Editorial: A plea to stay informed, engaged and outspoken

Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Millions of Americans are thrilled. That's not the case for the 2.9 million people that gave Hillary Clinton the popular vote. How do we handle ourselves once the pomp and circumstance is over? Be informed citizens.


On Friday (Jan 20.), Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

His inauguration certainly will be a reason to celebrate for those who voted for him.

But that is unlikely the case for those who didn’t. We would wager there are sentiments of dread, fear and even anger among those who wanted Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Gary Johnson or Jill Stein to lead our country instead.

After all, while Trump may have technically won the election via the Electoral College system, he lost the popular vote by 2.9 million.

There are reports Russia possibly interfered with the election process — plus the usual shenanigans by American politicians. And many of Trump’s nominations for cabinet secretaries have been sharply criticized.

No wonder he’s heading into office with a 44 percent approval rating, the lowest ever for an incoming president, according to a Gallup Poll.

Trump fans surely hope their candidate will prove everybody wrong. But what about those who don’t?

We say, “Be informed citizens.”

Really looking into something means doing more than just scrolling past a headline in your newsfeed. Forget the fake news your friends share on Facebook and other so-called news sites and shows.

Find sources that give balanced and objective reports about what’s happening in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere.

We say, “Be outspoken citizens.”

New Mexico is fortunate to have U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, who do represent the interests of our state. The same goes for U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján.

But their priorities must stay rooted in the people they represent, so keep them in the loop about your concerns. (Their information is on the next page.) While we are at it, contact the White House and the Cabinet directly.

And locally, The Taos News offers a forum for public opinion on its op-ed pages, as demonstrated by the submissions in this week’s edition.

An alternative Inauguration Day gathering will be held Friday, starting at 10 a.m. in Taos Plaza. The next day, local residents will join the National Women’s March in Santa Fe, a sister protest to the one in Washington, D.C., that is expected to draw thousands.

But we can’t let involvement stop there or only at the national level. We need to keep an eye on what’s happening locally and with the new session opening this week, the state Legislature.

Next year, elections will be held for town and county officials. Are those up for re-election doing a good job? If so, bring them back. If not, support somebody else. Or perhaps you believe you could do a better job.

Whether it’s national, state or local politics, this isn’t the time to sit back and be passive. Let’s make our voices heard.


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Dan Rifleman

Take away California and Trump won the popular vote by a decisive margin.

California is home to millions of illegals who remain there because their relatives are running the state and local governments. It is easy to see why they vote Democrat.

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