Friday, March 26, 2004


That's the new war cry of the Oglala Sioux. So, what are they doing? They're joining the GOP.

What does a career Indian protester do when he realizes the Left has failed him and his people? Ask Russell Means, Olgala Sioux of Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Mr. Means recently endorsed Republican John Thune’s bid for the Senate.  Thune is running against Democrat incumbent Tom Daschle.  Means now calls himself a “Lakota Libertarian Republican.”  

It makes perfect sense. There has been little improvement in Indian country under the Democrats. Conditions in South Dakota reservations certainly haven’t improved under Daschle. What’s an Indian to do politically? "I'm going to work with Sen. Thune's staff,” says Means, “and the state Republican Party, and that will open doors to work with the National Republican Party to completely change Indian policy in America."

For some years, in fact, Means has recognized the impotence of the Democratic Party’s approach to Indian problems.  He joined the Libertarian Party in 1987, and ran as the Libertarian candidate for governor of New Mexico in 2002. “What is an American? I believe an American loves to be free. You are free to be responsible. That's the only rule you should understand,” Means says.

That American freedom does not exist on the great Indian reservations. In fact, tyrannical communism reigns on the reservations. Means explains, “This [America] is the only place where communism is successfully practiced in the world. Communism is alive and well on Indian reservations run by the United States government.” 

The Republican ticket may offer Indians an alternative, says Thune, and he has more than just Russell Means behind him.   

Bruce Whalen, also an Oglala Sioux of Pine Ridge, is committee chairman of the Republican Party in Shannon County. Whalen says, "I know there's a lot of Republicans out there on Pine Ridge. They just don't know it yet.” 

Whalen believes the Republican Party more closely mirrors his traditional Lakota values than the Democratic Party. Those values are respect for life, limited government, sovereignty and local control.

Whalen believes government-funded programs and tribal politics that dole out the money are the root of the reservation's poverty. Alcoholism and other abuses follow suit.

I see how the social programs are devastating the people around here,” he said. “The Democrats are hurting us.

Thune agrees. Indians will identify with Republicans if members of the party take the time to explain what the party stands for. Thune thinks the idea of less government translates into freedom and sovereignty for Indians. 

But with the BIA in charge, “it's pure communism,” says Russell Means, “and it's an abject failure. Just like it was in the Soviet Union. It's failure. You've created a dictatorship by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.”  
Russell Means says it’s all about freedom. Which party promises you the most freedom? Which allows the freedom to be responsible? Given the Democratic record of dealing with Indians in South Dakota, there isn’t any doubt in Russell’s mind
Hear that Caribbeanites? The reservation for Indians and the plantation for Afro-Americans and non-Euro immigrants. The quality of life in many poor areas of the urban community -- drugs, crime, high illegitimacy rates, welfare, high illiteracy rates -- is proof that Democrats are hurting the poor, regardless of race.

Tired of welfare handouts and the politics of victimology? Burn down the plantation. Join the GOP.


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