If you haven’t been following the news or are from out-of-country, Mr. Cliven Bundy is a cattle rancher in our state of Nevada, who has been grazing his cattle on federal land for 20 years without paying the required “grazing fees.” He has been taken to court numerous times and each time he has lost. His defense is that he doesn’t believe in the existence of the federal government. (Really!) Most recently, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) showed up to confiscate his cattle but they were met with armed resistance, not only from the Bundy family but by hordes of right-wing militia toting guns. The BLM officers wisely backed down from a confrontation to pursue other efforts. Maybe this would be just another odd news note about an odd happening out in the wild West, but for some reason the “issue” got picked up by the right-wing media machine (Fox (sic) News, Rush Limbaugh, etc. but strangely not Glenn Beck). They made Mr. Bundy out to be some sort of patriot instead of the violent radical scofflaw he clearly is.
Clearly the conservative media have lost their minds because the law Mr. Bundy is flaunting was put in place by none other than the GOP saint, Ronald Reagan. Which makes it even stranger that U.S. Senators (Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, etc.) got involved on Bundy’s behalf, one of whom referred to Mr. Bundy as a “patriot.”
Now, let me put this in perspective. Would the right-wing media gone to bat for a deadbeat scofflaw like Mr. Bundy, if he . . .
. . . were African American?
. . . were Hispanic?
. . . were a Muslim?
. . . were an Indian?
. . . were a woman?
Anybody? Really? It seems that the population of aggrieved white people is ever growing. (I grieve for my people.)
And the small community near Mr. Bundy’s ranch is now overrun by pickup trucks full of members of right-wing militia groups sporting loaded AK-47s. Would you want that in your community, Mr. Hannity?
My evil mind says that the BLM officers should fly over the federal land he is using illegally and shoot all of his cattle, then send him notice to remove the remains of his cattle which were trespassing on our land (yes, federal land is land owned by the people of the United States). But I rarely give in to my evil mind and why should those poor cattle have to pay with their lives for the bad judgment of one asshole not even of their species.