7 steps to better government - Albuquerque Journal

7 steps to better government

We are a group of citizens living in Grand Junction, Colo. We are Republicans, Democrats and those unaffiliated with a party. We are conservatives, moderates, and liberals. Many of us have long been active in politics while some of us have been uninvolved – until now. But today, we agree we must speak out about a serious threat facing western Colorado and many other communities, including Albuquerque and the rest of New Mexico.

Political extremism is that threat. It has fueled hatred. It has promoted false conspiracies and lies. It has turned family, friends and neighbors against each other. And it must stop.

We want to be clear. We are not against principled partisanship from any political party or interest group. We are against any extremism whether from the left or right.

Yes, this is political, but it’s not only about politics. Fundamentally, it is about how we treat each other. Call it civility, respect or plain good manners. Democracy cannot survive without it. Speaking up publicly against extremism right now is essential. Silence emboldens extremists. The last few years have shown it will not go away just by hoping it will. We must do more.

Extremism is an issue facing the entire country. But our best chance of influencing change is by focusing on the local level. If more of us become involved, we can rebuild politics in our local communities. It is possible to return to a sane and functional government.

We must do more than simply be against extremism. We must embrace an alternative set of political principles. We, the undersigned, agree these seven beliefs should guide us:

1. We believe political parties should vigorously compete over values, principles, and ideas but also find common ground to solve problems and pass needed legislation. Gridlock is not an option.

2. We believe facts, supported by irrefutable evidence, are the basis for what to believe and how to act. No civilization can endure when its citizens believe there is no such thing as objective facts or truths.

3. We believe no one has a monopoly on the best public policy proposals. That means the ability to listen to and understand both sides of a debate are a prerequisite to finding practical solutions.

4. We believe public interest must come before party interest. This means putting what is right ahead of loyalty to a party or an individual party leader.

5. We believe problem-solving is more important than fund-raising. Extremists line their pockets then use the funds to amplify division instead of producing solutions.

6. We believe citizens should be free to run for office or volunteer to support the candidate of their choice without being threatened or harassed. Extremism uses intimidation because it cannot stand up to independent, open-minded thinking. Instead, it relies on the mentality of the mob.

7. We believe it is time to expect citizens to embrace individual responsibility. Extremists always talk about “freedom,” but never mention the responsibility to the community that comes with it.

We, the undersigned, pledge:

• To support candidates who best embody these beliefs – regardless of political party.

• To urge family and friends to oppose political extremism as if the well-being of the nation depends on it.

• To speak up and speak out publicly, with friends over coffee or more publicly in media.

• To get involved, vote and volunteer.

Endorse the pledge and have your voice heard. Go to restorethebalance.org to endorse the pledge.

George Orbanek is the former editor and publisher of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (1985-2008). He is a center-right independent. Tim Sarmo is a former regional manager for the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. He was a longtime Democrat but is now unaffiliated. Both authors are founding members of Restorethebalance.org.

Home » Opinion » Guest Columns » 7 steps to better government

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Time to Downsize: Strategies for sifting through a lifetime ...
ABQnews Seeker
Over the course of a lifetime, ... Over the course of a lifetime, most people collect a lot of stuff. The closet stuffed full of items ...
Bee sponsor Nusenda rooted in education
ABQnews Seeker
Sara Keller is focused on cultivating ... Sara Keller is focused on cultivating community.This is exactly why she finds her role ...
Word for Word: Language — first, second or both ...
ABQnews Seeker
Ivanna Nevarez, a fifth grader at ... Ivanna Nevarez, a fifth grader at Southern Heights Elementary School in Hobbs, comes from a family o ...
Back on stage: 25 students will compete in this ...
ABQnews Seeker
Twenty-five participants.This is the number of ... Twenty-five participants.This is the number of New Mexico spellers who will compete in ...
Something new for Holly Holm: Fight against a former ...
Even if Holly Holm and Yana ... Even if Holly Holm and Yana Santos were BFFs, not just former teammates and training partners with a ...
Park Square's new flavor: Sawmill developer plans new Uptown ...
From the newspaper
Park Square Market, set to open ... Park Square Market, set to open in summer 2024, will feature between 15 and 20 restaurants, the majority of which will be Albuquerque-based.
Housing Trust funds boost 4 projects
ABQnews Seeker
Over $2M approved by the New ... Over $2M approved by the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority
A half-century later, activist and NM native Dolores Huerta ...
ABQnews Seeker
Huerta is back in her native ... Huerta is back in her native New Mexico to participate the 30th Annual César Chávez and Dolores Huerta Celebration on Saturday, March 25, at ...
Talk of the Town: Credit unions, pandemic response, Navajo ...
From the newspaper
OPINION: New Mexico credit union member-owners' ... OPINION: New Mexico credit union member-owners' funds are safe.