For All Nails #56C: I, Mercator (Part 3)

By Carlos Yu

... as you know, my antecedents are humble. My father was a policeman on the streets of Guadalajara, his father a bricklayer. The first Mercator in Mexico was but a peddler, who changed his name to that of his profession, since his customers could not pronounce the original German. And so on and so on, until Adan and Eva.

Well, that is the sort of silliness I expect from my enemies. I am not a Jew, though I would consider it an honor to be descended from that gifted people. In fact, I have an ancestral chart, sent to me by an elderly female admirer, that proves me a scion of the Bourbon kings! Again, silliness.

My hero, like all small boys of that time, was General Calles, of course. I remember my first sight of him. Vitavision had just come to Guadalajara, and since we could not afford one -- not for many years -- I would go down to the candy store and watch the live news from Tampico, on that small, grainy, shining screen, until my father would come to pull me away. Today, when I remember it, I think of how brave the cameraman must have been, to film the battle with the clunky apparatus of that time, and what a fine target he must have made for the desperate French riflemen. But at the time I had eyes only for Calles.

Calles? A master of tactics, both in war and in the political sphere. A mind like a logic machine. He focused all his opponents' choices down to one possibility, and then, prevented them from taking it. For example, the manumission debate. All the factions were against him, every color of the Rainbow; even his own party was divided. It became a struggle of all the branches of government against the sole executive, standing alone. But what his opponents did not understand, was that Calles did not care about the presidency. Not a jot, not a jot. It was a supreme misdirection on his part.

Well, then. I haven't fooled you, have I? You should let your readers know this.

(Proceed to I, Mercator (Part 4).)

(Return to For All Nails.)

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