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>Land of Enchantment…or Entrapment

>After several months, I’m finally sitting down to blog. It’s not to say that I haven’t had much to say…believe me, that would be an understatement. I just haven’t had the motivation to sit down and finally put it all down in written form. Mostly because life happens, which is kind of weird because I thought that by leaving LA ten months ago, and relocating to my hometown of little LA (aka Lake Arthur, New Mexico) I’d have more time to concentrate on extracurricular activities, like blogging. Well, this is not the case. Instead, I’m working more than ever in my day job, a second job and trying to get Dems elected and/or re-elected here in New Mexico. The challenge? Southeastern New Mexico, where my hometown is. I’ve grown up in this small town most of my young life but for the last thirteen years, I’ve been off wandering the world, living mostly in Los Angeles. Last December, however I decided to return to my home state. 1)To apply to law school at University of New Mexico (of which the application is about to be submitted, so cross your fingers) and 2) hopefully make a long lasting difference in my own community.

If you’re smart enough, one thing you and I will agree on is that there is more to the state then just Albuquerque and Santa Fe (well, unless you’re a northern NM elitist, which believe me, they exist unfortunately) Sure, it’s great to have two great urban cities within a state with such wide open space, but c’mon…there is more to it then that. What really makes our state so incredibly awesome is its increasing diversity, especially (and surprisingly) in rural and Native American regions of the state. Some folks, mostly those north of I-40 (the northern elitists), will tell you that nothing exists south of here, well…anything that matters to them anyway. That is not true at all. There are those of us, like me(!), who are here and working night and day to make this place…this very conservative place, as progressive a place as possible, despite its ongoing challenges.

So the reason why I’m writing about this right now may have something to do with the fact that in thirty days, we face an election night like no other. All over the country, Congressional and Governor seats are up for grabs and it’s wide open for either candidate. But most importantly, just like every other election this state, in particular, has ever had, has resulted in my Democratic brothers and sisters continue its historical routine of forgetting my region of the state.

If you’ve studied New Mexico politics, you will learn that southeastern New Mexico is very conservative. Ok, let me put it this way, it’s so conservative that it’s called “little Texas” and by that I mean, like west Texas-style politics. If you need a clear picture, imagine a totally hippie looking VW Beetle (my car), driving along a county road, heading north to Roswell on my daily commute to work, then being confronted by obvious, distasteful looks in my rear-view mirror from the car behind me, eyes glaring straight at my “Latinos for Obama” bumper stickers. In front of me, a big redneck truck driving the opposite direction with its confederate flag as a license plate. Ok, now this isn’t all the time, but I’m sure you get the picture. Most people who live around me are involved in the oil and/or farm business and in many cases, have Rush Limbaugh stuck on their radio dial. So, “why do you live here?” you might ask. Aside from the politics and the sometimes (ok, most times) backwards thinking, it’s home. My entire family is here and it’s honestly where I feel great comfort and an obligation to do good for the communities around me.

So what does this all have to do with politics and election night? Everything.

Like the rest of the country, the Democrats are facing stiff challenges on election night, particularly in conservative regions of the country. Now, when I say stiff challenges, I definitely do not mean that the opposition has better policies and/or greater ideas for improving the lives of Americans. That would just be hilarious. Instead, what I mean is that somehow people across the country, and especially southeastern New Mexico, American’s have forgotten how incredibly awful things were under the GOP Congress. Dems have have also done very little, in my opinion, to talk up their progress, which have proven to be successful in the last four years. Instead what I’m seeing are apologies from them. Apologies for attempting to provide basic needs to the middle class and low income families. I mean, seriously? We’re apologizing for reform? Is there something completely wrong with this picture? There is a list of priorities that the Dems and its base have successfully accomplished in the last four years and yes, there is still more to do, but why are we allowing the Right to counter anything we say with proposals they have recently introduced, which are obviously the same old thing and are proof of what did not work?

I know that conservative regions of the country are a lost cause for many Democratic candidates. I mean, believe me…it would be very difficult to take on a Republican opponent even in my neck of the woods. But to completely forget about these regions where there are still some great Democrats amongst the ocean of Republican’s is in my opinion, idiotic. Yes, it has a lot to do with election tactics and strategies, but honestly for southeastern New Mexico, Democratic candidates have done nothing but ignore these communities all along the southeast part of the state and I find it upsetting.

Right now in New Mexico you have two women fighting it out for the governorship of New Mexico. Despite everything that is going on with this particular campaign, it’s awesome to see my state giving two women the opportunity to fight it out for the most important political office in the state. No matter who wins, it will be the first time in the history of the state where we will have a female governor and that is pretty kick ass. However, I’m rather disappointed with our Democratic candidate, Diane Denish. She’s been our Lieutenant Governor for two terms already, and has done a pretty good job. Most importantly though, she’s from southeastern New Mexico. I may be wrong about this and someone can correct me if they’d like, but considering that she’s from this region of the state, you would think she’d actually do some campaigning here. She really hasn’t. Instead, its as if she’s been contaminated by the northern New Mexico mindset that nothing exists south of the I-40. This to me is disappointing because yes, I am living in a sea of right-wing Republican nut jobs, but it’s overwhelming to see the amount of support the Republican candidate is getting, someone who has done very little for the state, particularly for this region and honestly, she scares the shizz out of me with all her far right rhetoric. For a Latina woman like myself, I’m highly offended by her ability to ignore her own Latino roots and dismiss it like its an accusation she should deny on all counts. But aside from all of that, my point is that like other Dems in middle America, our own candidates are dismissing us because we’re located in areas where they will not win.

While this may be a good tactic come election day, what good will it really do in the long run? What if Diane Denish does end up pulling an upset and winning this thing? Where will those of us south of the I-40 do or think? No matter what, I will be supportive. However, I do feel neglected by my own candidate, knowing that she did very little to engage her voter base, from her own community.

Yes, I have described my region of the state as a God-awful Republican sea of lunatics, yada, yada, yada. But I also love this place. Not because of what it has stood for all these years, politically…but for the challenges that await me and the excitement I get thinking about the future and how I will be a part of what will shake the core of the conservative mindset around here. Yes, right now people up north don’t recognize those of us south of the I-40 But you know what? They soon will.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. October 11, 2010 at 4:16 AM

    >Atta girl! Go get 'em. You keep fighting the good fight. Glad to see ya back on the intertubes again – you have a strong voice and it was missed! Thanks for the rundown on your neck of the woods – interesting! Glad you're back. You should submit your blog to P2Blogs (p2blogs.com) – you'd fit right in with the rest of us!

  2. October 12, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    >Thanks for you input, chica! I always look forward to your feedback!! I will do my best to be more consistent with my entries. I have so much to say!! 🙂 I will most certainly check out p2blogs.com I didn't even know of its existence, so thank you for the heads up! Hope all is well!

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