Optimism. It’s a powerful motivator. And it electrified me out of a deep, three-hour slumber the morning after Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States.
“Oh, my God. He did it!” were the first words I spoke.
Remembering how I felt the day after the 2012 election, I had requested vacation time on November 9th months ago, fully expecting to spend all day curled up in a fetal ball. As much as I tried to ignore ridiculous propaganda from the liberal media, who had already coronated Hillary long before she defeated Bernie Sanders in the primaries, I was worried. Anxious. And terrified that somehow the Democrats and all those dead voters would steal the election.
But as it turned out, the tens of thousands of people who flocked to Trump rallies were the bellwether. This one man, without any help from his own party, filled entire stadiums and probably drew larger crowds than the Beatles once did.
And mainstream media completely ignored the greatest political story of our lifetime.
It wasn't a movement, as Trump defined it. It was an UPRISING. The forgotten, honest and hard-working middle class were mad as hell, and they rose from the rural, un-polled shadows of America to take back this country from corrupt politicians and a complicit media, turning election maps into a metaphorically angry red.
The unprecedented, come-from-behind victory of this political outsider stunned everyone, especially Hillary’s supporters. “How could this be?” they cried.
But honestly, we already knew how this would end. Aesop taught us years ago in “The Tortoise and the Hare” fable that losing is what happens when you’re overconfident and take naps.
Seriously, if you were a Hillary supporter, you need to turn your despair and anger toward the biased, alphabet-soup media, who were working so hard to get her elected that they completely missed the real story.
And every day, they deceived you with a steady diet of censorship.
How much do you really know about Hillary putting our national security at risk with her e-mail scandal? How about the Clinton Foundation—do you even know that the FBI is still investigating the alleged shenanigans of that (ahem) nonprofit organization? Did you even hear about the revelations from WikiLeaks proving that CNN was working hand in hand with the Democratic National Committee to shape their political stories?
In other words, the liberal media didn’t cover the election. They tried to INFLUENCE it, and in so doing, they disgraced the only profession protected by our sacred Constitution.
Get this, all you so-called journalists: You don’t decide who becomes president of the United States. WE, THE PEOPLE DO! And we have decided that it is Donald J. Trump—who spent hundreds of millions of his own money and is therefore not beholden to any special-interest groups—who will lead us out of this abyss created by President Obama’s eight-year streak of executive orders that fundamentally transformed America.
Hey, President Obama: We like our America just the way the Founding Fathers intended it, thank you very much. Now get packing, mister!
I have heard that many Natives, as well, are worried and in despair over a Trump presidency. Please be patient and give our new president-elect a chance. He is a builder. He is a fixer. He is a job-creator. Have faith that he will build, fix and stimulate the economy of this country—and he will have the best interests of Indian Country at heart, too.
Believe it or not, Native Americans have a lot in common with the stomped-on middle class, in that both populations have felt disenfranchised for quite some time. As activist filmmaker Michael Moore said to Democrats on his Facebook page after the election, “…you were in a bubble and weren't paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair," he writes. "YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew."
You’ll be happy to know that candidate Trump reached out to Native Americans during the campaign. Deswood Tome, former chief of staff for the Navajo Nation, earned the attention of the Trump team with a letter he wrote concerning sovereignty and the citizenship of Native Americans. That gutsy letter resulted in an hour-long conference call with Trump’s national advisers and 93 top Native leaders to discuss tribal issues—before Trump was overwhelmingly elected.
While Tome acknowledges that Indian Country has many priorities to work on with the White House, he believes relinquishing federal control over tribes and redefining citizenship should be at the top of the heap.
“A lot of tribes don’t know this, but we have been statutory citizens for the last 92 years, as are Puerto Ricans. All other Americans enjoy a constitutional citizenship,” Tome explains. “The fact that Native Americans’ citizenship derives from a statute passed by Congress makes us second-class citizens, and this needs to change! I’d like President-elect Trump to appeal to Congress to make tribes a priority.”
Patience, Indian Country. We are squarely on the radar of the new Trump administration. Real change—not the Obama kind— is coming.
Lynn Armitage is a contributing writer and an enrolled member of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin.