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for people who care about the West

Agreeing — and disagreeing — with Bundy


In his editor’s note, Brian Calvert discusses the much-celebrated Cliven Bundy legal case, which was recently summarily dismissed by a Las Vegas judge (“Rural white scorn,” HCN, 1/22/18).  He reminds us of the issues that resulted in federal charges brought against Mr. Bundy — that Mr. Bundy was using federal (public) lands as grazing pastures for his cattle, in a way prohibited by federal law.

Interestingly, (and curiously) Mr. Calvert, in his “closing argument,” asks whether “we” (presumably the American public) may be better served by asking “whether or not we are all in the same boat after all,” and whether we may “have more in common with these folks (the Bundys and white supremacists) than you think,” vis-à-vis our dislike of being represented by corporate interests? 

For now, my vote is unequivocally NO! The irony is palpable. I absolutely defend white supremacists’ right to express themselves in any manner consistent with the provisions and proscriptions of the First Amendment. I also support Mr. Bundy’s right to bring a claim against the government in matters where he believes he is being harmed. I part ways with Mr. Bundy and white supremacists, et al, on matters that are not only abhorrent to my fellow sentient beings’ feeling or sense of morality, but abhorrent to our democratic processes institutionalized and memorialized by our rule of law.

Please count me as having absolutely nothing in common with those who view our constitutional tenets and proscriptions as simply tools to further an unlawful agenda or to support a platform that seeks to divide our citizenry. 

Rudy V. Garcia
Gilpin County, Colorado