Bro, if you are even passively entertaining the idea that Steve Pearce is the right choice for New Mexico, I am here to dissuade you. The arguments I am about to make in favor of Pearce’s noble opponent in this matchup, Michelle Lujan Grisham, are clear enough to many, but I certainly hope they resonate with people from similar cultural circumstances.
Which is to say, home-piece, that I mean you: Hispanic or Native male of local or state origin, a member of Gen X or one of the final products of the baby boom, educated and/or experienced beyond the scope of high school and still rocking righteously about responsibility and respect, empathy, equality and entrepreneurial spirit. Some of you may even be Republican and I am telling you right from the get-go: Do not vote for Pearce!
Pearce represents a step away from the future, from sustainable progress. More visibly he is a full-fledged representative of the culturally dangerous views taken by Trumpistas, views that would shift our republic away from democracy and toward fascism as they deny the equality of women and the efficacy of science—just to name a few of the oafish ideas you’d be rallying behind if you decide on Pearce.
The best way to prove what I am writing about is to make a list of incidents, occurrences and circumstances that clearly demonstrate that Pearce is not only a bad fit for the job, but that his ascension would signal a crippling defeat for any progressive plans for our state’s future.
The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the highest court in the land brought innumerable social issues to bear on American culture, but none so profound as the clear tolerance of blatant sexism by the ruling party. In order to combat this shameful, backwards-looking propensity and to offer an inclusive, forward-looking alternative it has become the duty of progressive citizen voters—male and female—to vote out those individuals who demonstrate this nasty and unproductive proclivity.
As a leader in Congress, Rep. Pearce spoke about his views on the role of women in society. What he has said is inexcusably backwards and expresses an oppressive attitude that must be contained before it further contaminates America.
Ranked as one of the 15 “Worst for Women” leaders in Washington by both the UltraViolet PAC and American Bridge PAC, Pearce is on record as stating—in his memoir no less—that women must voluntarily submit to men if they are to be obedient to the Lord. Is that crazy or what? Everyone knows nuestras jefitas are in charge. Period.
Additionally, investigating Pearce’s record as a US Representative from N.M.’s 2nd District should be enough to erase any polling-time proclivities from your personal programming procedures.
Here are some of the awful bits of legislation—often aimed at limiting or reversing progressive legislative victories that came into being under President Obama—that Pearce has been party to the following intolerable governmental shennanigans:
• Pearce notoriously voted yes on House Joint Resolution 69, which calls for nullifying a rule issued by Obama’s Interior Department that places strict protocols on the methods used for predator control in Alaska. Opponents of the measure point out that the nullification allows hunters to shoot sleeping and hibernating bears and wolves as needed.
• Pearce voted for the GOP Healthcare plan, a plan that eliminates coverage for pre-existing conditions while giving citizens with very high incomes thousands of dollars in discounts through tax breaks. The measure Pearce supported also makes clear that while the ACA would be eliminated, he and his colleagues would get to keep the coverage they had gained through the plan.
• Last December, Pearce voted yes on HR 1, a bill which defined an absolutely and sinfully huge (try $1.7 billion, kids) tax cut for the wealthiest American citizens and their corporate masters. The same legislation also removed the mandate for individual coverage from the Affordable Care Act.
• Notably, this year Pearce did not vote on two very important pieces of legislation that have progressive undertones: HR 5895, the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch and Military and Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act for 2019 and HR 1191, legislation designed to create a special envoy to help monitor and combat Anti-Semitism.
Pearce literally stands for the re-development of and continued dependence on oil, natural gas, coal and other fossil fuels that are lurking deep in underground locations throughout the Land of Enchantment.
The Republican belief that such non-renewable resources should literally be mined to death in order to provide a semblance of economic security is an illusion. Continuing to believe in the aromatic spirit of the dinosaurs is a death trap that has historically resulted in a boom and bust economy in the south lands. The state’s own quasi-investment experts, the Legislative Finance Committee, warned about dependence on such volatile markets, in strong language, at this year’s Legislative session.
Though it is well known that Pearce, a voting member of the notoriously right-wing Congressional Freedom Caucus, has been offensively outspoken on the topic of LGBTQ rights, it bears repeating here as the election looms. Pearce has revealed himself as an unfriendly entity with bigoted views regarding some New Mexican citizens; this set of beliefs clearly gives credence to the call for Pearce’s defeat at the hands of a party that has time and time again demonstrated the opposite of Pearce’s perniciously hurtful and remarkably backwards people platform.
This is what the Republican candidate for governor had to say about LGBTQ citizens in 2008 when he was facing Tom Udall in a failed contest for US Senate and as revealed at NM Political Report: “What’s going on with gay marriage is the redefining of a social institution and redefinition has serious downside results. We don’t often talk about it in Washington, but one of the serious results is—and in Washington they already assume that gay marriage is a given, that it’s going to happen, that the courts will make it happen—the next step, then is polymorphism [sic], where one marries many.”
Most importantly, there is a substantive alternative to Pearce’s brand of dangerous demagoguery and 19th century thinking-style. Her name is Michelle Lujan Grisham and she is the Democratic candidate for governor this year. And while some New Mexicans down south have groused about her candidacy, there must be a united front in our state’s and our nation’s confrontation with the thugs and one-time outliers that threaten our democracy.
This is not a matter of voting for the lesser evil, do not let a misinformation campaign coming straight from the patriarchy fool you, citizens. Lujan Grisham represents a higher order of politics than those demonstrated by Trump and his cronies, an order that includes moral imperatives as well as demonstrably progressive political actions. In the case of Ms. Lujan Grisham, these include voting yes on the aforementioned HR 1911 and HR 5895 as well as the STOP School Violence Act (HR 4909), the Protecting Seniors Access to Medicare Act (HR 849) and the prohibition of funds of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity (H Amdt 1128).
Interestingly, Lujan Grisham showed some geopolitical expertise too, as one of the co-sponsors of the the bill meant to define terms of sanctions on the rogue nation of Iran HR 1698.
That she is the most eminently qualified candidate for the job is not the question; rather it’s whether middle class urban Chicanos raised on a diet of Val de La O, man caves covered in rich Corinthian leather and El Modelo brand red chile ribs can finally put aside their pinche machismo and admit the best way forward is with a qualified woman at the helm.
That’s what we’re aiming for en El Burque and down south, tambien. So, by our mark, there’s still time for former Dem candidate Jeff Apodaca to come to his senses, to remarkably and graciously undo the damage his father—former Democratic governor Jerry Apodaca—did when he—¡que barbaro!—endorsed Pearce. But just remember hijos, early voting starts this week!
Finally, here’s an interesting disclosure: my mom knew Jerry Apodaca in high school, back in Las Cruces, homies. She always spoke respectfully of him and dude showed up at my dad’s funeral. Serio. But if my mother, se llama Virginia, were alive—and I’m sure she was some kind of Democrat operative—I’m damn sure she’d get on the phone and lambaste those Apodaca fellows for not stepping up for Lujan Grisham when the time came. That time is now. Clearly, mi jefita would’ve known what to do; I know what to do and now, so do you, dear voter.