SAVE THE GOP, SAVE NEW MEXICO?

KIVA’s Eddy Aragon had an announcement on Friday: He’s running to be the next chairman of the Republican Party of New Mexico.

Why would an entrepreneur with more than enough on his plate run for the unpaid position?

Because like a lot of New Mexicans -- both those who were born here and transplants happy to call the Land of Enchantment home -- Eddy’s sick.

Sick of an “opposition” party that has proven itself incapable of offering an effective alternative to 90 years of Democratic Party dominance. Sick of seeing a state with nothing but potential strangled by socioeconomic stagnation. And sick of the predation and corruption of a political class that looks out only for itself.

Eddy’s got big plans for the state’s GOP. From messaging to candidate recruitment, fundraising to legal tactics, he intends to bring attitude and vibrancy and innovation to an entity badly in need of fresh blood, new ideas, and cutting-edge strategies. So say goodbye to lame stunts such as “Respect New Mexico.” (What the heck was that, anyway?) And say hello to a different, bold direction for a party badly in need of a complete overhaul.

Stopping by the KIVA for his usual Friday visit was the Piñon Post’s John Block, who offered an election postmortem. No, 2020 wasn’t a triumphant year for GOP candidates -- what else is new? -- but the victory of Yvette Herrell over Xochitl Torres Small was unquestionably good news. John also noted the wins of Crystal Diamond and Joshua Sanchez, who will replace Democrats in the New Mexico Senate, and said that the state “staved off a disaster” by denying the donkeys a supermajority in the upper chamber.

The Piñon Post has covered the illegal destruction of the obelisk in Santa Fe Plaza since it happened, and this week, the publication was delighted to report the charging of Lily Sage Schweitzer and Ryan Witt with a number of offenses connected to the incident.

KIVA’s D. Dowd Muska looked into one of the perps, and discovered that she has an, er, “colorful” past. Schweitzer is a 2009 graduate of the now-defunct, and very hippie-dippy, Marlboro College in Vermont. She appears to live at a home owned by her (doctor) father in Weston, Connecticut -- a community of immense wealth and precious little “diversity.” Schweitzer’s “work” experiences include “Independent Study on Urban Shamanism in Mongolia” and “A Man of Flesh and Cardboard” at the Bread and Puppet Theater. Her “skills” include “active listening,” “clowning,” “critical thinking,” “dream interpretation,” “foraging,” “mushroom propagation,” “roughin’ it,” “scavenging,” and “wool felting.”

Why, Dowd wondered, does the Land of Enchantment attract such loopy people? One texter put it simply: “They use New Mexico to disappear.” That is, they come to this unique place and decide that the standard rules and habits and conventions of civil society don’t apply to them. So they indulge their silliness, immaturity, self-absorption, and mental deficiencies. And along the way, they make substantial contributions to New Mexico’s deep dysfunction.

But take heart. Change is coming -- and it may just begin with new leadership for the state’s GOP.