When I began writing this blog I promised myself that I would try to maintain the highest level of intellectual honesty, complimented by the Conservative principles in which I believe. And so my post yesterday about Cliven Bundy's standoff with the Feds over grazing rights on federal land, was written from the perspective of a clinical assessment of Mr. Bundy's actions as they relate to the law. I really shook up a hornets nest with my comments. I received the usual disagreements, but was also called a Liberal for not supporting armed conflict with our government, and a Nazi for not whole-heartily supporting the actions of Mr. Bundy and his followers.
First, let me state that I am aware of the facts. I understand that Mr. Bundy and his ancestors have been using the land in question for over 140 years to graze their cattle. I also understand that the federal government, through the Bureau of Land Management, has been using ranchers' grazing fees, not to maintain the land, but to buy out ranchers to gobble up their property. Just to set the record straight, I also understand what a dirty, low-life Harry Reid is, although there is no evidence in this case of a solar deal with the Chinese to be built on the current grazing land used by the Bundys.
There are some things I do not know. I do not know what other remedies Mr. Bundy took other than to discontinue paying his grazing fees. That action is somewhat analogous to me not agreeing with how my car registration dollars are being spent, and deciding not to pay them, but continuing to drive on public roads. I also do not know whether Mr. Bundy tried to remedy the situation with his representative in congress. Or if he did and was turned a deaf ear, why did he or one of his sons not run for that seat themselves. I am sure with the response they received at their standoff they would have received the same support for a congressional campaign in their district. After all, as I have been so bluntly reminded, this situation has been going on for some twenty years. Certainly in all that time, with the proper effort and tenacity, a political solution could have been found.
I believe that Mr. Bundy and his fellow ranchers have been treated shabbily by the federal government. But shabby treatment does not give one the right to throw out the Rule Of Law. The very Rule Of Law that the Bundys say has been violated by the federal government. If each man can decide for himself which laws to obey and when, then society devolves into anarchy, and anarchy is tyranny's step-sister, and just as dangerous. The Founders knew this, that is why they created a nation of laws, not of men, and gave authority to make laws to the people's representatives in congress. Besides, how can we point the finger of blame at a lawless president, and have any credibility, when our four other fingers are pointing back at us to reveal our own lawlessness.