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Last week, talk-show host and budding media mogul Glenn Beck excoriated those among the supporters of government-beleaguered rancher Cliven Bundy who were “crying for revolution, insurrection and a call to arms,” admonishing anyone of that mindset to stop listening to him and following him on social media. He also articulated that those among his fans who took exception to his criticism of some Bundy supporters were not real fans.
Beck has done a lot of great work, and I support and admire his call to follow God and the ethos of men like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi, but I do have a problem with his delivery and the practical application of his message to real-life, real-time situations such as that which Cliven Bundy and his family faced.
In truth, I believe that Beck probably alienated more people than he may have intended. Now, it’s clear that there were some dedicated knuckleheads among those who assembled at the Bundy Ranch, some of those who proposed using women and children as human shields, for example. However, the broadcaster’s blanket criticism of the demonstrators’ deportment and their relative disorganization came off as somewhat impulsive, and even conceited.
Beck maintained that he didn’t think grazing rights were a sufficient cause to challenge the federal government in such an overt manner and pointed out that the catalyst for the affair was the rancher failing to pay duly owed grazing fees.
Here I must take exception. As someone who regularly details the federal government’s overreach and incremental inculcation of big-government progressivism into its policies over the last hundred years, Beck has to know that the plethora of laws and regulations implemented in this area relate directly to the kind of control against which he speaks on a daily basis. Cliven Bundy is the last of nearly 60 ranchers in that Nevada county who have been driven out of business over the last several decades due to government over-regulation.
Having lived in the Southwest U.S. for many years now, the strategy behind the federal government’s policies with regard to small farmers and ranchers has become clear to me, primarily because it has produced one clear result: Small ranchers, farmers and agricultural operations of all kinds have not been able to survive the summary regulatory constraints, fees and new laws enacted on various pretexts by government agencies, bureaus and administrations. In some cases, ideologically aligned state and local governments have colluded with the federal government in advancing said constraints.
In the end, I believe all that is intended to remain will be megalithic agribusiness entities that will pay the same fealty to the federal government as those industries that have already been similarly corrupted.
If the federal government intends to control everything – which has become painfully evident – why are we ignoring its blatant efforts to control our food supply?
Senate Majority Leader (and as it would happen, land-grabbing wheeler-dealer) Harry Reid has called Cliven Bundy’s supporters “domestic terrorists” and misrepresented them as well as Bundy with regard to their view of federal authority. If President Obama embodies the diabolical Manchurian President, clandestinely working to destroy America (which he most certainly does), Reid embodies the imperious, smug, progressive elite whose concept of government is so antithetical to our nation’s founding principles that crimes against the Constitution are, for him, a matter of his daily routine.
If not Bundy, then who? If not now, when? If we won’t stand up for a small rancher’s grazing rights, then I would like to know where this imperceptible line, beyond which government encroachment will allow Americans to act, is. Not necessarily in the vein of armed insurrection, but in the fashion of Cliven Bundy’s supporters, even if they aren’t as organized as one of Beck’s rallies. Do we wait until a family is slaughtered because they opened fire on government agents executing an illegal raid on their home? Do we wait until Department of Homeland Security operatives come around to arrest “domestic terrorists” as designated by Harry Reid and ship them off to FEMA camps?
I am very much in agreement with Mr. Beck that American patriots must align themselves with God, as did the founders, and that prayer and peaceful assembly are integral to our struggle against tyranny. A cadre of Bible-toting, hymn-chanting prayer warriors at the Bundy Ranch probably would have been a stellar idea, in fact.
But I also know that Beck is an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment for a reason, and that when jack-booted government thugs appear at one’s doorstep, praying them away might not quite cut it.
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