By Bob Steiner
If the results of the recent June first primary election did not get your attention, please don’t be too surprised. The names of the candidates may change, but the two major parties (Democrat and Republican) are still firmly entrenched in our state ‘s political life and it would seem that if we rely on them, life in our “Enchanted Land” will continue to be managed by the same “orchestra” we have had for years. Yet, after almost a decade of Mr. Richardson’s guidance, we will be getting a new “conductor”. (I do think fondly of the “tax rebate” he gave to our citizens – I wonder if his generosity was one of the reasons that caused our state to almost go bankrupt?). As regards the protestations of the Democrat candidate for Governor (Diane Denish), it was nice to hear the words from her campaign that she was not one of the “good ole boys”. While her gender may support the statement, I seem to remember no evidence of her being critical of the “Niños Viejos” during her tenure in Santa Fe. I guess the voters will have to decide. Was she or is she “a good ole boy”?
Now, before I address the lack of constructive activity of the Republican Party, allow me to congratulate the Democrats for showing great interest in the nation’s corrections system during the last eight years. I marvel at their monitoring of this department. I especially congratulate the two ex-treasurers and senate majority leader who entered the system and became inmates so they could obtain first-hand information. What a political scoop! The Democrats really showed those Republicans!
As promised I have not forgotten the Republicans. They too, deserve a lot of credit for our present financial situation. With one or two exceptions (Janice Arnold Jones, being the most notable), The Republicans in Santa Fe seem to think that their most important work is to get along with the majority party. They seem to rubber stamp everything the Democrats put before them. I was also disappointed that some of the recent Republican candidates for governor had to load their commercials with half-truths to make their campaign efforts more palatabe. While Republicans may be the minority party in our state, this does not justify their blindly accepting the status quo of New Mexico Politics. I really get the feeling that some our elected Republican representatives think that the term “Silent Majority” applies to them and their activities in the “Round House”.
They certainly have been silent!
So, if you are a Democrat or Republican and are unhappy with your party, what should you do? Change Party? I believe that one of the strengths of our country is the two party system. I do not believe that a change of membership or starting a third party is the answer, Remember what happened to Ross Perot. Stick with your party, hold your leadership accountable and work to change the party from within.
For those readers who are really disappointed with the current situation, you might want to look at another source for inspiration. While not a true political party, the ‘Tea Party’ Group has been active for candidates of both major parties. They stress ethics and support of the Constitution and do not endorse candidates because of their political affiliation. I have attended several of their meetings and find their message inspiring. They seem to be the true heirs of the “Sons of Liberty”. I write of course about those upstart Bostonians, who dumped the tea into the harbor. For more information go to: East Mountain Tea Party
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