Letters: Yes, election system is rigged

Why do we do vote if it is going to be a meaningless and worthless cause? I would like to comment on the recent national presidential election on Nov. 8, which was decided by electoral vote.

The presidential election reminded me of the Navajo presidential election in 2014 which was decided by the Navajo Supreme Court and created chaos. The high court invalidated more than 10,000 votes, which was a violation of our voting rights.

Is there a provision in the U.S Constitution that specifically states that electoral vote shall govern in the final count in electing a president? There is countless number of questions to be answered. The next president-to-be was decided by electoral vote, which I believe is totally unfair and causes great harm to our voting rights. How is electoral vote of 290 more important as compared to 100 million-plus of our actual votes, the popular votes?

The intent of this letter is not in support of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump because I know for a fact both had enormous problems in their background. Hillary had her email issues and Donald had his failures of filing his income tax, lies, and sexism for decades. How are we supposed to trust having a responsible and accountable president? So, I decided on an independent candidate this time around.

Donald Trump was right in whining about the system being rigged, it really worked in his favor. He needs to fix the system before the next election so that we have a system in place tailored to accommodating and satisfying the voting public.

The president-elect can’t be trusted for several reasons. He has close ties with Russians and a war may result since he always spoke about civil war during his campaign. The other issue of concern is the pipeline protest in North Dakota. I wouldn’t be surprised if he calls the military into the protest. He is standing firm on deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants.

The bottom line here is the president-elect needs to make fixing the rigged system a top priority and put the brakes on deporting the undocumented immigrants. If he is adamant about deportation, then he needs to be the first one and other non-Native people can follow. This is our god given land and the rest are all immigrants.

I appreciate your attention to this matter of paramount concern. Thank you.

Vern Charleston
Farmington, N.M.

Mr. Begaye, I’m ready to serve

As a teenager in school, my teacher told me politics was a dirty game. I wondered what he meant, but over the years I came to understand what he meant.

I took political science in college and got a degree in political science. I was elected as chapter secretary, chapter vice president, and chapter president, as well as a council delegate. I performed my profession in politics and I still enjoy politics. I was also elected to Arizona Legislature as a representative.

So the question is: Is politics a dirty game? My answer is yes and no, depending on how you play the game. There is good politics and bad politics. I played the good politics.

Jonathan Nez and Russell Begaye supported Hillary Clinton and lost. Russell Begaye said he is looking forward to working with the Trump administration. If they were smart they would select a Donald Trump supporter to represent them. Otherwise they are double-crossing themselves and the Navajo Nation.

I am a lifelong Republican, a Barry Goldwater supporter of the 1960s, and I am ready to represent the Navajo Nation, but I doubt they will use me. If they don’t use me, they don’t know what politics is.

President-elect Trump is a newcomer to Washington and the Indian people need to educate him as soon as possible.

As a Navajo politician, I would ask the new administration that traditional Navajo philosophy is self-reliance and individual responsibility – a Republican philosophy.

As a Navajo medicine man, as a former state legislator, and as a Navajo sheepherder, I am available to perform the necessary tasks to bring power to the Navajo people, using our language, our songs, and prayers to walk in harmony with the universe and ourselves.

All is blessed, all is blessed, all is blessed, all is blessed.

Daniel Peaches
Kayenta, Ariz.

Divorce Wells Fargo, Navajo Nation!

Our Diné people have been involved in this stand to protect water from the beginning. They have been arrested and threatened with felony charges, which fortunately could not hold up in court and had to be reduced to misdemeanors. They have been held on ridiculous bonds, had their cars impounded and the prices risen to get them out. They have had sacred items confiscated and never returned to their possession. They have been strip-searched, dehumanized by being marked by numbers instead of addressed by their names, and held in dog kennels. They have been attacked by dogs and they have been indiscriminately and repeatedly tear-gassed. They have been subjected to torture tactics such as having flood lights pointed on their camps 24 hours a day, making it difficult for them to rest and function, and last night they were inhumanely sprayed with freezing water in 25 degree weather, so much so that their clothes, hair and anything on their bodies have turned to ice and they faced real possibilities of hypothermia and death.

They face racism and harassment from the police, private security guards and military personnel deployed to protect the illegal pipeline that has been built by using military grade advanced weaponry such as concussion grenades, militarized mine-resistant ambush protected military vehicles, sound cannons. They face constant bombardment, rubber bullets shot from semi-automatic rifles into the crowds of our unarmed relatives by perpetrators that aim for their heads and legs to debilitate them.

Our relatives continue to endure and rise above these gross human rights abuse because they understand what this struggle means to everyone involved, including all tribal nations facing the same exploitation, lack of consultation, and government sanctioned violations of treaty rights and tribal sovereignty. They do so because they understand that the war being waged is really about water and the protection of and continued access to this vital, life-giving and finite resource.

The pipeline continues to be built without proper permits, heavily guarded by both military and local police and private security financed by taxpayers and most importantly, the big banks invested in the pipeline who are leveraging other people’s assets held by the banks, such as the $2 billion dollars of Navajo Nation funds currently managed by Wells Fargo as explained by the B&F committee reported in last week’s Navajo Times.

There is no question that we need to “divorce” and divest from Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Both banks are big financers of the Dakota Access Pipeline. It will and it should send shock waves through Indian County because we can take a meaningful stand as a nation to not support the human rights abuse, the treaty violations, the violation of the “free, prior and informed consent” of the Standing Rock Nation and the other tribal nation and communities dependent on the Missouri River system.

In short there is absolutely nothing to gain from keeping our money in the pockets of Wells Fargo bank executives but there are numerous reasons why we need to withdraw from this toxic relationship that makes our nation partly responsible for the blood, tears, and trauma of our relatives at the hands of the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, the Dakota Access Pipeline security firms, the North Dakota National Guard and the DAPL employees that have twice pulled out guns and fired upon the water protectors.

I can give you a longer list of reasons, many of which are not even related to the Standing Rock issue, that justify immediate divestment from Wells Fargo, but for now I hope these violations are important enough to ensure quick and immediate action by our Nation’s leaders to no longer allow the Navajo Nation or the Diné people to be connected to these institutions that lack respect for human life, especially for indigenous peoples and our inherent sovereign right to protect our communities and our sacred resources.

Janene Yazzie
Lupton, Ariz.

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Categories: Letters