I must respond to Baruch Nutovic’s criticisms of Democratic Sen. Tom Udall’s accomplishments for New Mexicans and his endorsement of Republican Allen Weh in the upcoming U.S. Senate election. The fallacies of his arguments are too numerous to detail here in a short letter, so I will stick to the most obvious.
First, in arguing his position that Weh would be a political leader in the Senate who would “… do our state proud in Washington,” Nutovic pointed to Weh’s military service and his accomplishments as a businessman.
While Weh’s accomplishments in the military and as a businessman are certainly to be commended and appreciated, such accomplishments do not automatically qualify him as a successful politician. In the military, one gives and receives orders in the expectation that those orders are to be carried out without question or comment. As a CEO of a company, employees who do not follow the dictates of the boss often find themselves without a job.
Neither organization mirrors the core principles of democracy. Both organizations can support the development of leadership, but what kind of leadership? Is it the “do as I say” type of leadership, or finding common ground through discussion and compromise?
Second, Nutovic denigrates Udall’s legislative achievements as inconsequential and further criticizes him as the dreaded “… most liberal senator” outside the political values of most New Mexicans.
If Nutovic, or any other interested New Mexican, cares to truly understand the good Udall has done for the state, a quick Google search will reveal educational, social and environmental issues Udall works tirelessly on to better the lot of the people of his state.
As far as Udall being a liberal, so what? Liberals have given us the 40-hour work week, Social Security so old people don’t starve, the end of child labor, the GI Bill, which helped build the middle class, and so on and so forth.
Liberals, like conservatives, have valuable view points to offer us all. One of the charms of New Mexico is that we have not fallen into the partisan abyss so many other states are tearing themselves up over.
Finally, what is wrong with having someone who understands politics involved in the political process?
Politics is a nuanced art form that is messy in its process and glorious in its product. This takes someone who understands the intricacies of democracy rather than someone who is used to passing out directives to be followed.
I have no doubt that Weh and Nutovic are honorable and dedicated men. Tom Udall is also an honorable man.
We need such individuals to continue the great democratic conversational experiment that is the United States of America.