Cliven Bundy is a rogue on the range
04/27/2014 5:00 PM
04/27/2014 7:14 PM
You may have heard that Cliven Bundy, a Nevada cattle rancher and melon grower, is a folk hero. He’s been standing against the big bad federal government out on the range. Gun-toting patriots have gathered to stand by him and to keep the Bureau of Land Management from hauling off his cattle as you’d expect from some rampaging, jack-booted security force out of “Animal Farm.”
What right do the feds have to come down on a liberty-lover like Bundy?
Well, had Bundy decided about 20 years ago to pay government grazing fees — as many other American ranchers do — then perhaps we wouldn’t be in this ugly mess. Bundy objected when, in 1993, some of the land on which he fed his cattle was designated a conservation area to protect the habitat of a threatened desert tortoise.
Bundy now owes $1.1 million in fees and trespassing fines. His long-running fight went viral in early April when the federal bureau officials arrived and then backed off to avoid armed conflict. His fight went even more viral late last week in light of some offensive remarks Bundy made about blacks, slavery and government subsidies.
Let’s be clear about this: Cliven Bundy is no folk hero. He’s an irrational law breaker and a moocher.
“I abide by all of Nevada state laws,” he has said. “But I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing.”
This doesn’t seem as if it can end well. Government patience is welcome, but it’s been stretched very far.
Join the Discussion
The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.