By now everyone is familiar with Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy’s refusal to take his 400 cattle off of lands controlled by the federal government to make way for the “endangered” desert tortoise. Unpaid grazing fees is the stated reason. But this highlights the real back story, which is our Constitution and an out of control federal government. At the same time, most conservatives have become disgusted with the Bush family and Jeb’s recent signal toward amnesty by declaring that when Mexicans violate our border laws, they do it “as an act of love.” “Have a heart” is the message. Jeb’s logic ought with more justification be applied to Cliven Bundy.
Cliven Bundy’s family has operated that land from the late 19th century. Allowing him to continue his “family tradition” would be an act of love. How else will Bundy feed his family but by practicing the trade handed down from his forefathers? Let him stay. Quit harassing him. This would be an act of love.
Bundy is trying to keep beef on the plates of the politicians who wish to run him out. What charity! What graciousness! At the same time Bundy wishes to keep cattle prices low enough for all of us to enjoy steak. It is an act of love to the American people for his cattle to graze Nevada lands. Where is that “charitable” government now?
Bundy probably doesn’t have the $1 Million dollar grazing fees. Let the government extend to him the loving hand of forgiveness. Bundy is setting an example of love to all cowboys and cowgirls. Cowboys have love, too, Harry Reid.
The Real Story
Of all the commentators who have spoken on this issue, Nick Sorrentino gets it right. He wrote, “This is not about a rancher owing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) money. This is about a federal government which just assumed control of public land years ago…changing the rules and telling citizens to LUMP IT. It’s about a central authority passing regulations in Washington with little regard, indeed contempt for the little guy out in flyover country.”
Our Constitution empowers the Congress to maintain complete jurisdiction over all lands that have been purchased within a state. This was to be done with the consent of the state legislatures. It was assumed that the several states would retain title to all lands within their boundaries which the Federal Government did not use for specific constitutional purposes—build forts, bases, magazines, federal buildings, etc.
That Congress did NOT allow this to happen is a common theme of American history. When Ohio was admitted in 1803 the policy changed. The feds maintained control of all lands until they were sold to the general populace. But the most radical digression occurred in the 20th century when Congress eliminated the sale of lands in newly minted states. The feds retained ownership of major tracts of land, disallowing them to be settled by Americans. This shift in policy withdrew from settlement vast acreages in the west and the BLM was formed in 1946 to help manage them. Today, the federal government owns approximately 70% of the entire west, including almost 90% of the state of Nevada.
With federal lands in the hands of our dictators in Washington, D.C. it became simply a matter of time until Bundy become the “last man standing” on ranches in Clark County, Nevada. It is time for the states to stand up to the federal government and demand the control of the properties which is theirs by constitutional right. That Bundy refuses to go exemplifies his love of the Constitution. A rare thing in the halls of Washington, D.C.