Freedom, Tyranny and New Mexico’s Fight Against COVID-19

Unconstitutional Government Overreach by NM Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham

The purpose of my post today is to highlight the continual struggle between tyranny and liberty, and the front lines which are now drawn in New Mexico. While it is evident that COVID-19 is a virus to take seriously, the Governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham, has overreached by imposing government control on her constituents with her blanket-approach in closing all NM small businesses, shuttering gun storefronts, and prohibiting the gathering of more than five persons. The constitutional rights of Americans should never be done away with even in times of crisis, and New Mexicans can and should practice the proper protective measures and social distancing while maintaining their ability to live out their lives without government interference.  In addition, Lujan Grisham has closed down the city of Gallup not allowing anyone in or out. This essentially is “martial law” and should never occur in the United States of America. 

New Mexico is currently under one of the most restrictive lock-downs in America due to a public health order issued by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, instituted on March 13, and originally set to expire on April 30, 2020. The purpose of this public health order was to “flatten the curve” so that the hospital system would not be overwhelmed with patients negatively impacted by the COVID-19 / novel coronavirus which was traced to an outbreak in Wuhan, China which the World Health Organization and Chinese government tried to cover up. Due to the lack of knowledge around COVID-19, computer models predicted hundreds of thousands dying in America due to the illness, hospitals being overrun. It increased damage to public health due to a lack of appropriate ventilators. 

Lujan Grisham banned in-person church gatherings and utilized the Amber alert system to warn all residents via text message not to attend church the day before Easter Sunday.  Many congregants at churches were not going to attend services but instead, watch through a live stream option wherein the place of worship may or may not have more than five persons to operate the technical equipment and perform for the community.  Many churches had little notice to come under Lujan Grisham’s orders.

One of the most misguided portions of Lujan Grisham’s restrictive orders was to ensure that hospitals in New Mexico do not perform “non-essential” surgeries and preventive care such as cancer screenings while deeming abortions ‘Essential’. Lujan Grisham’s restrictions on hospital services, coupled with the lack of COVID-19 patients, caused many hospitals to lay off staff and caused extreme financial distress for all hospitals in New Mexico. A report just released stated that rural hospitals in NM lost $250 million dollars in revenue in April 2020.

As part of the public health order, “non-essential” businesses (as defined by the State of New Mexico) were closed. The governor of New Mexico had set up a hotline for residents to report non-essential businesses which were open for business, and as such were in violation of the public health order, which resulted in state police visiting the non-essential business and issuing a citation, a cease and desist order, and/or a $5,000 per day fine.

For the small business owners whose businesses were deemed “non-essential” by the New Mexico Governor, their livelihoods have been put in jeopardy by the Governor’s illegal and unconstitutional actions. The measures instituted by Lujan Grisham are unfair to small business owners — the backbone of American prosperity.

Lujan Grisham “tipped her hand” when she started her belief that “a case anywhere in New Mexico is a case everywhere in New Mexico.” We are now seeing the far-left using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to institute extreme government control and create a society where only government and large corporate retailers exist within the geographic confines of New Mexico. 

Small businesses must be allowed to open with the same safety precautions as “big box stores” such as Wal-Mart. Lujan Grisham’s preferential treatment of “big box stores” and government employees is a calculated political move to drain her opponents: conservatives and Republicans in New Mexico, out of jobs, money, and any valuable resources in her attempt to secure the Vice-presidential/running mate nod from Democrat Presidential front-runner Joseph Biden.

Given the significant problems with the restriction of personal freedom, economic hardships, and inadequate government “solutions”, a discontent among New Mexico residents is rising. 

A Return of the Power to the People

A movement is rising within the United States, Mexico at the forefront due to the draconian measures of the Lujan Grisham which do not align with the rural, diverse culture of New Mexico. Conservatives, many of whom are small business owners, farmers, ranchers, and tradesmen who built America, are tired of their rights being violated by government control in violation of the Fourth Amendment, protection from unreasonable search and seizure, and the 14th amendment, Equal Protection under the Law.  In addition, New Mexicans’ ability to purchase ammunition and a firearm were curtailed by Lujan Grisham closing gun storefronts in direct violation of the Second Amendment of our Constitution. The First Amendment has been violated with the public health order of no gatherings of more than five persons.  All of these constitutional rights should have remained in place with proper safety measures to mitigate contracting COVID19.

As someone who was raised in a small business-owning family and as a rancher in New Mexico, I know first-hand the challenges faced in putting food on the table in New Mexico. After the first couple of weeks of Lujan Grisham’s lockdown, as the science caught up with the media hype and we realized our hospitals were not being overrun, we witnessed conservative activists who were unjustly confined unite through social media and begin organizing “Freedom Rallies” to exercise our freedom of speech, freedom to assemble and to “push back” against the Governor’s unconstitutional actions such as shuttering the gun storefronts.

I live and raise my family in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I am a mother with four children. We attended a “Freedom Rally” in Santa Fe, with multiple cars driving around the Santa Fe Capitol in a “Gridlock NM” event held Saturday, April 18, 2020. I was the only person walking, and my family and I practiced appropriate “Social Distancing” according to CDC guidelines. As I was the only person on foot, The left-wing media of Santa Fe took my photograph and united against me to deride the movement of small businesses, which was gaining steam as a “gridlock without any gridlock.” A mother of four wearing a handkerchief over my face surrounded by NM State Police helicopters circling the Santa Fe “Round House” is an iconic image that defines our struggle for freedom in the times of COVID-19.  

Movements start with one voice and one person. This is the point we must make even in the heart of a Democrat-controlled city and the political and cultural heart of New Mexico–Santa Fe.  The purpose of the expression of the First Amendment was to redress grievances in government that the early Americans were well aware of with the King of England.  The rights of Americans are again being tested; a free America has never tolerated draconian measures.

“Freedom Rallies” began popping up all around New Mexico after the Santa Fe gridlock: on Friday, April 24, 2020, a large group rallied on Albuquerque Civic Plaza, and a car caravan gathered in Los Alamos, New Mexico among other cities throughout the state. I was in attendance in the rally in Los Alamos, and again my campaign practiced proper social distancing, with face coverings and sanitizing spray used continuously.  The narrative that Republicans are a “death cult” such as Stelnicki (Lujan Grisham’s spokesperson) has said, is false for my campaign as a Republican because I take this virus seriously as I take my constitutional rights. So do many New Mexicans. 

The growing social movement against Lujan Grisham’s overreach came to an impasse when the Mayor of Grants, “Modey” Hicks, decided to declare Grants “open for business” in defiance of the Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s public health order. Mayor Hicks ordered all city employees to return to work and, additionally, to open the City-owned golf course. The mayor had the support of local Sheriff Tony Mace, to open small businesses. 

The city was opened on Monday, April 27th, to much anticipation and speculation about a confrontation between city and sheriff law enforcement and state police enforcing Lujan Grisham’s public health order. I attended the opening where I stood with U.S. Military veteran Mayor Hicks. The business of Papa’s Pawn, a pawn shop run by a disabled veteran, was issued a citation and later fined $60,000 for violating the public health order.  Lujan Grisham set out to make an example of a constitutionalist, disabled American veteran. This family will never be able to pay a $60,000 fine — as Lujan Grisham makes that amount in around four months — this family will never be able to. The far-left administration in New Mexico and the far-left administrations of the greater U.S. are out-of-touch with the results of centralized government policies. Their reliance on their own laws to provide them with money and give out money will not be sustainable in a capitalistic society.

I was in attendance at Santa Fe, Grants, and Los Alamos “Freedom Rallies” in support of our constitutional rights as Americans to peaceably assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances. While complying with all CDC Guidelines, I stood as a representative of all small business owners in New Mexico who are fighting for freedom and equal protection under the law. 

Gallup Lockdown/Retribution from MLG

Shortly after these protests, on April 30, 2020, and in response to conservative “Freedom Rallies”, Michelle Lujan Grisham reduced restrictions in NM, allowing retail businesses to operate curbside, re-opened golf courses, and unveiled a “multi-phase plan” to re-open New Mexico. However, she kept all restrictions in four counties of NM around the Navajo (Diné)  Nation. Meanwhile, the New Mexico Attorney General sent a letter to Grants Mayor Hicks and sought an order from the NM Supreme Court to force Mayor Hicks to comply with Lujan Grisham’s public health order. 

New Mexico Republican State Representatives sent a letter to Lujan Grisham’s office imploring her to create a plan, and a plea to Attorney General Barr to enforce protection of our constitutional rights.

On request of the outgoing Mayor, the City of Gallup is currently in a state of emergency based on the New Mexico Riot Act, meaning only residents are allowed to enter the city. All roads in and out are being closed by state police due to the spread of COVID-19 cases in the surrounding Navajo Nation.  The Navajo Nation also experienced 57-hour lockdowns on Fridays at 5 p.m. until Mondays at 8 a.m., and travel is extremely limited, such as requiring a maximum of two people in one motor vehicle.

Due to Lujan Grisham’s action, we will experience the “Law of Unintended Consequences.” The Navajo Nation relies on border towns for basic necessities, including potable water for cooking and cleaning. Navajo Nation members will now have to travel further for their needs, complicating an already difficult situation for Navajo Nation members and possibly furthering the geographic spread of COVID-19.

Flipping New Mexico Red in 2020

I am running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Congressional District 3 to return the U.S. government back to working for the people of New Mexico who are being oppressed by an overreaching state governor. I stand 100% with our President Donald Trump, who, through Attorney General Barr, has stated that governors must respect constitutional rights. 

I encourage all American patriots to keep up their fight against government overreach that infringes upon constitutional rights.  I support opening small businesses safely and responsibly. I am advocating a county-by-county approach that puts decision making into the hands of our local officials such as sheriffs, business leaders, health care professionals, and community leaders with the cooperation of the Governor of New Mexico.  I believe we must focus the bulk of COVID-19 mitigation efforts on the Navajo Nation and areas with the highest risk and transmission. Now is not the time for a top-down, centralized government approach, but reasoned and common sense empowerment of local elected officials in a way that allows small businesses to operate in a responsible, safe manner.  Local officials should interact with the Governor of New Mexico to obtain pertinent information to mitigate COVID19 as well as information on resources that could help stop the spread of COVID19, such as proper protective safety gear.

In Congress, I will work to ensure the constitutional rights of Americans are upheld in a safe manner. The Governor’s actions have set the precedence of a centralized, overreaching government that has done away with the rights of Americans, and unnecessarily shut down the economy and livelihood of many in our state. Lujan Grisham’s’ unwillingness to listen to her constituents has created a foment of dissension among many New Mexicans that can only be remedied by electing conservative officials into positions of decision-making within the US government. Join Americans in expressing your voice, standing up for your rights, and “holding the line” to defend this great experiment — the United States of America.  

Alexis Martinez Johnson is a Republican Candidate for the U.S. House in New Mexico’s 3rd District. More information, please visit www.AlexisJohnsonNM.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.

1 thought on “Freedom, Tyranny and New Mexico’s Fight Against COVID-19”

  1. This is one of the best, most thoughtful, and well written articles I’ve ever read on freedom/liberty and the dangers we face from inside our government and from foreign enemies. Most countries fall internally, usually with the help of enemies foreign and domestic. We must win the House, Senate, and Presidency in 2020 to keep our country free and a beacon of liberty to the world.

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