"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." - John F. Kennedy
Supporters gathering outside the Bundy Ranch.
Those tempted to write off the standoff at the Bundy Ranch as little more than a show of force by militia-minded citizens would do well to reconsider their easy dismissal of this brewing rebellion. This goes far beyond concerns about grazing rights or the tension between the state and the federal government.
Few conflicts are ever black and white, and the Bundy situation, with its abundance of gray areas, is no exception. Yet the question is not whether Cliven Bundy and his supporters are domestic terrorists, as Harry Reid claims, or patriots, or something in between. Nor is it a question of whether the Nevada rancher is illegally grazing his cattle on federal land or whether that land should rightfully belong to the government.
Nor is it even a question of who's winning the showdown - the government with its arsenal of SWAT teams, firepower and assault vehicles, or Bundy's militia supporters with their assortment of weapons - because if such altercations end in bloodshed, everyone loses.
What we're really faced with, and what we'll see more of before long, is a growing dissatisfaction with the government and its heavy-handed tactics by people who are tired of being used and abused and are ready to say "enough is enough." And it won't matter what the issue is - whether it's a rancher standing his ground over grazing rights, a minister jailed for holding a Bible study in his own home, or a community outraged over police shootings of unarmed citizens - these are the building blocks of a political powder keg. Now all that remains is a spark, and it need not be a very big one, to set the whole powder keg aflame.
As I show in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State
, there's a subtext to this incident that must not be ignored, and it is simply this: America is a pressure cooker with no steam valve, and things are about to blow. This is what happens when a parasitical government muzzles the citizenry, fences them in, herds them, brands them, whips them into submission, forces them to ante up the sweat of their brows while giving them little in return, and then provides them with little to no outlet for voicing their discontent.