Surely many people at this moment are also writing their thoughts down in regards to the terrifying and extraordinary events of Jan. 6, 2021, as Trump loyalists mounted an insurrection that threatened life and liberty in the U.S. Capitol and against American democracy itself.

But for us, it is imperative we keep one thing in mind here in New Mexico: The establishment Republican Party sent and continues to send numerous, clear signals in support of this kind of heinous action that cannot be ignored.

Following last week’s electoral certification, New Mexico Republican Party Chairman Steve Pearce doubled down on his party’s support of undermining the free, safe and fair elections of the citizens of this state, officially releasing a statement in support of GOP state Rep. Cathrynn Brown’s proposed legislation that would decertify New Mexico’s electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden.

In their decision to move forward on seeking decertification, the party admits to their monthslong attempts by “concerned citizens” in challenging election law “violations” and “questionable vote counting.” They also continue to push the rhetoric of an untrustworthy voting process that had also placed their cult leader in the White House back in 2016.

It is not enough to know that such a showpiece won’t make it out of the gate in this year’s already-crowded and Democratic-controlled Legislature. Clearly, there is a need for profound review of ourselves as a state and a society if we allow such things to happen without inspection and accountability.

The oft-repeated but very true and rational response to questioning the results of November’s election by Republican lawmakers is that their own validity as a lawmaker is then also in question.

They have consistently failed to clarify how it would be possible for their election to office to be valid while the results of the exact same ballots are invalid for the office of president. It just doesn’t make sense.

But we know that’s not the point, sadly. The point is to further rile up certain members of the Republican base using conspiracy theories and nonsense to further inculcate a distrust in any form of traditional government that supports the rights of the most marginalized members of our communities. Or more simply put, the Republican Party has now more openly embraced the racism and jingoism that carried Trump to office in the first place but is clearly out of step with New Mexican and American values.

Whether it be these dramatic and fruitless attempts through the state Legislature, openly supporting the armed vigilantes that have become common outside our Roundhouse, or even failing to condemn the violent takeover of the U.S. Capitol, the New Mexico GOP’s stance is very clear: Their way or violence.

We call upon any good and decent citizen within New Mexico to call for change within the Republican Party of New Mexico. While our politics may not align on policy at nearly any level, surely we can and should agree that dealing in conspiracy and violence is not what we’re about and that New Mexico deserves better, no matter which party you ascribe to.

Alissa Barnes is the executive director of ProgressNow New Mexico.

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