Thursday, May 19, 2016


Bernie Sanders will hold a rally in Vado, NM on Saturday that I'd like to go to. Not so much because of Bernie Sanders. I've always liked Bernie Sanders because he never shied away from the Socialist label but I'm not a Sanders supporter, having become disillusioned with electoral politics generally.

It's not how change is achieved. Mass movements like the Labor Movement, Civil Rights Movement, Women's Movement and Environmental Movement cause change. Revolutions cause change. Big shifts in public opinion cause change. The political system is set up to prevent change, to protect the status quo.

I'd be interested in changing the political system but as it's constructed it's not going to make any difference if a Sanders is elected. I'll go and vote for him as a way to dilute the power of the Capitalist class. As a protest vote, as blogger New Mexican who sometimes comments here has said he and his wife will do.

Sanders will hold rallies in Santa Fe and Albuquerque on Friday. I'll have worked Thursday night, then Friday morning have to do my bi weekly banking quickly because at 9:30 I'll be closing on my little 1949 stucco South Valley house with the big south facing back yard, so I'm not likely to be in shape that afternoon to drive downtown, find parking, walk, and then wait in a long line for a long time with a bunch of people who wouldn't give me the time of day let alone make eye contact if we passed on the street. The reporter and writer in me would like to go and observe the Bernie Sanders phenomena as it plays out via his mostly Anglo "middle class" New Mexico supporters, to watch and take notes as they emit throaty roars in this latest manifestation of the crippled, subdued, and closely guarded liberal impulse they still have but are afraid to manifest by how they live and treat people every other day of the year.

Vado is different, at least my memory of it is. It's a little farming town along the river between Las Cruces and El Paso. I-10 goes through there now and at that one exit are two independent truck stops each with a nice Mexican restaurant. The independents are much nicer places generally than the cold, glaringly lit chain truck stops of the big truck stop corporations. When I was driving over the road I'd always stop in Vado if I had time. Before I ate I'd often go jogging on the road that goes past the truck stops. Going away from the river, after it crosses the interstate, it becomes dirt as it winds up into the rocky dirt hills. I almost never saw anyone up there. I like to run on dirt. It's better on the knees. I also like to run uphill. In running uphill on dirt I get more exercise per unit of time, I tell myself. Really it's because it does my ego a lot of good.

I've been doing the nightly relay, Albuquerque to Holbrook and back, east and west on I-40, for about five years now and haven't been to Vado in quite awhile. I wonder who will show up at the Sanders rally, which is being held at the elementary school. That's probably down on the old highway along the river that passes the farms and grain co-ops and supply stores. Sanders doesn't poll well among "Latinos" nationwide. There's a Sanders Las Cruces Facebook group. I suppose they'll be there and some supporters from El Paso will come over.

From the looks of Google maps both truck stops are closed now. I see no trucks or cars parked at either. Those little independents have been disappearing since I got into trucking 20 years ago. I wonder what the Hispanic girls are doing who used to work in them and who live in the mobile homes that dot the slopes along the river. They are doing the same, I assume, as they've been doing for the last 400 years. Marrying and having children. Living and abiding. People who are also guarded in their own way but who, compared to the Anglos who have come out here, in their ways are more forthcoming and honest. People whose company, when I have to have any, I've come to marginally prefer. People who are the seeds of the coming Latino majority that, if anyone does, will transform this country and make it live up to the promise its founders, if they ever intended to, were incapable of keeping.


  1. You definitely have a knack for focusing on the bigger picture. I like that though its a weak spot for my thinking capacity. I don't know if this will help or not but I failed to renew my Time subscription ordered The Nation...:)

  2. Thanks TB.

    I think you made a wise move in that switch. I credit reading The Nation to greatly improving my critical faculties. They have a very high standard there, get the sharpest people to write articles for them. Not just the political analysis but the criticism, (art, literature, etc.,) in the back half of the magazine. I sometimes say reading The Nation was my education. When I praise your book reviews it's because I've read good book reviews.

    By the way, I've been referring people to your photo essay on Vancouver Island. People have been posting things about the protest movement against the Canadian government's dubious approval this week of a big pipeline carrying tar sands oil to Vancouver, that will not only bring the pipeline there but will increase tanker traffic into Vancouver something like fivefold. The articles talk about the environmental importance and biological diversity up there, but reading about it isn't the same as seeing it so I've been telling them to go have a look at your blog.