Voting for a candidate who shares your values is as principled as it gets. I feel for voters whose preferred candidate didn’t win their primary on Tuesday, but it’s time to move on.
Backing a candidate who checks all of your personal political boxes is only half of your civic duty as a voter. The other half is getting rid of arguably the worst governor in New Mexico history. It’s about ending the criminal, economic, educational, and health tyranny that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has wielded without regard for the lives her policies have affected.
Federal vs. State, Executive vs. Legislative
I don’t feel the same way about federal elections as I do state races, nor executive and legislative races.
I’m not a fan of the “Grand Ol’ Party,” on the state or federal level. Outside of the primaries, which are closed to Independents, I am not a registered Republican, because the GOP is largely a disappointment. It is not Grand, it is mediocre. It gives far too much ground to Democrats and is anything but “fiscally responsible.”
Other than electing federal judges, the national Republican Party simply hasn’t done much to “conserve” our republic. In the state legislature, they have such small numbers that Democrats could hold a quorum without Republicans present at all and we’d end up with the same policies in place.
But there’s a difference between federal and state races, and an even bigger difference between executive and legislative elections. Here’s the difference:
Governors have executive authority to veto budgets and call special legislative sessions. They can implement emergency orders and lock down the economy, shut down schools, and fine businesses and churches for violating “social distancing” and masking orders that proved to have no effect on the spread of COVID and which have no basis in science or law.
For those who think the governor acted within her authority when she declared a monthly health emergency every month for two years straight, read the constitution.
“Upon the declaration of a disaster emergency the chief executive of the state shall within seven days call a special session of the legislature which shall remain in continuous session during the disaster emergency, and may recess from time to time for [not] more than three days” (emphasis added).— Article IV, Section 2 of the New Mexico State Constitution
In contrast, a candidate for U.S. Congress or the state legislature is one of dozens or hundreds of elected officials. Their votes matter, but their power as an individual is limited.
“Republicans” should have to court voters not on personality or party support or even “electability,” but on the merits of their Conservatism — and their populism. The last thing we need, on the national level or in the state house, is another rubber stamp for the whims of the Establishment. In the short term, look long-term. If the GOP loses seats because it pushes party puppets into races against more populist Democrats, so be it. You learn when you lose, and the Republican Party has a lot of learning to do.
But for executive positions — governor and president — any Republican candidate is a thousand times better than a Democrat. Grisham and Joe Biden are proof.
“He has the face, the money, the composure, and the backing not only of moderate Republicans, but he can potentially attract culturally Conservative Democrats to his side, which is necessary to giving Grisham the boot.
If Conservatives are as principled as they’ve been claiming for the last year of this campaign, they should too. It’s time to unite against MLG.”
—ConservativeNM.com, June 6, 2022
Libertarianism Isn’t Real
So many “principled” Conservatives and Libertarians have come out since Mark Ronchetti’s landslide victory in the gubernatorial primary to declare that they will not be supporting him in the general election. Libertarians in particular are puzzling, because they’re Conservative on the issues but idiotic when they get to the voting booth, if they bother to vote at all.
Libertarianism is a fine philosophy, but it’s no more a political party (in the practical sense) than the Green Party.
Congressman Paul Mitchell of Michigan’s 10th district and Virgil Goode of Virginia’s 5th are Independents, as was Justin Amash of Michigan’s 3rd. U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is an ideological “Libertarian,”, but he shares something in common with Mitchell, Amash, and Goode: they were all elected not as Independents or Libertarians but as Republicans. The only current U.S. Senators elected as Independents are Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine, and they both caucus with Democrats.
Libertarians have all the answers and no chance of seeing their policy positions put into practice. There’s no skin in the game for them. They can criticize both sides and never be wrong because their candidate will never be in a position to implement a Libertarian policy and face the repercussions of its failure or success.
Which is why Libertarians and Conservatives vote for and run as Republicans. Because that’s how you win, and if you don’t win, you can’t move the needle away from the Wokeism that is destroying our country.
Ronchetti The RINO?
Many voters (and candidates) accused Mark Ronchetti of being a “Republican In Name Only.”
It’s wielded with vigor and little evidence beyond citing a years-old video of him expressing the same hesitancy in Donald Trump that so many Americans (Republicans as well as Democrats) felt during and since his presidency.
What’s interesting about this complaint is that Ronchetti’s campaign platform was indistinguishable from his GOP rivals. They all agreed on crime and education and border security, on unleashing New Mexico’s natural resources and igniting the economy rather than shutting it down with flagrant abuses of emergency declaration authorizations.
The difference is that beyond the almost identical policy positions, Ronchetti has the name recognition, the picturesque family, the energy, and the “everyday American” appeal to be the face of a winning ticket — and he’s well-managed enough to avoid jumping into the media’s bear traps that isolate voters on both sides of the aisle with out-of-context snippets on hot-button issues that have no bearing on the well-being of New Mexicans (like whether the 2020 election was “stolen” or if “climate change” caused forest fires that we know were started by the forestry service).
People call Ronchetti a RINO because he’s not as rabid of a right-winger as some of his opponents, but the ideological intensity that separated Ronchetti from his competition rested on national issues, not New Mexican issues. The fact that Ronchetti secured 58% of the GOP electorate in a five-man race proves that New Mexico voters don’t want a bitter partisan. He won because his vision is local, practical, and appealing to everyday New Mexicans. And that’s why he has the best shot at flipping the governorship in November.
Ronchetti has vowed to hand over the governor’s emergency power authority to the legislature, where it belongs. He has vowed to send the National Guard back to our southern border. He has vowed to unleash New Mexico’s oil and gas industry and work on criminal reforms that keep the worst offenders behind bars. These aren’t political issues. They have nothing to do with right- or left-wing ideologies. They’re common sense policies that every New Mexican can support.
The “RINO” label is misguided and irrelevant. Any candidate that has policy positions that would improve New Mexico is better than another four years of Michelle Lujan Grisham. But so many “Conservatives” are virtue signaling their “principles” by declaring they won’t vote for this particular Republican in November.
That’s not principled. It’s dangerous.
Libertarian and Conservative Purism
Libertarianism is a fine philosophy, but it’s not a party. In an election that will determine whether or not our state continues down this road to ruin, voting for Karen Bedonie is a vote for Grisham.
The same goes for “true-blood” Conservatives and Ultra MAGA Republicans who “preferred” a Jay Block or Rebecca Dow.
The primary is over. The people spoke. Ultra MAGA didn’t make the cut, and in a state that is majority Democrat, Republican voters rightly picked a candidate that can compete in November.
Voting Libertarian doesn’t matter because the candidates never win, and sitting out this November because the GOP candidate doesn’t wear your particular brand of whatever you think a Republican “should say” is the reason Republicans have such a hard time getting elected in this state. Democrats don’t do this, and it’s why they hold near-super majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.
The time for political purity tests is in the primary. You cast your ballot — hopefully for someone who has a fighting chance of winning — and you tell your friends on social media that you voted for “your guy.” Then, in the general election, you vote for what’s best for the state.
What’s best for the state is Mark Ronchetti.