If you're really happy and thrilled about how the New Mexico Legislature is shoving radical legislation down our throats, then you should probably stop reading now!
If, however, you are truly concerned about what's happening in Santa Fe and some of the bills being pushed through without allowing substantial discussion from opposing positions, read on.
In my opinion, our rights are being taken away from us in a wholesale fashion.
The Founding Fathers of the United States of America understood dictatorship and the potential of total control of government over its "subjects." They understood that governments tend to seek power and control over the populace. They had experienced it firsthand with Britain and its control of the growing colonies.
Hence, the American Revolution.
Edmund Burke said: "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."
George Santayana, born in Spain as Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás, was raised and educated in the U.S. and identified as an American.
He said: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
It has been paraphrased as: "He who forgets history is doomed to repeat it."
They all are saying the same thing: Learn from your mistakes.
But, alas, we don't.
The writers of the U.S. Constitution also understood the tyranny of herd mentality. I describe it as voting straight party, "because my family always did."
Don't you want to be an individual? Is there anyone that you always agree with?
Not me. I may have a lot in common with others, but we can also disagree on certain things. We tend to just talk about what we agree on. Which, granted, keeps everyone happier and not as stressed.
The Grant County Commission approved three of the four resolutions that I supported. They heard from the public, as they should, and heard the vast majority of those attending supporting the four resolutions. One resolution died as a result of a tie, because of the principled recusal of one commissioner because of a conflict of interest.
Subversion of individual rights can come through many portals. But it most often comes from unprincipled politicians. Oh, they think their principles are the only correct ones, because they have power and control over their subjects (which they wrongly call constituents). Yes, they were voted into office through promises.
Remember the adage: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you." Run away as fast as you can, especially if they are offering gifts and freebies. That is simply to lock you into being beholden to them to support their crazy ideas or you will lose those freebies.
How did these politicians get into office? Several reasons.
Voting straight party is a major offender. No political party is exempt from crooks and unethical members. Not one!
Another reason is wanting to fit in. "Oh, I'll vote for this candidate because my friend (neighbor, aunt, father, boss, etc.) thinks he or she is the best one for the office." Not necessarily.
Sure, if you have educated yourself on what the candidate stands for and you have asked questions and you understand and support what they believe in, then cast your vote for them.
Watch for facts. Watch for twisted facts. Be on the watch for what you thought or knew was correct, but the candidate is promoting it in a way that sounds too good to be true. If so, it probably is false.
I'll tell an experience we had. We lived overseas and listened to the Voice of America on our shortwave radio to get the news. One day we turned it on and we're listening to this perfect American accent, but my husband and I looked at each other and said it didn't sound quite right. Turns out one of the neighbor kids had played with the dials. What we were listening to was Radio Moscow.
I'm not promoting VOA, because I know it's government-run, so the messages may have changed over the years. But back in the dark ages, when journalism was based on fact and accuracy, VOA gave the facts and helped people the world over learn English.
What you are seeing in the New Mexico Legislature and all statewide elected officials are those voted in by Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
The traditional values of most rural counties, including Grant, are based on trust, honesty and individualism.
The herd mentality of cities, for some reason, makes people forget their homegrown values.
Learn about all the candidates for a certain office. Don't be swayed by your neighbor or your party. Think for yourself. Understand what you believe and vote your conscience.
And once you have elected them, remember to keep reminding them of your values and hold them responsible for their votes. That means if they didn't vote the way you wanted them to, then vote them out of office. Don't keep returning your mistakes to elected positions.
[Editor's Note: This is likely to be a continuation of editorials. I need to expand on some of these topics and introduce a few more.]