Native American promises
In ''Clinton presents plan for Native America'' [Vol. 27, Iss. 23], I found the second-to-last paragraph most telling. In particular, [the statement:] ''Democratic-leaning critics within the Washington lobbying community ... questioned whether Clinton and the new Democratic majority were moving forcefully enough on an Indian platform that was already in place.'' In the usual ''caught between a rock and a hard place'' assessment regarding indigenous-to-U.S.-government relations, the reader is left to drop any criticism of the candidate's party and policies due to the ''political reality of narrow majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives.'' As a Green Party presidential candidate, I am very familiar with this line of detrimental thinking. We call it ''lesser evil-ism.''
Stepping back and taking a historical perspective, one finds that the Democratic and Republican parties are just two sides of a long trail of broken promises. I, too, think the candidate's promises sound good! As president, I would support the ''Native-specific'' agenda portrayed (I promise) and ''nominate judges who respect tribal sovereignty,'' etc. Even better, as a presidential candidate and as a ''Native son,'' I can bump this competition up a notch. The Green Party is small enough that your organizational support will go a long way toward helping me receive the nomination. After I receive my party's nomination during this primary season, I will make the inter-party presidential debates more interesting and applicable to indigenous people by mentioning such unmentionable words as ''genocide'' on the campaign trail.
By registering Green and actively participating in my campaign (Mesplay for President), you can have a direct effect on presidential politics. I am reaching out to the tribes in California as I put together a delegation to represent my California primary votes at the Presidential Nominating Convention in Chicago, Ill., July 10 - 13, 2008. Last time, I was runner-up to Ralph Nader during the second round of voting at the convention.
My main platform planks are as follows: Increase self-reliance and sustainability at all levels as a security issue; reform politics so that it works for the people; peace. Green solutions such as renewable energy are in the news these days, and we are the Green Party. Our party also recognizes indigenous people and issues as part of the party platform. We are very keen to social justice issues. I once heard Nader say that when asked for whom he works, he replies, ''I work for justice.'' I think we can agree that there is much work to do in this department regarding relations with non-Native governments.
After the campaign season dies away, I would like to continue working with people to promote sustainability as a good way of life. On a personal note, I am fourth-generation Siksika (Blackfoot) and I have both traditional training passed down through my family and non-traditional training, such as a doctorate in the sciences. These are good times to have a healed heart and to not be silent. Please register Green and vote Mesplay.
- Kent P. Mesplay, Ph.D.
La Mesa, Calif.