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No More Normal: We Need A Plan

Eric J. Garcia / El Machete Illustrated
"Origins: Creating the problem for profit"

The final presidential debate of 2020 got passing marks because the candidates managed to take turns. But rarely did they roll out the kind of action plans the moderator was looking for. She kept asking: If elected, what will you do about this big problem we are facing? Still, candidates did not venture into specifics. We think that was by design. The strategy was, make debate No. 1 so bad that by the time debate No. 2 comes around, expectations are so low, everyone will just be grateful it’s not incoherent shouting and call it good. But in a time with multiple crises pressing down on us, specific plans can pull people together, provide direction and alleviate anxiety. So that’s what this episode is all about. What do you want to hear candidates talking about? What kinds of plans and policies do you wish they were outlining before the public?

In episode 15, we hear from an array of people about the specifics they want to hear discussed by people seeking political power in this tumultuous time.


Khazi Sinandile (left, age 9) and Wayah Rukavina (age 10) are our imaginary presidential candidates. SINANDILE / RUKAVINA 2020!!!

Executive Producer Marisa Demarco used to play a game with her stepchild when they were little. It was a presidential debate with the kiddo as a candidate and questions posed about real things happening in the world. Demarco would ask: "When you are president, how will you address this issue?" They would play for hours, until any of the adults around couldn't take it anymore. She wanted to pass along an interest and investment in the news, in the world. This week we invited two 10-year-olds to be presidential candidates, and we posed similar questions to what was asked in the second debate of 2020.

The Candidates are:

  • Khazi Sinandile: age 9
  • Wayah Rukavina: age 10







  • Maria Barsallo Lynch – Executive Director, Defending Digital Democracy Project at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
  • Heather Ferguson – Executive Director, Common Cause New Mexico
  • AhtzaDawn Chavez – Executive Director, NAVA Education Project


Next week: We talk about the election. What else did you think we were going to talk about?

Special thanks to:

  • Hannah Colton, Taylor Velazquez, Kaveh Mowahed and Nash Jones for the editing help
  • Our future presidential candidates Khazi Sinandele and Wayah Rukavina. (After the debate, they asked: How will people vote for us? How will we know who won? Look for No More Normal on Facebook. We’ll poll you there.)
  • Artist Eric J. Garcia of El Machete Illustrated provided the artwork for the online version of this week’s episode
  • Jazztone the Producer, Cheo, Dahm Life, and Oh Lawd Records for providing music for the show. Khaki, Pope Yesyesyall, and Biggawat produced some of the show's themes.

No More Normal is brought to you by Your New Mexico Government, a collaboration between KUNM, New Mexico PBS and the Santa Fe Reporter. Funding for our coverage comes from the New Mexico Local News Fund, the Kellogg Foundation and KUNM listeners like you, with support for public media provided by the Thornburg Foundation.

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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