Obama Will Need Indian Votes to Be Reelected

A column by Chuck Trimble, who says that Barack Obama will need votes from Native Americans to win the 2012 presidential election.

The price of gasoline at the pump is skyrocketing and is expected to flatten the upward trend on the stock market charts, thus maybe even stalling the economic recovery from the Republican recession of 2009 and 2010. In a strange twist, this is making many millionaire and billionaire stockholders happy. Why? Because President Obama will get the blame, and perhaps if we are in an economic nosedive come election time, Obama will be defeated.

I have an elderly friend whom I visit regularly. He’s well along in retirement but stays in his office which is like the control room of an ICBM launch site with computer equipment of all sorts. He is solidly in the right wing of the Republican Party. When I praise American industry for the amazing recovery of General Motors to the top of the world market from the depths of bankruptcy only three years ago, he is not pleased. And especially with Chrysler Corporation’s return to competitiveness from years of pedestrian design, trash pile reliability, and negative sales, one would think that my friend would be ecstatic. No way....and why? Because both of these American corporations were beneficiary to Obama’s bail out strategy, especially his firing of their top management and replacement with proven talent of his choice. In addition, Obama’s negotiators placed a third of the ownership of General Motors in the hands of the United Auto Workers union in payment for their retirement and insurance benefits that went down the drain in the near demise of the corporation. Nevertheless, Obama rightly claims much credit for his administration in this recovery, and a whole bunch of rust belt jobs survivors hail him as their savior.

Leading the GOP attack is Newt Gingrich, the Guru in the traveling circus that is the slate of Republican candidates shredding each other for the party’s nomination to take on their political piñata, Barak Obama. Gingrich says that the General Motors and Chrysler corporations should have been allowed to go into bankruptcy and work their way out through the process of reorganization. Problem is that there was no source that would have invested in those losers after they proved their ineptness and stiffed so many investors and Unions in getting to the sorry state they were in. Reorganization and refinancing would have taken too much time, and they likely would have gone down anyway.

Nevertheless, the slow recovery of the overall economy and the slow pace of employment recovery, in the minds the Republican Right, justify their hatred for the President, and camouflage their racism in trying from the day of Obama’s inauguration to discredit him and destroy him. Indeed, they don’t say it outright, but it is written all over them: “Get that nigger out of the White House,” where in their minds he should never have been allowed to enter in the first place.

Two years ago, I read an article by Dr. Carlos Dews, author and professor of English literature, titled "The Nigger Show." He wrote, “I first heard this expression used to describe the Obama administration during a visit to my hometown in East Texas during the early summer of 2009. I understood what the epithet meant: Our minds are made up, the president lacks legitimacy, and there is nothing he can do that we will support.”

The mighty one-percenters may even suppress their greed and force a downturn in the economy to embarrass and defeat the President, so great is their hatred for him. So it is that even against any of the clowns that have entertained America since the Iowa crap-shoot, a second term will be no shoe in for President Obama. Despite the continued signs of economic and employment recovery, slow but steady, he will have a tough campaign against the big Super PACs.

Indian country has a proven friend in Barack Obama, and it’s in our interest to work for his re-election in November, whether or not he chooses to apologize to our people for past treatment at the hands of the European colonizers.

Charles “Chuck” Trimble was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He was principal founder of the American Indian Press Association in 1969, and served as executive director of the National Congress of American Indians from 1972 to 1978. He is retired and lives in Omaha, Nebraska. His website is IktomisWeb.com.