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Editorial: New low in public discourse

It was an infantile antic that embarrassed Albuquerque and clearly crossed all boundaries of dignity. And it was just the first of two incidents within days that advanced the decay of public discourse in New Mexico,

Last Tuesday someone flew a drone with a sex toy attached at a campaign rally for mayoral candidate and Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales III . Kaelan Ashby Dreyer, 20, scuffled with the business owner who attempted to restore order by plucking the drone from the air. Police say Dreyer then took a swing at Gonzales, striking him in the arm. Gonzales unfortunately later pointed a finger at the Keller campaign, which denies any involvement. Even Dreyer debunked that theory, saying he’s no fan of Keller, either.

(Unfortunately the stunt may be a trend: Twitter video shows a drone/sex toy outside Legacy Church during a May 30 visit by Republican congressional candidate Mark Moores.)

And then on Thursday, more than 70 heckling protesters disrupted Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s announcement to run for reelection, stealing from the public any chance to hear what she had to say. One experienced reporter said this group was far more hostile than the usual civil protests we are used to. Individuals used bullhorns to drown out the governor, yelling “sieg heil” and chanting “lock her up.” The governor smartly cut the event short, but not before comparing the unruly crowd to the QAnon lizard people.

Albuquerque and New Mexico face many challenges, and voters deserve a robust marketplace of ideas, not X-rated antics, heckler disruptions or name calling. These actions only demean our community.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.