It was actually pretty frightening, the guns, the faces, the signs, the words, the anger. This is the Trump army and it is scary to think of what happens when he loses.
Roundhouse Alert: Just a quick reminder, that there is a House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources hearing at noon today at the Roundhouse in Room 317. At 11:30, Retake volunteers will be outside 317 with bill summaries for the first three bills, along with buttons and encouragement to all who can make it. The hearing room only holds about 80 people so it would be a good idea to arrive early. As a bonus, the three bills we are supporting are the first three on the agenda (below).
- HB 201 ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM TAX CREDIT CHANGES
- HB 217 ELECTRIC VEHICLE INCOME TAX CREDIT
- HB 233 ENERGY GRID MODERNIZATION ROADMAP
- HM 21 TRANSPORT & STORAGE OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE
- HB 293 NMED GREENHOUSE GAS EVALUATIONS
The Scary Underside of the US
Yesterday was NRA day at the Roundhouse, drawing a large crowd of people seething with anger and armed. First they rallied outside with speeches filled with fury, misinformation, and threats.
I had to pass through the throng to fetch some lunch. Going out and returning, passing through these people, was a very uncomfortable experience. When their eyes caught my Retake Our Democracy button, I was met with scowls, with one guy smirking and pushing forward his assault weapon. He was wearing a flak jacket and MAGA cap.
I tried not to draw conclusions about the individuals in the crowd based upon their appearance, but it was impossible. When I passed back into the Roundhouse a gun violence prevention advocate was staring out through the glass doors with a frightened look of horror on her face.
This is a side of America that Santa Fe rarely sees, yet if you look at any Trump rally, you will see the same faces, the same anger. I thought back upon a post I had published three years ago about how to talk with a Trump supporter and thought that while there are Trump supporters with whom you can talk, they were not prominent in this crowd.
After the rally, the group entered the Roundhouse to talk with legislators with many toting rifles, pistols or assault weapons. In one instance, a crowd of six or eight had entered an office to demand to see the legislator. When the aide told the group he was in caucus, they shouted; “We don’t care where he is, we want to see him. NOW.” I was thoroughly intimidated by these people, avoiding crossing their path as best I could. There were no smiles. None.
Today’s Roundhouse Roundup in the New Mexican offered this as their quote of the day from just one of the rally participants.
“Now you better get this right. I’ll hunt you down.”Andra Stradling, a Farmington resident at the NRA rally Friday at the Capitol, speaking with a New Mexican reporter.
“I’ll hunt you down.”
This morning as I thought more about this, I couldn’t help reflect how these people will react with the news that Trump has lost re-election, how they will respond to Trump’s inevitable tweets describing the election as a fraud and a coup. Trump has been setting these people up for years, joking about a third and fourth term, predicting a civil war if he is removed or voted from office. He plants seeds daily about how he is above the law, even suggesting he was sent from God. He talks of how the Democrats will do anything to remove him, how the news can’t be trusted. What happens when he declares the election a fraud?
I thought about how many of the same people I saw at the Roundhouse would respond to his inflammatory tweets and Fox News spewing conspiracy theories. These are not comforting thoughts.
Finally, I thought of how intimidated I was by these people, how I almost removed my Retake button, how I did nothing to intervene or protect the legislative staff who were being threatened by a crowd demanding to see a legislator who was simply not there. I thought about how ill prepared I would be should these same people and millions more take to the streets in November, armed and angry that their savior had been defeated.
These are not comforting thoughts and I can offer no action, no suggestions as to what to do or how to prepare, but I am interested in your thoughts. We can outvote these people and I suspect we will. But what then?
In solidarity but with a significant bit of fear and trembling.
Paul & Roxanne