Dakota Access Pipeline

Granted, it’s 6 AM, but so far the biggest news of the day is that the Dakota Access Pipeline isn’t going to go under a major reservoir.  This is great news, and I think it’s a much bigger deal than many of us think.

So if you go back in time a bit and look to the beginning of the protests, it would seem to me that they had everything going against them.  American Indians are probably treated worse than any other minority in the US.  Reservations will sometimes have 50% unemployment, alcoholism and violent crime is all too rampant there.  We have a major sports team that is called a literal racial slur for them.  America just doesn’t care.  Sure, some tribes have casinos, but that hardly feels like a fair deal.  Add to that it was a protest over environmental concerns against vested oil interests, taking place in the middle of nowhere, with the federal government mostly on the side of large businesses, and you have a recipe for the protests to fail.  But they persevered, social media got involved, and Trump got elected.
Since the election I have seen more and more attention to left-wing causes.  Planned Parenthood has made tons in donations, mostly made in Mike Pence’s name.  I’m seeing more articles about global warming, and more focus on how to improve Obamacare, not just repeal it.  I don’t think these would be happening had Clinton won.  The left would go back to being our usual complacent selves, and we would be seeing business as usual.
When Bush 43, aka “Dubya,” was elected, I was terrified.  It was clear to me that there was no way our country could make such a terrible decision that we wouldn’t double down on it next time.  I was right.  It’s hard to argue that 43 had a successful presidency, but even while losing the popular vote in 2000, he won it in 2004.  He was, without question, the president of the whole country, not just the people who voted for him.  Trump, on the other hand, lost the popular vote by unprecedented margins.  He is changing everything.  His popular vote loss has destroyed any illusions that he will work for the interests of all of us, so we are going to fight harder.  So either Trump is out to line his own pockets and those of his rich friends, in which case we will fight him every step of the way, or he is out to work for everyone, in which case we are all on the same side.  Either way, I see reason to be optimistic.

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