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Thoughts on Bundy Extremism and Responses To It

I have re-posted my 2014 post on the connection between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and extreme conservative elements within Mormonism. I also want to summarize a bit the other posts I have written about Cliven Bundy in the past. I am mostly responding to those who seem to think that I do not understand who they are. Oh, I do.

In April of 2014, I wrote the following:

Keep this in mind when considering Cliven Bundy: He is a tiny minority in his home county and his home state. He has no power. James Madison had this part figured out back when writing the Federalist Papers.

The corporate media and the two major parties want you to be outraged about Bundy because it keeps you distracted. Bundy is a lunatic and he adheres to a vile ideology. However, making him into a villain only feeds his martyr narrative.

But Cliven Bundy is not what is the problem with America. Ideological outrage today is as much an opiate of the masses as religion every has been.

Long-term unemployment has not been extended. The minimum wage still needs to be raised. We are still conducting murderous drone strikes in foreign lands.

While we focus on Cliven Bundy, our congressional representatives and Senators (Democrats and Republican alike)…are on the phone with members of the one percent asking them for large donations for their next campaign.

Cliven Bundy is a clown.

But he is not the clown who deserves our outrage, though the other clowns just assume that you focus on Bundy. They are busy.

Even in light of the events of this weekend, and even more dire events that I address below, my assessment of Bundy and his family is still  pretty much the same. They should pay their fines and serve the jail time that will come with this weekend’s events. But they are not the problem. They are just the freaks. Freaks can be dangerous and scary…but they are not the problem.

Now my view of the Bundy clan and the events at their ranch did shift a bit after two individuals who had had some interaction with the extremists at the Bundy ranch carried out three gruesome murders, including the chillingly brutal killing of two police officers.

Back then, in June of 2014, I quoted the following from the  Las Vegas Review-Journal:

The official said both Millers went to the Bundy Ranch near Bunkerville in April, hoping to join a militia standoff with federal agents who were trying to roundup Cliven Bundy’s cattle. On his Google+ account, Jerad Miller said he was shunned by the Bundy Ranch group for being a felon. He posted that he and Amanda “sold everything” they had and quit their jobs to go to the ranch. More from Miller’s google plus account responding to him getting kicked off the Bundy ranch. “As far as I am concerned my government is a fascist enemy,”….”My family has bled for this nation and our freedoms and I will not let their sacrifice go unanswered without my own sacrifice.”

So while the militia leaders rejected the Millers, they attracted them to southern Nevada. Clearly this is a dangerous ideology. At the time I wrote:

While my impulse has been to dismiss the Bundys and their fellow travelers as delusional and harmless, I can no longer say that they are harmless.

However, we can even see from the recent events in Oregon that this is not a form of extremism that many embrace. The locals in Burns, Oregon have not joined in and even the ranchers tha the Ammon Bundy-led group ventured to Oregon to support do not support the current standoff. In rural Nevada, Cliven Bundy received little sympathy from other local ranchers. After all, unlike Bundy, they had paid their grazing fees. Bundy was not only abusing the system, he was abusing his neighbors and fellow ranchers by gaining unfair advantage.

But I still go back to my original post. The crazies who have barricaded themselves in that federal visitor’s center in the middle of nowhere are closer to the Westboro Baptist Church than they are Timothy McVeigh. Even my friends that now support Ted Cruz in the 2016 presidential race have no sympathy for the Ammon Bundy-led actions of this weekend. They had no sympathy for Cliven Bundy back in 2014.

I want to go back to one line from the post that on quote at the top:

Long-term unemployment has not been extended. The minimum wage still needs to be raised. We are still conducting murderous drone strikes in foreign lands.

Today, I saw at least two people call for drones attacks on the group in Oregon. I have seen numerous calls for the violent annihilation of the group.

The Bundy’s might be crazy, but many are reacting to them with madness. It might not be the same type of madness, but I do not encounter the Bundy’s on my Facebook wall.

I have eaten at the Cici’s pizza buffet where those officers died while eating their lunch. I have shopped at the Wal-Mart where the third victim died.

I hope that nobody dies or has to kill anyone during this current standoff. I do not know how this will play out. I know some will not shed a tear for the extremists, but they are not the only ones impacted by this. I not only do not want any government agents put in harms way, I do not want them to have to kill if it is not necessary.

I still do not understand the bloodthirst.

We have enough death and killing. Maybe I am just a silly utopian. If that makes me a villain…well…I hope I am not the only villain.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Well said, sir! The bloodthirstiness, the rhetorical extremes on all sides, is sadly yet another instance of bread and circuses. The real power, and the real problems, are far away from these clowns, and their clownish actions just make it even easier for so many ordinary folks being hurt by those in power to be distracted.

  2. Glenn Thigpen says:

    Sometimes I am forced to agree with you. This is one of those times.

  3. tick tock says:

    I have seen this same extremism in other religions also.

    There is a bigger problem or issue with the Bundy’s stance and the others like Bundy. It is WHO is behind Bundy and those like him, egging him on to be the face of this movement and take the fall. It looks like a type of Ideaology to those who do not do the research. It is dangerous to the American people and their freedoms and future.

    But the article was right about the distractions this whole episode causes. That is what the government and elites want. It is the elites fueling Bundy and others like him. And they have most politicians on board with their goals to overtake the country.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Chris Henrichsen, a Mormon political scientist from Nevada, wrote this week, “Even my friends that now support Ted Cruz in the 2016 presidential race have no […]

  2. […] Chris Henrichsen, a Mormon political scientist from Nevada, wrote this week, “Even my friends that now support Ted Cruz in the 2016 presidential race have no […]

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