Lying, politely defined, is the act of saying things that are untrue. To say that the sun rises in the west is a lie. To say that I have a Ph.D. is a lie. And to say that the 2020 Presidential Election was stolen is a Big Lie.
Parents have struggled with the penchant of young children to lie, well, forever. Many oodles of lessons have been deployed to dissuade young children from the tendency to lie. The Ninth Commandment commands that “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” and George Washington famously said “I cannot tell a lie,” and confessed to chopping down the cherry tree. And one of the fundamental lessons of kindergarten instruction is that one should not lie. Period and full stop.
And this brings me to the race to replace former Rep. Deb Haaland’s seat in the United States House of Representatives. In the running are State Representative Melanie Stansbury, State Senator Mark Moores, Independent Aubrey Dunn and Libertarian Chris Manning. Mr. Dunn and Mr. Manning should be applauded for throwing their respective hats in the ring, but neither has a realistic chance of winning the seat. This is not a judgment on their policy positions, but a recognition that real world power politics means that in a race for a national office, the functional choice means a choice between a Democrat or a Republican.
The two nice Republican ladies with whom I live both say Sen. Moores is a good man, a quality man. He is a prince of a fellow, as the elder nice Republican lady would say. But I cannot vote for him, as much as a prince of a fellow as he may be. I cannot vote for him because he seeks entry into a club, the Republican caucus of the United States House of Representatives, that requires you to lie for entrance into that club. As these words are written, the House Republican caucus has removed Rep. Elizabeth Cheney from her leadership position in the House Republican caucus because she will not lie. Specifically, she refuses to join the Big Lie, that the immediate former President actually won the November 2020 general election. She refuses to bear false witness against her neighbor, and for this heresy she has been removed from her position of power. Cancel culture anyone?
Sen. Moores seeks entry into this lying House Republican club, and I cannot go there. Can he be a rational, independent voice that rejects the Big Lie? Good luck. You can see what being a rational, independent voice got Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice-President Dick Cheney. Sen. Moores, if elected, would be a back-bencher rookie. I doubt his voice would be strong enough to effectively counter the Big Lie. He might try, and God love him for the effort. But if he did, he would quickly be cast into the Liz Cheney dustbin, never to be heard from again in the circles of the lying House Republican club. He would be able to do nothing to advance the interests of the constituents of New Mexico Congressional District 1.
As for Rep. Stansbury, her campaign strikes me as positive, and I was most impressed by her recent interview on KNME. She is a scientist by training, and she has experience working in the federal Office of Management and Budget. But heck, I was impressed by Sen. Moores’ KNME same-day interview; he is clearly an earnest, well-spoken, intelligent man. But if elected, Stansbury would be free from the requirement of lying; Moores would not be so free. He would be required to parrot the Big Lie, or, at best, to shut up.
It has been argued that the former President won 74+ million votes, the most of any sitting President in the history of the nation, and so his defeat means that his voters were somehow disenfranchised. But the very fact that the total number of Mr. Trump’s voters can be numerically quantified means they were not disenfranchised. Their votes counted, and they were counted. They just got beat by his challenger’s 81+ million votes. And this is how democracy works.
Someone should ask Sen. Moores whether President Biden won the 2020 election fair and square. If he answers with an unqualified “Yes,” he would at least have a shot at my vote.
Darrell M. Allen is a retired employment and criminal defense attorney. He lives with two nice Republican ladies north of I-40, where they run two head each of dog and cat.