Actually, Mexico is very close to a failed state

Bret Stephens at the Wall Street Journal really, really doesn't like Donald Trump.

In an interview with CNN's serial plagiarist Fareed Zakaria, Stephens said it is his goal to "make sure he [Trump] is the biggest loser in presidential history" and that "[i]t's important that Donald Trump and what he represents – this kind of ethnic quote 'conservatism' or populism – be so decisively rebuked that the Republican party, the Republican voters learn their lesson that they cannot nominate a man so manifestly unqualified to be president in any way, shape, or form."

In his latest piece, Stephens attempts to convince his readers that conservatives have some form of derangement syndrome over Mexico, and that, in fact, "Americans are blessed to have Mexico as our neighbor."  Given his background, we might expect Stephens to be less than objective toward Mexico.  Stephens was raised in the centerpiece of Mexican corruption itself, Mexico City, where his father was a senior executive in a chemical company.

Stephens claims that "Mexico is a functioning democracy whose voters tend to favor pro-business conservatives, not a North American version of Libya, exporting jihad and boat people to its neighbors."

Well, I suspect that a geography lesson is in order for the WSJ's boy wonder.  Mexico has a long and largely undefended land border with the country into which its illegal emigrants want to immigrate.  So why would they pile onto boats?  Perhaps if the Rio Grande were the width of the Mediterranean, naval transportation would be necessary, but until that biblical flood arrives, Mexicans can just walk across the border, or have a light, refreshing swim.  Let's call the Mexican illegals "land people" instead.

As for jihad, another teachable moment is required.  Mexicans aren't Muslims, but they do export an equally threatening revolutionary philosophy called the "La Raza" movement – one that a certain judge presiding over the Trump University class action lawsuit is potentially implicated in, giving a textbook example of bringing the administration of justice into disrepute.

The most overtly ridiculous claim by Stephens goes as follows:

Somebody ought to explain this to Republican voters, whose brains, like pickles in brine, have marinated too long in anti-Mexican nonsense. Elements of that nonsense:

Mexico is a failed state: Mexico's struggles with drug cartels – whose existence is almost entirely a function of America's appetite for dope – are serious and well known. So are its deep-seated institutional weaknesses, especially the police forces that collude with the cartels and terrorize rural areas.

Then again, Mexico's 2014 homicide rate of about 16 murders per 100,000 means that it is about as dangerous as Philadelphia (15.9) and considerably safer than Miami (19.2) or Atlanta (20.5). Are these "failed cities" that you don't dare visit and that should be walled off from the rest of America?

Just imagine if the homicide rate were the only indicator we needed in order to assess whether or not a state was failed.  Is this what passes for Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism nowadays?  Of course, the Pulitzer is a just an echo chamber for anti-conservative writers who need a gold star on their assignment from other liberals in order to feel special.

But let's pretend the homicide rate for a nation is a proxy for its failed status.  Then Mexico would indeed be a failed state.  Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and the Central African Republic are widely acknowledged failed states, all of which have far lower – not higher – homicide rates than Mexico.

A more meaningful assessment of a nation's failed status, however, comes from looking at its institutions and freedoms.

Mexico is in the "warning" category of being a failed state, according to the Fund for Peace.  The United States is most certainly not.

Reporters Without Borders gives Mexico one of the lowest press freedom indices on the planet, ranked 149th out of 180, below Pakistan and Burma, and even below actual failed states such as South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

On its corruption perceptions index, Transparency International ranks Mexico in 95th place (i.e., very corrupt) behind, and in company with a range of other cesspools.

No serious freedom index ranks Mexico as "free."  The best that can be said is that it is partly free, and very close to a hybrid authoritarian regime.  The World Bank's governance indicators assign Mexico an abysmal rating.

The whole world knows that Mexico is close to a failed state – except liberals at the Wall Street Journal, whose brains have "marinated too long in [pro]-Mexican nonsense."