Donald Trump Wins Election and Indian Country Holds Its Breath
The voters of the United States of America spoke loud and clear Tuesday, as Republican Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States by defeating Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 276 – 218 at last count according to Google’s Electoral College tracker.
“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” Trump said in his acceptance speech following Clinton’s concession. “So all Republicans and Democrats and Independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.”
By 9 p.m. EST, with Trump’s lead in Florida increasing and Clinton’s difficulty in securing the must-have swing state of Virginia, pundits and voters began noting signs that this was an election that was not unfolding in the manner of Barack Obama’s last two successful campaigns, or as pollsters predicted in the days and weeks leading up to the contest. Even in states where the popular vote was in doubt, Republican Senators were being returned to office in a stronger manner than had been anticipated. Tough fights and ‘easy’ seats to flip were turning out to be anything but. A pattern emerged: The rise in turnout in Democratic, urban areas of swing states such as Florida, Michigan and Virginia were being met and overmatched by an unprecedented amount of votes in rural Republican counties. Worry and quiet projected on TV screens from Hillary Clinton’s assembled workers at New York’s Javits Center as the path for a Trump victory widened and the road to a Clinton presidency became riddled with potholes.
Mark Trahant was live blogging throughout the day Tuesday on his site Trahant Reports. “So what does a Trump presidency look like for Indian country? This will be the first time that the Republicans will have the levers of power: The Supreme Court (probably for 20 years or so); the House, the Senate; and the White House,” he said. “Biggest immediate impacts: The abrogation of international agreements on climate change, full scale energy production, and a fight over the Affordable Care Act (including the Indian Health Care Improvement Act).”
“Control of the Senate will be key to the early successes of a Trump administration,” CNN reported. “In theory, controlling Congress and the White House will let the GOP swiftly pass legislation that reverses many of Obama’s policies.”
Other areas on the radar beginning November 9 include marijuana being a big winner as four more states passed recreational marijuana use and 25 passing medical use.
Writing in a column this morning for ICTMN, Steve Russell states, “It’s unclear whether President Trump will attack state sovereignty over this matter, reversing President Obama. … If Trump is ambiguous about state sovereignty, he has no doubts about Indian sovereignty. Trump came out against tribal sovereignty long before he got into politics,” Russell said. “Trump’s hostility to environmental regulations and to Indian sovereignty is literal and serious.”
“Working together we will begin the urgent tasks of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American dream,” Trump said. “We will seek common ground, not hostility. I promise you I will not let you down, we will do a great job.”
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