April 25, 2014

Choose Your Mascot Carefully

Leftmedia latch on to Bundy’s comments to discredit all conservatives.

The federal government’s standoff with Cliven Bundy in Nevada has brought to light an issue that has long been dormant, and that is just how much land the federal government owns and how much power Washington has over the states. It’s unfortunate that the face of that argument should be Bundy himself.

In Bundy, the Leftmedia found the perfect fall guy in their attempt to portray any individual standing up against the government as a racist fool. The New York Times gave him the opportunity to run off at the mouth, and what came out was indeed ugly. Bundy said that Barack Obama was “articulate” and “clean.” (Oh, wait, that was Joe Biden.) Bundy said that Obama was “light-skinned” and had no “negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” (Oh, wait, that was Harry Reid.)

What Bundy actually said was, “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro. [B]ecause they were basically on government subsidy, [t]hey abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy?”

The grain of truth here is far overshadowed by what sounds like ignorant bigotry. Blacks do abort their children at a greater rate than any other race and they are overrepresented in prison, but it has absolutely nothing to do with picking cotton or slavery as it existed in the 19th century – an inarguably reprehensible institution. It does, however, have to do with exploitation by the Democrat Party.

Nevertheless, Bundy’s comments presented the perfect opportunity for the Leftmedia to recast the story of Washington’s land mismanagement as one about a crank whom they could use to discredit all limited government conservatives. We won’t get further bogged down in his muddle, which has nothing to do with the real issue at hand – other than the choice of mascot. The truly important part of the story is just how much land the federal government controls.

Bundy is a Nevada rancher who has been grazing his cattle on federal land for decades. But it’s hard not to be on federal land in that state, as Washington lays claim to more than 80% of it. In fact, the federal government owns nearly half of all the land west of Texas, and 60% of Alaska. Ranchers, homeowners and entrepreneurs haven’t had much of a problem living and operating on these lands until recently. Bundy is merely one person who was using federal lands without paying taxes for about two decades. When the government came to collect, he decided to make a “federal case” out of it. He is legally wrong, no two ways about it. He was grazing his cattle on land that did not belong to him, and for two decades refused to pay the feds for it. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a real problem with federal land ownership and the accompanying regulatory burden, or that Bundy is entirely an unsympathetic figure.

The real question is, by what authority does the central government claim so much territory in the states, and what specifically is the constitutional authority for the Bureau of Land Managements actions in Nevada? The feds stood down after making a show of force and shooting some of Bundy’s cattle. But more important, why does Washington continue to stand in the way of growth and prosperity in an entire region of the country?

Some say the Nevada issue has to do with the fact that Harry Reid, proud (and we do mean proud) senator of the state, has a deal in the works to allow donors to develop in that region. But probably not. What is certain is that Reid’s statement that Bundy and the people that flocked to support him are “domestic terrorists” was outrageous and unserious.

So we conclude with another question: Who’s a greater threat to Liberty – an old cattle rancher in the Nevada desert who still calls blacks “Negroes” and suggests that government poverty plantations are as devastating to those enslaved on them as old South plantations were, or an old Leader of the United States Senate in the Beltway swamp, who calls those exercising civil disobedience against armed government police in the Nevada desert “terrorists”? According to Harry Reid, “Those people who hold themselves out to be patriots are not. They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists. I repeat: What went on up there was domestic terrorism.”

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2022 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.