When most Americans think of New Mexico, three things come to mind, depending upon their level of cultural awareness. Some people think of Roswell, and all the stories of crashed alien spacecraft and mysterious autopsies at the government's secret Area 51. Others think back a while longer, and picture Georgia O'Keefe painting orgasmic blossoms in the desert. Then, those people with an eye on a future of real progress think of New Mexico's Governor Bill Richardson, who may be making a run for President of the United States in 2008, but is definitely facing a re-election challenge in 2006.
New Mexico cannot escape the anchor of its landscape, to be sure. The natural environment is all at once preserved with the most ancient remains in all of the Americas and blasted to smithereens in a devastated rectangle of desert pulverized by generations of atomic bombs. Navajo claim the land, as do Apache and the people of the Acoma Sky Pueblo, whose paid guides will tell you, if you are from New York, that they call themselves "the Little Apple." The anglos claim the land as well, up in Taos and in Santa Fe, where you'll pay five dollars for a glass of orange and a small fortune for a polished fossil set in silver.
Only in New Mexico could people call a town Truth or Consequences with a straight face. Of course, it's pretty hard to know when the people of New Mexico are playing a dry joke at your expense. The spirit of Coyote still roams wherever it wants in this state, and makes havoc with outsiders' sense of order.
So, New Mexico splits between hard-line traditionalists and wide open liberality of mind, and sparks fly when the two meet. In New Mexico, we find the past and future, fear and freedom, open landscapes and closed minds. New Mexicans experience the same cultural battles as the rest of America, but they seem to range on a wider plane, from the cosmic down to the dusty earth pounded to death by the gigantic new desert dairies sucking the state dry.
Where New Mexico goes, so goes America, although in a much less dramatic way. So, as many progressive people in New Mexico as we find, we know many more are underground or in obscure corners. We'd like your help in bringing them into the light. If you know of any progressive candidates, information resources or organizations in New Mexico that we don't have listed here, let us know and we will consider including them in our growing directory.
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