* Marti Lelko has worked in the New Mexico media for over 30 years. As a media professional, she has followed politics closely, especially during the pandemic. In her monthly column, Marti will cover the issues she finds particularly puzzling and disturbing. She asks our readers for some really funny ideas, questions or a joke that might help make sense of our political climate.
The Republicans’ race in our state to overthrow Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has begun. Unsurprisingly, the list of candidates ranges from sane and successful to completely wacky! Many are businessmen with no political experience. Apparently, your ability to earn money, raise children, be pro-life, or forecast the weather is now all that is needed for good governance.
The common denominator of this new generation of Republican candidates is their vitriolic disgust at our current governor and what they perceive to be his mismanagement of the COVID pandemic. This current group of seven (this number is constantly changing) would obviously have kept schools and businesses wide open, so our economy could stay on track. They don’t realize that the public weren’t really interested in learning in school or shopping and entertaining in person if it endangered the health of their families. If people could do their jobs safely from home, most didn’t want to go to an office. Applicants don’t realize that apart from funeral homes, our economy doesn’t really grow when everyone is scared, sick, or dead! It’s easy to talk about what you would have done afterwards. The hindsight is always 20/20. Lujan Grisham had no pandemic playbook to turn to for answers. It relied on those responsible for health, science and common sense. She wandered keeping us all alive!
A common belief among many of these Republican gubernatorial candidates is that Donald Trump won but was cheated by a rigged election. If our Republican candidates don’t trust our electoral process, should they even run? Any good ideas and valid arguments they put forward are undermined by their reluctance to turn away from Trump.
Over the past few months, I have listened to interviews with most of the candidates on KKOB. One of the interviews was with Greg Zanetti. Having personally worked with him in the past, I know he is a decent and intelligent man who has served his country. So I was amazed that when asked about Cyber ââNinjas’ ridiculous Arizona tale, his response was to blow it up like it didn’t matter. He hinted that the recount was necessary and described Trump as “bold and bombastic.” These are strange words to describe an autocrat who actively encouraged a coup, overturned our Constitution, and ignored science at the risk of American lives.
Zanetti wasn’t the only Republican candidate to come to terms with this GOP fantasy that Trump actually won. When asked by KKOB’s host if Biden won, several contestants said Trump won, while others simply got around the issue. They continue to flatter the Trump base. If these candidates cannot accept Biden as our fairly elected president and the decisions of judges across the country who have found no foul play or widespread voting irregularities, how can we trust them to rule our state? What other lies will they be willing to swallow or push?
If it’s a choice between a governor who buys too much jewelry but wants to keep its citizens alive rather than a party that now stands for lies, hypocrisy and unnecessarily high death tolls, it’s a simple choice.
Marti Lelko is an occasional comment contributor to The Paper.