption in Mexico can be seen to Americans as anything but a southern neighbor collapsing. However, failure to react well to the crisis would hurt any administration in the future. Until the government collapses and there is war close to the US (it's confined to Mexico City at this point), then there's not much to affect anything in the 1988 election. Texas wouldn't be swung
 
It's hard seeing how electoral corruption in Mexico can be seen to Americans as anything but a southern neighbor collapsing. However, failure to react well to the crisis would hurt any administration in the future. Until the government collapses and there is war close to the US (it's confined to Mexico City at this point), then there's not much to affect anything in the 1988 election. Texas wouldn't be swung

I agree.


Totally different point, but I wish that the world had a Bush/Bentsen ticket. Now that presidency would have been sweet! :)


Bush '92!

Bentsen '96!


Bipartisanship for the win! Centrist Republicans and Democrats unite!
 
I'm not saying the 1988 election won't have Mexico as an issue, but until there is nationwide fighting that reaches the US border in terms of fighting or refugees, it'll purely be an academic question.
 
A Dukakis win isn't totally unlikely. If Dukakis carries all the states he lost by less than 5%, and Bentsen carries Texas, then he just needs to carry one of the states he lost between 5 and 10%, or Arizona since it's also a border state.
 

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Thank you for telling me! I also wasn’t able to find a source for the size of the Army in 1988, so I just guessed how many soldiers would be mobilized, and it seems I overestimated by a long shot. Would you mind sharing your source with me so I can figure out a more accurate number?
This is for 1996, but the US Marine Corps Summary of Mexico, linked here has a lot of stuff you might find useful for your TL

1996 breakdown on Page 298 is 130,000 in Army, 8,000 in Air Force, 37,000 in Navy (inc. Marines) for 175,000 total. Army is 70,000 regulars, 60,000 conscripts. Supposedly they have 300,000 Reserves, but this is a Manpower pool and there is no info on training status, probably untrained and certainly not mobilizeable on short notice. Using the ratio of 1.9 Soldiers per 1000 people, that Mexico had been fairly constant in keeping since the 70's, extrapolating same ratio Army/Navy/AF, ~116,000, ~33,000, ~7,000

Eyeballing it, would say they could get 20,000 men in overnight, maybe. Moving troops takes time, if they had a plan and rehearsed it they could get rather more troops into the capital, but not sure if they did that
 
A Dukakis win isn't totally unlikely. If Dukakis carries all the states he lost by less than 5%, and Bentsen carries Texas, then he just needs to carry one of the states he lost between 5 and 10%, or Arizona since it's also a border state.
The problem is that to change the dynamics it requires two things to happen simultaneously: 1) Mexico collapses so spectacularly before the election, which the author said wouldn't happen until after the fall of 1988 and 2) that people blame Reagan and the GOP for the crisis even though the cause was obviously internal Mexican political developments.
I don't see Dukakis winning at all, especially because the GOP has foreign policy credibility. Now would it be an issue in 1992, very much so
 
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