The Oregon standoff that started with anti-government separatists occupying federal property because their "principles" gave them permission to do so, and ended with one of the ring leaders of the group, Levoy Finnicum, receiving his wish to "die for the cause," is exemplary of what happens with the break down of the rule of law. The very nature of groups like the Oregon vigilantes is that they become demented by the delusion that their "cause" is above the law. It is the path for all extremists to become hopelessly drunk on the wine of their own self-righteousness and empowered by their mangled interpretation of shared values.
I am not here to prosecute the merits of the grievances that lead them to such heights of irresponsible and anti-social behavior, but rather to evaluate how it worked out for them in the end. These ranchers may have a legitimate gripe against an ever encroaching federal government, but they lost any support from the general public when they allowed themselves to occupy not only federal property, but a pedestal that sits high above the rule of law. If there is one thing the average American dislikes more than out-of-control government telling them what to do, it is out-of-control zealots who break the bonds of civilized society to prosecute a war against what they see as oppression.
I suppose the sparse supporters of Levoy Finnicum and his gang would point to the rugged individualism of the western ranchers as the motivation for their behavior. But rugged individualism does not translate into an excuse for anarchy. Whether that anarchy is in the wide open spaces of a wild life preserve in Oregon, or the tightly populated city of Baltimore Maryland. When believers in a cause become the purveyors of violence, their cause ceases to be of importance and their behavior becomes paramount.
I am not much of a Twitter user, but I fully expect (if it has not already happened) for a new hash tag campaign to emerge named #RancherLivesMatter. They already have their own version of "Hands Up, Don't Shoot." As repulsive to the values of the rule of law the actions of the BlackLivesMatter group are, as consistent conservatives we must also find just as repulsive the actions of the RancherLivesMatter folks. The seeds of anarchy which germinate into the full fledged flower of tyranny, must be opposed by all those truly interested in the cause of Liberty and the continuation of the values enshrined in this great nation's founding documents.