This Cliven Bundy situation has a lot of conservative activists and media personalities finally showing their true colors.
Here’s a guy who doesn’t recognize the existence of the United States government. He doesn’t accept federal authority because he doesn’t think the country should exist in the first place. He says he’s in the sovereign state of Nevada, and only the county sheriff has legal authority over him. The grazing land can’t be federal because the United States of America is illegitimate.
He is, by the purest definition, anti-American. And he is the new right-wing hero.
So much for all the “proud to be American” nonsense, huh? So much for the flag pins and the yellow ribbons and “support our troops”; so much for the Founding Fathers and the Constitution and liberty and justice for all. Oh, sure, those conservatives still exist – but you wouldn’t know it from watching Fox News, or reading social media.
No, the ones we hear from think this guy is a hero. For a while, they’ve been talking about nullification of federal laws, and federal laws not applying to Hobby Lobby, and abolishing the IRS and the EPA, and the federal government having no business in their schools or telling them they can’t discriminate against minorities they don’t like. Now they’re going whole hog, signing on with a guy who just plain thinks the United States of America shouldn’t exist.
See, it’s not about the money. If Mr. Bundy were a food stamp recipient, then it would be about the money – but grazing his cattle on public land without paying, essentially stealing from all of us, doesn’t make him a “taker”. No, it’s different, because this guy, unlike the “takers”, is against the very existence of the federal government. And that’s a cause they can get behind.
They can get behind it with guns. They’re itching for a fight. They wanted the shooting to start. The shooting didn’t start, because clearer heads prevailed at the BLM; not so much with the self-styled militia. “The people have the power when they unite,” Mr. Bundy’s son Ammon told a local newspaper. “The war has just begun.”
One right-wing media personality did stand out: Glenn Beck, who characterized the Bundy supporters as “the right’s version of Occupy Wall Street”, who “don’t care what the facts are, they just want a fight.” “We need to agree on, ‘we condemn those who use violence,’” he said on his TV program. “If you think that you have been wronged by this government more than Martin Luther King and the people he marched with, you’re out of your mind.” Really? Glenn Beck is the one talking some sense?
Of course, Mr. Bundy and his militia have every right to sit there with all the guns they want and say whatever they want about the government – and I’m kind of glad they are, because now we get to see what the 21st Century right wing really stands for.