Over the weekend, our southern neighbors in Mexico experienced a nationwide glimmer of whimsy when their president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, tweeted a photo of what he believed to be a little elf in a tree. President López Obrador said the photo he shared was of an aluxe, or a mythological sprite that is a part of Mayan folklore. “Everything is mystical,” he captioned it. What’s that? A small tear forming in the corner of my eye knowing that even the most powerful men in the world can be enchanted by the possibility of a magical trickster creature?! Yes.
Unfortunately, not all of the most powerful men in the world can tweet about elves. I’m imagining the fire and brimstone that would swarm Fox News if Joe Biden so much as hinted at the idea of an elf, let alone posted a photo of one. The U.S. political climate is not such that we would let a politician who genuinely believed in magic come and go without a brouhaha.
The front page of the New York Post would read something like, “JOE MAKES A FOOL OF HIMS-ELF, SAYS ELVES ARE REAL.” Honestly, if any high-ranking politician of any party shared what they believed to be a magical creature, there’d be a call for them to resign instantaneously. “TRUMP DOESN’T GNOME WHAT HE’S TALKING ABOUT: FORMER PRESIDENT CLAIMS GARDEN TROLL FOLLOWS HIM AROUND MAR-A-LAGO.”
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Sure, President López Obrador was teased on Twitter for expressing his wonderment, but I do not believe there have been any credible calls for him to resign. It seems like he truly believes the photo he shared, which he says was taken by an engineer helping build Mexican railways, is of a magical elf—though some folks are pointing out the photo is almost identical to one that circulated about a year ago, wherein the figure was said to be a witch, not an elf. It seems like no one can extend their imaginations to believe in shapeshifters. One user suggested the aluxe is just a raccoon with a bag on its head.
But President López Obrador has long been an advocate for the indigenous people of Mexico, the ones from which the myth of the aluxe originates. So not only are we dealing with a national leader who entertains a sense of childlike wonder, but a guy who respects his indigenous population. Now I’m wondering if HE is even real, or if he’s a fantasy in our collective imagination?!? Just kidding, I would never demean myself by blindly stanning a politician. But I will bask in the delight of this moment.
Congrats to Mexico for having a president who seems like he’d be a lot more fun to chat with at a party than any person in the halls of Congress, all terrified to even indulge in leprechaun lore or Big Foot superstitions. Enjoy it!