If yesterday’s episode of KIVA’s “The Rock of Talk” — heard locally in Albuquerque and globally over the Internet — had a theme, it was leadership.


Or, more accurately, leaders who will not lead.


Eddy Aragon’s first guest was Shaun Willoughby, who summarized the results of a new Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association poll. Among its findings:


  • 80 percent of the city’s cops are considering a new line of work


  • of those considering their options, 84 percent said it is due to the “current view on policing, the increased scrutiny on officers, new reform efforts and job insecurity”


  • 68 percent would not recommend law enforcement as a career choice


Willoughby believes that wildly out-of-touch elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels contribute to the sorry state of Albuquerque Police Department morale. And no pol illustrates the problem better than Pat Davis, a Duke City councilor who’s more interested in virtue signaling, placating left-wing mobs , and defending himself from former allies than fixing Albuquerque’s severe crime problem. Plus, he’s livid over the federal government’s rather modest step of sending 35 officers to help catch and prosecute bad guys. As Willoughby noted, in the past, local pols have “absolutely begged” for the national government to ride to the rescue. But with an election underway in just three months, Davis and his fellow “tone-deaf” preeners prefer “partisan politics” to the safety of their community.


Eddy’s next guest, Larry Behrens, offered another example of AWOL leadership — and it’s a failure that impacts the whole state.


From her underlings’ funny math to her hysterical, cult-of-personality ravings (“you’re not supposed to be going out!”), her Orwellian freeway signs (“MASKS MEAN NM KIDS CAN GO BACK TO SCHOOL”) to her far-from transparent “Economic Recovery Council,” Michelle Lujan Grisham has thoroughly bungled the Land of Enchantment’ response to COVID-19.


Everything about her “management” of the public-health challenge, Behrens alleged, has been crafted to avoid creating a single bad headline for Lujan Grisham. She is “too scared to be a leader,” he said.


It’s an apt description for nearly everyone in a position of power in the state in 2020. Never has an Election Day mattered more for the future of New Mexico.