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I disagree with our leaders, but I don’t hate them

… I’ve been thinking about the governor’s press conference July 30 and the mayor’s press conference of a couple days (before). To be sure, I’ve been critical. Mea culpa. But what needs to be said, because I’m not sure it’s evident, is that I don’t hate our state and local government leaders; I simply disagree with the direction in which they are taking our city and state. Actually, “disagree” is a pretty mild verb, so let me help it out a bit: I vehemently, with every fiber of my being, disagree with their direction.

But I don’t hate them.

I don’t hate anyone – except terrorists and people who hurt children and animals. Oh, and anyone who talks during a movie.

I’m sure if (Gov.) Michelle (Lujan Grisham) and (Albuquerque Mayor) Tim (Keller) and City Council President Pat (Davis) and I all went to have drinks, it would be a lovely time. I think we would enjoy one another’s company. Pretty sure we would laugh and engage in lively conversation and realize we have a lot in common. No doubt in my mind. No, I don’t hate these people and, in fact, I pray for them all the time.

But Michelle, Tim and Pat are also running our city and state and as such, their decisions affect everyone living in the state. And folks, let’s face it, the state is hurting.

Just (the other) day, a silver Mercedes was riddled with bullets next to an Arby’s on the west side of town. Just (the other) night, five people were shot on the West Mesa. Five. There’s some serious stuff going on in our fair city, and it’s only getting worse.

And the city is getting dirtier. I remember a time when I was happy to get back to ABQ from out of town, because all things considered, our city was pretty clean. Is it still?

“Alex, I’ll take ‘Filth in Albuquerque’ for $100.”

So, while I hate no one – except the aforementioned movie talkers, you know who you are – I don’t like this “new” ABQ.

I don’t like the public health order rules applying to some but not to all.

I don’t like the fact New Mexicans are told not to travel out of state, but the United soccer team, which I love, can travel to Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma.

I don’t like winners and losers being picked in a pandemic.

I don’t like “safety theater.”

I don’t like shaming individuals for simply wanting to live their life and regain some sense of normalcy.

I don’t like mass gatherings being prohibited: graduation parties, backyard BBQs, worship, but protests where many gather shoulder-to-shoulder are “allowed.”

I don’t believe it is the role of government to “provide for families,” but rather, government should help create non-government opportunities and level the playing field so families can provide for themselves.

So, all that being said, I want it to be known that there is a difference between disliking a person and disliking a belief system.

I wish the leaders of our city and state health and wisdom, and I would happily sit down with them over a glass of wine. I would tell them I don’t hate them; I just disagree with them.

And then during the conversation, I would make a joke about how my wine consumption increases with every new report of violent crime in Albuquerque, which is multiple times a day. And they would nervously laugh. And then I would say, “I like you three, but the direction you are taking our fair city is messed up. It’s like you all three have your foot on the gas and are flooring it – right over a cliff.”

And then one or two might get irritated with me and walk out. But I’d yell after them, “At least we’re going over with our masks on, so that’s good.”

And then I’d finish their drinks.

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