BY GEORGE CHANDLER
Los Alamos County Assessor
The last time I ran for office in Los Alamos was in 1994. Most things are different now. Even walking the streets is different – used to was I’d just get up and go into a neighborhood and knock on every door until I was on the verge of collapse or had to pee. Today the Party provides me with an online list of “likely voters” in a walkable neighborhood (with GPS tracking), the voters selected by an algorithm as likely to vote for me. Then I knock until on the verge of collapse or, well, you know. Turns out though that the lists are not up to date and so I knock on a lot of doors behind which are people not so likely to vote for me, so I still get to do some verbal sparring, which is kinda fun and what I always enjoyed in the old days. Algorithms are fine, but “garbage in garbage out”, as we used to say. Sometimes I kick over the traces and talk to somebody on the street, just for fun. Don’t tell the Party please.
Of course the huge change is Social Media. In 1994 the Monitor was the medium of information exchange for all things Los Alamos, so it was Letters to the Editor. Space was limited, so candidates had to be judicious as a group and the Monitor seemed to try to be fair with space to all the candidates and still leave room for non-candidates to address non-election issues of the day. And remember, all 7 Councillors and the other officers except the Judges had to run every two years. Now with Social Media, local Facebook groups, and two wonderful online forums (I still call them Letters to the Editor, or leditters) the bars are down and letters by and about candidates and comments on Social Media proliferate.
With the novel attempt by a heavily losing presidential candidate in 2020 to overturn the result of an election, including an armed assault on the US Capitol, accompanied by an ongoing stream of lies and frivolous lawsuits by incompetent lawyers claiming fraud in the most efficient, well-run, secure and honest election system in the world and in time, it’s a new story. Every dingbat with a computer can gin up a new conspiracy theory and attract like-minded dingbats in a parallel digital universe inhabited by seemingly ordinary people with homes and jobs and kids and go to church on Sunday who are falling all over themselves to validate the fantasies of a Madman. And they’re setting up to make similar challenges to elections they lose from now on. And some of them are running for office, where they may or may not admit to their support for the Madman. Let us call them Election Deniers.
In response, a number of thoughtful people have developed Tests. The Madman might call it a Left-Wing Conspiracy. The Deniers insist on absolute loyalty to the Madman, which means Denier Candidates cannot deny that the election was rigged and the Madman lost. They are allowed however, to be silent for the purpose of perhaps actually deceiving people into believing that they would not support a Madman. We know that Deniers are also expected to dishonor Truth. So the thoughtful ones decided to ask all candidates to affirm their belief in the results of the 2020 presidential election, to smoke out the Deniers among them who are subject to retribution by angry mobs if they be deemed traitors to the Madman by denying him. Look at Liz. Such then are Richard Skolnick and David Hanson, who have asked this of Los Alamos Candidates. Also New Mexico First, which has done the same with a long list of pledges to clean campaigns.
I will do my bit. I believe that Joe Biden was legitimately elected President in 2020 in a fair free open honest election that had no systemic fraud.
I pledge to follow the Five Principles put forth by New Mexico First.
I also pledge my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor to fight against any effort to undermine the election process, to intimidate voters, or to rise in rebellion against the United States of America.