Eddy Aragon

La Mala Dama

My Dear New Mexicans,

This will be my final open letter to you on the leadership of New Mexico. When I last wrote, I fear my message ended on a bleak note. My apologies for leaving you staring into the abyss of ineptitude created by our current leadership vacuum in Santa Fe. When I first set a few of my thoughts before you this past Easter, barely two weeks ago, I did so with a small amount of optimism. My intent was to point out there is a critical budget issue facing us, and perhaps, in light of this, to stimulate alternative thinking regarding our response to the COVID-19 virus. Sadly, in the interim, the Governor’s response has been to downplay the former while mismanaging the later.

However, some of you may be new to the discussion. And, even for those of you who have been attending all along, Her Governess’ efforts to distract you with fear-mongering data regarding the current COVID-19 situation may have diverted your attention.

So, I will recap my position.

We New Mexicans are suffering from a crisis of leadership. Our most immediate New Mexican crisis is financial. It was looming prior to the arrival of COVID-19, and its genesis lay in Her Governess signing legislation, passed by our partisan, Democrat-controlled State legislature, authorizing a 20 percent increase in our annual budget. This ludicrous increase in ongoing expenditures was justified based on a delusional expectation that the State’s oil industry would remain stable, not only in the face of global economic forces beyond the control of our State government but despite the impact of Her Governess signing additional legislation intended to kill that very same oil industry. In case that doesn’t rise to your personal definition of failing to keep faith with your electorate and protecting their interests, Her Governess signed further legislation increasing our taxes to help pay for her pie-in-the-sky programs.

Our State’s 2020 crisis is really rooted in this year’s precipitous drop in the price of oil arriving before the ink of MLG-D’s signature on the budget was even dry. The loss in revenue demands a special legislative session to cut the bloated budget our myopic Governess approved. The COVID-19 pandemic and associated panic have obscured the budget issue, affording her political cover.

In fact, when the threat of COVID-19 subsides, it is easy to predict MLG-D will claim the economic issues that our State will face in the coming years should be blamed on the virus. She has even managed to garner a New York Times article touting her visionary leadership [sarcasm intended] in applying restrictive measures appropriate to a population center in crisis, such as New York, to one of the least densely populated areas in the nation. As you might expect based on the source, the article sings the praises of the Governor’s repressive “stay at home” order while glossing over the potential influence of other factors, such as demographics and geography, failing to acknowledge that less restrictive measures may have produced comparable results, and ignoring the devastating financial impact of the inconsistent definition of “non-essential” on the state’s small business owners.
The arrival of the virus and associated panic, and Her Governess’ overreaching response, have only exacerbated, not caused, our financial crisis.

And now, states with higher infection rates and population densities are relaxing restrictions on businesses. Even Governors in states with high-population-density flash-points are acknowledging the need for individualizing reopening strategies based on local, county by county conditions. But Her Governess continues to insist that her lockdown orders for us, we New Mexicans, need to obeyed statewide…um, so she can save us.

Instead of presenting us a coherent plan for leading our state forward and reopening our shuttered small businesses, last week she announced she is only now forming committees to develop a reopening strategy while extending the lockdown an additional two weeks. A real leader would have recognized the time for forming the committees was two weeks ago, and now is the time to begin implementing a recovery plan.

I, for one, will not be distracted from the facts. You, MLG-D, signed for a 20% increase in our State budget to buy idealist votes and pay off your political cronies. You, MLG-D, signed legislation intended to destroy the very industry providing the revenue stream essential to truly support your grandiose political fraud. You, MLG-D, quietly signed for tax increases, both direct and indirect, on every New Mexican. And now, you, MLG-D, are exploiting your position as our sitting Governor, using the pandemic to try divert the voters’ attention from your abuse of power and mismanagement of our State.

In so doing, you, MLG-D, are failing to keep faith with the very New Mexicans who elected you. Indeed, with the potential threat of the pandemic subsiding (a fact independent sources identified over a week ago), I not only question your pathetic leadership but also your motives. What else can a rational person do when you claim your goal is “to flatten” a curve that is already heading down? But perhaps you simply don’t understand the mathematics well enough to realize what that implies?

Here’s something else New Mexico’s voters should not forget if you ever run for office again. I am not a lawyer/attorney. You, on the other hand, are. Yet, there are significant legal precedents to suggest your “stay-at-home” order, and your use of the New Mexico State Police to serve “cease and desist” orders to private businesses, has violated the rights of a multitude of individuals under both the New Mexico and US Constitutions. I suspect only competent lawyers can estimate the litigation costs arising from such improper government actions. Still, as voters we should all remember, barring some legal miracle, we citizens of New Mexico will ultimately have to foot that bill as well.

In my last letter, I argued faith, in a secular sense, is crucial to the fabric of a society. I suggested the members of a community must have faith that their shared values will outweigh their personal differences, allowing them to work together for mutual benefit. Finally, I proposed that societies form governments to protect themselves against subversive influences which might threaten the common good.

I discussed the importance that the electorate have faith in government officials working for the benefit of all, and that government officials keep faith with their constituents.

Today, I have laid out evidence I believe supports my argument that MLG-D has failed to keep faith with New Mexico’s citizens. At best, she has exhibited shortsighted decision making in prosperity and fearful paralysis when confronted by adversity. At worst, and I believe the appearance of the New York Times’ piece gives credence to this assessment, she has calculated her actions with regard to the budget and pandemic to further her political aspirations without regard for the impact on the future of our State and fellow citizens.

Pardon my bleak personal assessment of MLG-D’s performance and motives. It is informed by having lived the reality of New Mexico’s one-party state government most of my life. This political dominance by the Democrat Party facilitates individuals such as MLG-D using the backs of New Mexicans as a stepping stone to further their individual political ambition. Adding insult to the injury, Democrats like to claim the negative outcomes can be blamed on a powerless minority political party, and a brainless media usually reports the claims as news.

In spite of the absurdity of the Democrat-Republican political rivalry in New Mexico, I still have faith that we citizens can come together and alter our future. For ultimately, Republican or Democrat isn’t important. The crucial dichotomy is conservative-liberal. Even in the current political atmosphere, colored by a liberal-leaning media, the right conservative candidate can get get a message out. I have faith that, if we continue to shine a light on the mismanagement of our State by our current Governess, as I have tried to do here, we can prepare our fellow citizens to be receptive to the message of conservative candidates. I also have faith that there are enough New Mexicans who hold fundamentally conservative beliefs that such a candidate can get elected.

And so, I want to end on a more positive note today. For based on my faith that many New Mexicans share fundamentally conservative values, I have hope that my observations can prepare us to rally and take back control of our destiny.

If you share my faith, then share the message as well. The more of us who have the courage to speak out, the more we will recognize we are not alone in our beliefs. And the more we can spread the message, the better our chances of realizing our hope for improving the future of New Mexico. When you hear from me next, you will know how to move the State of New Mexico forward.

Best and Warmest regards,

Eddy Aragon – 11th Generation New Mexican

Eddy Aragon is the afternoon host of “The Rock of Talk” which airs on his radio station in Albuquerque, 93.7 FM/AM 1600 KIVA.  He’s a graduate of the University of New Mexico with degrees in Political Science and Economics. He has been recognized by the Albuquerque Journal as Radio Personality of the Year every year since 2017.  He has appeared on Fox News, CNN and over 40 radio shows throughout the country. Eddy is an 11th Generation New Mexican. He can be reached at: rockoftalk@me.com.

Opinions offered by Piñon Post contributors in no way, shape, or form represent the viewpoints of the publication or its editorial staff. Submit an op-ed to the Piñon Post at: news@pinonpost.com.

….and to the Republic, and our fair State of New Mexico, for which we Stand!

We solemnly swear to:

RE-member to pray at the opening and closing of all our junctures 

RE-new our commitment to this state, our flag and our Heavenly Father

RE-launch our American existence, our party, our state and our economy

RE-spect the Citizens of New Mexico, the birth of our Nation and the Constitution

Because we solemnly swear to RE-vive our passion for this land and all she’s worth

We are:

Re-winding the clock of 86 years of Democrat domination

Re-directing our anger towards good, rather than destruction

Re-instating those traditions which have been twisted against us

Re-branding our state to the outside world as a priority in America

Because we are RE-sponsible for what we become and where we are going

We can:

RE-generate our economic productivity and societal civility

RE-cover our dignity, our purpose and our truth of our foundations

RE-build our once great state where business thrives and people live their lives

RE-store peace and harmony amongst the citizens and businesses of New Mexico

This is how we can RE-claim the political power in this state

We must:

RE-organize our priorities in this broken system

RE-present all the great people who aren’t sheeple

RE-set the conversation so that we end this stagnation

RE-lieve our business and citizens from power that destroys New Mexico

Because we must RE-pair the lives of our New Mexicans

We will:

RE-move corrupt politicians

RE-volt against the evil of dependency and Socialism

RE-bel against oppressive forces and indoctrination of government and media

RE-sist the progressive takeover of this economy and need to blame each other

And we will RE-Place the Governor who has made us feel helpless

We have:

RE-minded people what we stand for

RE-spected the voters and the citizens

RE-inforced the values which we were founded upon

RE-corded this day and this opportunity and the pursuit of better lives

Because we have only this year of 2020 the year of Reckoning

WE ARE THE REPUBLICAN REVOLUTION!

WE CAN RE-set New Mexico

WE WILL RE-juvinate New Mexico

WE MUST RE-birth New Mexico

RE-joice in our victory in 2020!

REPUBLICANS let’s get the job done!

Eddy Aragon – The Rock of Talk

Karen Bedonie – Congressional Candidate CD3

John Block – Editor of the Piñon Post

New Mexicans have lost faith in Michelle Lujan Grisham

My Dear New Mexicans,

When I first felt compelled to write to you, this past Easter Sunday, I failed to mention the one essential which may be the most important if we are to survive our current circumstances.

But now, not even two weeks forward in time, as we still lack any sign of competent leadership from Michelle Lujan Grisham and her useless advisors in our state government, I feel compelled to call attention to this concept. Faith; it may be utterly essential to our survival.

Frankly, it should seem astonishing that a word or concept, essential to explaining the underpinnings of any functional society, could be branded suspect by the arbiters of political correctness. Moreover, it is a word the dominant party of this state is deeply uncomfortable in saying or using.

Let us return to the importance of that word, faith. For any society to survive, its members must have faith that at their core, they share key values that outweigh differences in personalities and more mundane interests. They must have faith that their differences allow each of them to bring unique strengths and abilities into play, which can strengthen society as a whole. And, for the community to flourish, they must have faith that allowing each member to express their abilities is essential. This is the same word that our revolutionaries who laid the foundations of our country held.

Unfortunately, being human, we all have weaknesses. Recognizing this, forming a government becomes necessary to prevent the weaknesses from unraveling the common fabric of society.

But, it is crucial for the health of the society that those empowered with operating the government keep that very faith with the values of the community they are charged to defend.

We New Mexicans continue to face a failure of leadership in Santa Fe. When MLG-D publicly announced her vision for reopening our State, she repeatedly said her criteria were two-fold: development of a vaccine and development of a proven protocol to cure those who contract the disease. This position borders on the irrational. It is also a criterion that takes no faith into account.

Firstly, COVID-19 comes from a family of viruses for which we have had little success in producing effective vaccines. Even if it proves an exception, developing an effective vaccine is probably a year away, at least.

Second, even for the multitude of diseases for which we have established treatment protocols, the best efforts of our medical professionals are routinely confounded by patients’ unique histories and risk factors. In medical jargon, these are called comorbidities. In the case of COVID-19, we know the comorbidities well, so I won’t list them. I will point out that even with an accepted treatment protocol, those individuals who have these conditions will continue to be the ones who will die from getting this virus.

At the national level, leaders are recognizing the time has arrived to take steps toward resuming life. They have faith in their people, in science, and in our resiliency.

In the meantime, it appears MLG-D and her chosen advisors plan to hold us hostage until she is satisfied her impossible faithless criteria are met. She keeps telling us her goal is to save everyone. That is impossible; but as she continues to imagine a perfect solution will arrive, her restrictions are going to destroy everything that is worth saving. In so doing, she is failing to keep any faith with us. She is failing to live up to the faith the citizens of New Mexico placed in her by electing her.

As a result, we have no faith in her ability to lead us.

Eddy Aragon is the afternoon host of “The Rock of Talk” which airs on his radio station in Albuquerque, 93.7 FM/AM 1600 KIVA.  He’s a graduate of the University of New Mexico with degrees in Political Science and Economics. He has been recognized by the Albuquerque Journal as Radio Personality of the Year every year since 2017.  He has appeared on Fox News, CNN and over 40 radio shows throughout the country. Eddy is an 11th Generation New Mexican. He can be reached at: rockoftalk@me.com.

Opinions offered by Piñon Post contributors in no way, shape, or form represent the viewpoints of the publication or its editorial staff. Submit an op-ed to the Piñon Post at: news@pinonpost.com.

Incompetent or Insolent? Providing our Governess with Guidance

My Dear New Mexicans,

When last I addressed you, a mere four days ago, calling attention to a deficit in our political leadership, perhaps I was too deferential. I largely refrained from calling our politicians to account by party affiliation or name. My hope was that speaking in generalities, exhibiting some restraint, and offering constructive suggestions on a less oppressive path forward, I might elicit a more measured and progressive approach to mitigating exposure to the COVID-19 virus. I suggested fostering a resumption of social and economic interactions is crucial to our ability to deal with this current manifestation of the virus. More importantly, though I didn’t state it explicitly, such a response would lay a foundation for our reaction should we face future outbreaks. Sadly, our Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham – Democrat, is continuing to fail us.

As I pointed out last time, what is essential depends on your unique circumstances. If you are a rancher or farmer working outdoors, having appropriate clothing to protect you from the elements is essential. Without it, you risk exposure to multiple hazards, ranging from UV radiation to insects and unnecessary scratches and scrapes which expose you to potentially dangerous infectious agents. That MLG-D’s stormtroopers…excuse me, our State Police…could issue a cease and desist order to Bar G Western Wear in Portales, a small, independent store serving one of the more remote areas of our State, should elicit outrage from every New Mexican. Admittedly, State Representative, Gregg Schmedes – Republican, commented “MLG, you’re wrong. These are the good guys, and they are ESSENTIAL. #TooFar,” and Steve Pearce – Republican Party of New Mexico Chairman, noted, “mom and pop stores in New Mexico need to be spoken for.” While correct in concept, these tepid challenges arrive far too late and are completely inadequate to the level of incompetence being demonstrated by our Governor.

But, there I go again, being differential. In characterizing MLG-D’s actions as incompetent, I may be giving her too much credit. I’m assuming that she recognizes the State’s need for leadership, but simply lacks the skills and fortitude to supply it.

There are two darker possibilities. The first: living in the Democrat Party leadership cesspool…excuse me, bubble…MLG-D is completely ignorant of the needs of the vast majority of her constituents and thus incapable of recognizing where to lead us. The second: MLG-D recognizes our needs, but for personal and political gain she chooses to ignore them.

Regardless of the reason, it is we, the citizens of New Mexico, who are continuing to pay a heavy price.

We need to be the leadership for New Mexico.  Therefore, I would like to direct you to the following website www.orangenm.com and visit the New Mexico Counties Infections tab.  I have joined up with a Pathologist, Dr. Vann Schaffner as well as Darryl Dunlap, Founder of the New Mexico Patriots, to provide guidance to make a recommendation for our Governor to open up business for New Mexicans.

We have 33 counties and alongside President Donald Trump’s 3 phase “Opening Up America Again” there are certain counties that should never had a shelter in place order.  For example, any county that has not had one single infection. They are the following: Guadalupe, De Baca, Union, Sierra, Mora, and Harding. Each of those counties needs to be opened up immediately.

We should also open up any county that has less than 1 in 25,000 infection ratio in their county.  This is on a 7 day running average and is divided against the total population of that county. For example, Bernalillo County 1 in 30,302 people will be infected with the Corona Virus where McKinley County has a 1 in 2,998 people are infected on a 7 day running average.  These are two distinctly different situations and should be treated as such.

Each of these counties where more than 1 in 25,000 are infected should continue along the same path we are currently on as a state.  The counties are the following: Cibola, McKinley, Sandoval, San Juan, Socorro, and Torrance.

We need to continue to advocate for this data-driven decision on behalf of our citizens and business owners who desperately need to get back to business as usual.  These recommendations also provide a goal for those who haven’t met these criteria and obviously rewards those counties which have achieved a level of containment we can all live with.  Along with the President’s 3 Phase “Opening Up America Again” guidance we should be back to normal here in this beautiful state.

Eddy Aragon is the afternoon host of “The Rock of Talk” which airs on his radio station in Albuquerque, 93.7 FM/AM 1600 KIVA.  He’s a graduate of the University of New Mexico with degrees in Political Science and Economics. He has been recognized by the Albuquerque Journal as Radio Personality of the Year every year since 2017.  He has appeared on Fox News, CNN and over 40 radio shows throughout the country. Eddy is an 11th Generation New Mexican. He can be reached at: rockoftalk@me.com.

Opinions offered by Piñon Post contributors in no way, shape, or form represent the viewpoints of the publication or its editorial staff. Submit an op-ed to the Piñon Post at: news@pinonpost.com.

New Mexico’s Real Crisis: Political Leadership

Dear New Mexicans,

You fear we are in the midst of a crisis. Sadly, I must confirm your fear…to an extent. It is true we are in the midst of a crisis. But it is not the crisis you have been led to believe. And we have brought some of this on ourselves.

We, the citizens of this Land of Enchantment, are in a crisis of leadership. It is not a new problem, either. But the current circumstances have brought it to the fore, if not into focus.

I would suggest that the reason we can’t bring the cause of our crisis into focus is we have accepted a false characterization of politics in our fair state. We like to think we are like the rest of the country in having a bipartisan government. We have elections, some members of the minority party win positions, there are some communities where the minority party holds local control, and we call that bipartisan. But our State government isn’t bipartisan. Partisan politics in Santa Fe is pervasive, and casts a pall over our entire state, negating most local power. That creates a dysfunctional dynamic at the root of our leadership problem.

Before my assessment is dismissed as rantings of a lone-wolf, conspiracy theorist, I will tell you that I am not alone. There are many voices in the state raising similar concerns. The fact that they are so easily muted in the political debate is, in fact, a primary piece of evidence that my premise is correct. How the muting occurs is not my focus today.

Returning to my main point, I would suggest our state government dysfunction has been growing for decades. Reviewing some legislative history may help shine a light on how our government has evolved.

Forty years ago, Representatives from both parties formed a coalition and ousted the sitting Speaker of the House. The new Speaker, also from the majority party, appointed committee chairmen from both sides of the aisle. That coalition-led House passed proposed legislation, sent it to the Senate, compromises on issues were made, and final bills went on the Governor to be signed.

Everybody did their job in good faith. That is the way bipartisan government is supposed to work.

By contrast, a few years ago, for the first time in 60 years, the minority political party in our state won a majority of seats in our House of Representatives. It lasted for one term, or two short years. It has been alleged that because of the minority party’s failings in the House, the legislature failed to accomplish important work during that period. But it is a fact that the House passed well over 100 proposed pieces of legislation, sent them to the majority-party controlled Senate to be addressed, and the leadership of the Senate prevented those bills from being reported out of committee for consideration. In many cases, committee chairmen, who were appointed by the majority-party’s leader in the Senate, didn’t allow the proposals to be brought up in the committee proceedings.

To me, it sounds like the House did its job, and the Senate didn’t. That is New Mexico partisan politics.

How did it come to this? How has our state’s political environment deteriorated so far? I suspect the genesis may actually be partially attributable to the events 40 years ago. But again, that is not my focus today.

The unfortunate fact is, due to this deterioration in our political environment many of our current government leaders have marinated in the poisonous juices of disdain for those outside of their own party for years. That is not only a recipe for partisan government, it is a recipe for bad leadership. For, if you are closed to considering the opposition’s positions, you build potentially dangerous bias into your decision making.

If you don’t think that is significant, let’s look at a consequence of our most recent legislative session. As a result of the actions of our legislature, with both houses controlled by the state’s majority party, and our governor, also a member of the majority party, we citizens are facing an increase in the state budget from $6.4 billion to $7.7 billion. That’s a 16.8 percent increase year over year. We were told this was justified because it could be covered by a budget surplus, which surplus was due to increased revenues associated with the performance of a strong oil industry. However, the surplus actually wasn’t sufficient to cover all the new expenditures, so a tax increase was also required. Additionally, a significant amount of legislation included in the output of this session is designed to kill the oil industry within the next 20 years. There were minority voices warning that it was imprudent to use a short-term windfall from a volatile industry, which you plan to abolish as quickly as possible, to justify committing to long-term expenditures. They were ignored. Partisanship ruled the session.

So, along comes a crisis, and it’s still not the one you are thinking of. The bottom has dropped out of the oil market, and the golden goose that was necessary to support the poorly conceived spending increases has died far earlier than planned. We are looking at having to call a special legislative session. And the cause of this catastrophe is outside of our control. Russia and OPEC are having a spat over oil production, and there’s not much anyone but Russia and OPEC can do about it. A special session means expenses to pay when the problem is we don’t have money to begin with. It also means allowing the same partisans, who made poor decisions during the first session, to try and undo the fiscal mess they created.

If only we had a leader who could have seen that committing the entire surplus, and then some, to ongoing new programs wasn’t a good idea. If only we had a leader who could see beyond the political capital that could be generated by spending it all. If only we had a leader who had instead chosen not to commit us, the citizens of the state, to pay for these projects.

Maybe, with the expense of a special session, some of the poor decision making can be reversed. Maybe, but there is a complication. You may have heard we have ourselves a good, old fashioned pandemic. You know the one: COVID-19. Our Governor has issued a statewide stay-at-home order. But, it seems that our state constitution may not allow a special session to occur while complying with that order.

Nor should it. Carrying on debate requires communication, even amongst partisans. Most of what we communicate comes not through the words, but through non-verbal aspects of interaction such as tone or inflection, facial expressions, and body posture. These are lost, to one degree or another, with all communication at a distance.

And now, let me move from generalities, to specifics, and to the situation which is currently causing so much fear in our state. Our Governor’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been to issue a stay-at-home order. In so doing, I believe she is failing to meet her leadership responsibilities to the citizens of New Mexico. I would attribute her failure in part to the dysfunctional partisan political-think which is so pervasive in our higher levels of government; it allows her to discount opinions coming from political rivals too easily. I also believe she isn’t looking beyond the information being given to her regarding the potential impact of the virus and placing it in a proper perspective relative to the multitude of other elements that contribute to our New Mexican society.

I would suggest on, the legislative front, she needs to call the special session and charge the two chambers with cutting the budget by 40%. I would also urge her and Mayor Keller to cut the State and City employees by the same proportion as the private sector has suffered.  To facilitate this, she needs to rescind the restrictions of the stay-at-home order as it might apply to the session. The members of the two houses are presumably adults and capable of taking appropriate precautions to conduct business while minimizing their risk.

For the rest of us, extending the stay-at-home order indefinitely, as she seems willing to do, is not a solution. It is costing jobs and businesses, and the longer it is kept in place, the greater the losses will be. As a consequence, it is going to cause social costs in disruption of families and emotional and health tolls that will be felt in the state for years.

Make no mistake, using people’s fears to justify imposing such measures is not leadership. The Governor keeps saying that we must accept strict compliance with her directive because it is unacceptable for one person to die from COVID-19 who might not have. Exactly the same logic can be used to justify banning private cars so not one more person dies in an auto accident who might not have. Before you claim that the two are different, consider the facts. We know that most people who get in a private car will not die, just as we know most people who contract COVID-19 will not die. We know that some people will die from both. We allow people to drive anyway but recommend they observe precautions, such as driving the speed limit or buying a safer car or staying at home, and we are supposed to incarcerate people who recklessly endanger others. We know that there are precautions we can take to limit the risks from COVID-19, such as wearing a mask and gloves in public or maintaining social distancing or staying at home. If we are adults enough to make the decision about driving, then why does the Governor get to make the decision regarding COVID-19. We would not accept her infringing our freedom if she attempted to place a ban on driving. Why should we accept her judgment regarding the stay-at-home order?

For those who say, aren’t things terrible in New York City, I say, yes. But that is not terribly relevant to discussing New Mexico’s situation. New York City has a population of approximately 8.4 million people living in an area of 302.6 square miles. New Mexico has a population of 2.1 million people living in an area of 121,697 square miles. New York City has a 98-story residential building, amongst multiple buildings over 50-stories. New Mexico has one 22-story building. That means, in New Mexico we have one-quarter of the population spread over 400 times the space. The solution to maintaining social distancing in New Mexico is vastly different than what will work in New York City.

Of course, there’s also the flip-side of the Governor’s “not one death that might have been prevented” argument. Who will you give the right to decide who will die? I admit, I don’t have that right. But every Governor in the country, whether they are conscious of it or not, makes exactly that decision when they address health care and countless other issues under their control. Every decision allocating funds to one priority and not another has the potential to impact someone in a life-or-death matter. It’s part of the job. We should elect Governors who will make decisions in an adult manner, and not like a spoiled child loose in a candy store. Or worse, like a frightened child.

Grave times require courage, from leaders and citizens alike. When he accepted the position of Prime Minister in 1940, Sir Winston Churchill could have saved the lives of thousands of British military personnel and civilians who would die continuing the fight against Germany. He could have capitulated. But what would the cost have been? We think we know, with the benefit of hindsight. He had no way to be certain. However, when the new Prime Minister first spoke to Parliament that May, he clearly understood the gravity of his decision. He told them and the British citizens, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” But there was something just important he didn’t tell them. He didn’t tell them to go and hide in their homes. Nor did they.

Here’s a final observation regarding the stay-at-home order. How exactly do you decide which “essential” businesses should remain open? The fact is, nothing is essential until you need it. Air isn’t essential until you are hypoxic. Water isn’t essential until you are dehydrated. Food isn’t essential until you are hypoglycemic. A plumber isn’t essential until your toilet backs up. A dentist isn’t essential until you have an abscessed tooth. A new car isn’t essential until your old one breaks down. Your elective joint-replacement surgery isn’t essential until the pain and debility cause you to fall trying to go to the bathroom, and the intracranial hemorrhage from hitting your head kills you. A new recliner isn’t essential unless you are spending hours at home because the Governor has ordered you to lock yourself in. It’s a constantly changing continuum, and the Governor doesn’t know what your essentials are. In some cases, her failure to recognize yours will kill you as certainly as COVID-19. But, in such a circumstance, your death won’t be counted in the COVID-19 toll, nor will she be held accountable. There are also problems with her definition of essential. For example, with apologies to the industry, ask yourself the question, how many more people are involved in preparing your food if you get it from a restaurant?

I have another essential for you. This is especially true in our interconnected society. Human interaction isn’t essential unless you want to stay alive.

So, let’s tie this together. I would argue that the impending financial crisis our state is facing is a result of poor leadership. The financial issue’s existence is obscured, and its potential long-term impact is exacerbated, by the COVID-19 pandemic and the turmoil created by the Governor’s stay-at-home order. Her leadership style, in particular, is inadequate to the task at hand. Her partisan political training allows her to tune out conflicting views from outside her circle of advisors and justify forcing New Mexicans to stay at home, thinking she is going to save them. She is apparently too afraid to take responsibility for making the difficult decisions that would allow most of us to continue to work and sustain the socioeconomic activities that provide resources we will desperately need if we are to continue responding to these and future challenges.

Another leader, coincidentally a close friend of Churchill’s, once told this nation, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” I would hope that we New Mexicans can stop being fearful. Some damage is irreversibly done. But, with good leadership, the damage doesn’t have to continue indefinitely. Instead of prolonging her edict, the Governor should be developing processes and procedures to hasten a return to productive activity for all citizens, and preparing us for that return. We can build on the strategies that have been employed to manage risk in those businesses that have remained open, and translate them to many other settings. We can also acknowledge that our unique circumstances dictate that our solutions should not be the same as what is done in New York City. Ultimately, success in negotiating these grave times will not be measured by how few deaths are finally attributed to COVID-19, but by how little we allow these circumstances to damage the fabric of our New Mexican culture.

Happy Easter Monday!

Eddy Aragon is the afternoon host of “The Rock of Talk” which airs on his radio station in Albuquerque, 93.7 FM/AM 1600 KIVA.  He’s a graduate of the University of New Mexico with degrees in Political Science and Economics.  He has been recognized by the Albuquerque Journal as Radio Personality of the Year every year since 2017.  He has appeared on Fox News, CNN and over 40 radio shows throughout the country.  Eddy is an 11th Generation New Mexican.  He can be reached at: rockoftalk@me.com

Opinions offered by Piñon Post contributors in no way, shape, or form represent the viewpoints of the publication or its editorial staff. Submit an op-ed to the Piñon Post at: news@pinonpost.com.

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