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Plain and Simple for May 1, 2014
SoVaNow.com / May 01, 2014We do live in a strange world.
Suppose you heard of a Muslim somewhere in America who decided that he did not believe that the United States government even existed. Even though this Muslim was an American-born citizen, he proceeded to ignore the Constitution and ran up a bill of over one million dollars to the federal government. When the government came to collect the money by confiscating some of his property, he enlisted the help of many of his neighbors who armed themselves with guns and forced the federal agents to leave in a showdown. Do you suppose that there would be any sympathy for him anywhere in America?
I guess I should allow for the fact that there are nuts everywhere but I think we can agree that there would be very little sympathy available for this person.
Now suppose we change the identity of this person to Cliven Bundy, the bizarre Nevada rancher who has refused to pay grazing fees for his cattle since 1993 to the federal government. He has also alleged that he does not recognize the United States government.
Despite these small irregularities and the fact that he faced down federal agents with the help of friends and weapons, he was the darling of many right-wing TV commentators and politicians. What am I missing here?
Why is it appropriate to be in favor of subsidies that bring water to the West in the form of the Hoover Dam or subsidies that provide grazing grasslands at below market value or provide help for mining operations but then be opposed to subsidies that might provide food in the form of food stamps for the poorest among us? Why is Bundy a hero for threatening law enforcement officers with guns and ignoring the precious Constitution when we keep our prisons more crowded than any other First World country?
To be fair, Bundy has suffered a fall from grace because of comments that he made about African-Americans.
It seems that he believes that they were happier as slaves than they are now under this corrupt federal government that he does not recognize.
Of course, he is not a racist. He just wants to be left alone to graze his cattle on federal land for free. We can only hope that if the federal government, if it exists, allows him to keep grazing his cattle for free, it does not turn him into one of those stereotypical, terribly unhappy, welfare Queens.
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