Today’s heated political rhetoric can trace its origins to multiple historical events, years of social and economic inequality and the emergence of spirited, well-organized extremists from both major political parties. The rhetoric reflects an unhealthy division within one’s own party.
In the Democrat Party the reflection has manifested in factions splintering off, charging one another with ignoring the others’ commitment to the lower and middle class, otherwise cemented in popular culture as the 99 percent.
The dangers that lie with such division and fault-finding is it breeds a political and legislative environment where a group’s ideas or common territory – ideology – trumps an ability to produce a desired or intended result – efficacy. In the case of today’s interparty fracturing, it’s doubly disheartening, for it could be avoided if efficacy could indeed displace ideology as the party’s mantra in Santa Fe.
Certain factions of the Democratic Party that find themselves frustrated and abandoned by the moderate members are joined in their frustration by a majority of New Mexicans who are frustrated with elected officials whom they view as not working for the citizens of this state. Citizen frustration stems from a general sense that those we have elected to lead us have become apathetic to their constituencies. The “left” or “progressive” faction’s frustration stems from the pursuit of perfection through ideological policy that is simply not realistic. Government is built, operated and maintained by the people and for the people.
Given that human beings are supremely imperfect, their very involvement precludes any semblance of perfection in the system. Political subdivisions benefit when their lawmakers govern from the middle. It’s where compromise and pragmatism come together to deliver tangible results to New Mexicans.
Rhetoric and finger-pointing are designed to obstruct results. When progressives circle their wagons and collectively call out the moderate members of the Democratic Party they produce negative results – a splintered base and an emboldened opposition.