MCALLEN, TX – JUNE 12: Central American asylum seekers wait as U.S. Border Patrol agents take groups of them into custody on June 12, 2018 near McAllen, Texas. The families were then sent to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing center for possible separation. U.S. border authorities are executing the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy towards undocumented immigrants. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions also said that domestic and gang violence in immigrants’ country of origin would no longer qualify them for political-asylum status. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Published November 6. 2018
Today is Election Day in America. Some are saying it is the most important midterm election in modern times. Todays votes once tallied will provide us with a clearer picture of what the next two years will bring before the 2020 presidential election.
Native people are said to have different worldviews from others in American society. Interestingly enough, American Indians participate in the U.S. military at a higher percentage than other racial or ethnic groups to defend democracy. Unfortunately, there is no direct correlation to voting patterns. American Indians vote at a lower percentage than other ethnic groups. This is confusing because having the ability to cast a vote is the best benefit of any democracy.
The past two years have proven we live a very divided United States of Ameof rica. From Charlottesville where white nationalists marched through the streets with torches to the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, we saw how divided America is.
Today we have an opportunity to get America moving in a more civil direction by voting for candidates who care about issues important to us, such as healhcare and protection of social security benefits. The choice is quite obvious.
Before you vote, you should read again the following five stories that convinced me to vote the way I did:
Trump in North Dakota: Dakota Access Pipeline Right Thing to Do
Trump Administration Wants American Indians to be Considered a Race Rather than Sovereign Nations
Armed Trump Supporters Confront American Indian Arizona Lawmakers at State Capitol
Trump Administration Deals Major Blow to Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe
Trump Administration’s Policy of Separating Children is Reminiscent of Indian Boarding Schools
The stories only confirmed the dread of the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. So, for you who think it does not matter if you vote or not, history will teach you quite the opposite. For those of you who think it does not matter who is elected, the past two years have proven it does.
For American Indians, votes really do matter. Electing people who are willing to truly understand tribal sovereignty and treaty rights is critical. For that reason, Senator Heidi Heitkamp and Senator Jon Tester deserve Indian Country’s votes.
Please exercise the right that many of our ancestors fought so hard to protect for this and future generations: The democratic right to vote!
Levi Rickert is the publisher and editor of Native News Online.