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April 18, 2024

  • Jeanette Winterson for “gAyPRIL”
    “gAyPRIL” (Gay-April) continues on Falcon Radio, sharing a playlist curated by the Queer Trans Student Union, sharing songs celebrating the LGBTQ+ experience. In similar vein, you will enjoy Jeanette Winterson’s books if you find yourself interested in LGBTQ+ voices and nonlinear narratives. As “dead week” is upon us, students, we can utilize resources such as Falcon […]
  • Poetics of April
    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
Spring Housing Guide

Federal government, Republicans differ greatly

Cliven Bundy has now been hailed for some weeks as a hero of the Republican Party by such figures as Sean Hannity for his refusal to pay his dues for grazing his cattle on federal land.

He has since stated that he does not recognize the legitimacy of the federal government and has forced agents to withdraw as several hundred armed individuals have flocked to his defense, forming an impromptu militia.

Now it has come to light in recent interviews he has given that Bundy has some extremely racist views.

His remarks were nothing worthy of being repeated, and even as disgusting and repugnant as his views are, I’m not writing to assassinate his character.

He has a right to say what he wants, but to see what he represents, what he really stands for as far as politics are concerned, we need to take a brief look back into history.

In 1790, America was a young nation.

The Constitution had only been ratified three years earlier, and already then-president George Washington was facing a challenge to federal authority quite similar to that of Bundy and his armed thugs: The Whiskey Rebellion.

Alcohol was taxed just as it is now. In rural Pennsylvania, the whiskey producers got together and refused to pay the tax, taking to arms to defend their would-be ‘right’ to not be taxed.

For the first and only time in history, a U.S. president got on his horse and led his troops into battle to suppress what had become a violent rebellion and a challenge to federal authority.

Today, amidst the conversation about this modern day whiskey rebel Bundy, comes the endless and hopelessly off-base veneration of the founding fathers, whom many cite as men who would have supported Bundy’s actions.

I think, however, that those citing the Founding Fathers, in this case as well as many others, are dead wrong.

Washington, the father of this country, made it very clear when he suppressed the Whiskey Rebellion that the federal government could not, and would not, tolerate challenges to its authority by those who refused to obey the law.

It is worth mentioning in some cases the law is wrong and must be challenged as it was in the Civil Rights Movement, for example, but I’m not hiding behind the law, nor are those who are rightfully denouncing Bundy’s antics.

Bundy is a man who has refused to pay fees that many other ranchers have paid for years without the slightest complaint.

I find it astounding that so many have bought into Bundy’s sob story about being victimized by the federal government, and more disturbingly, that so many are willing to take up arms to defend him.

Right wing groups have spent a lot of money and a lot of time so that someone like Bundy might be made out as a hero simply for draping himself in the flag and taking the stance that the federal government is invalid.

The idea that Bundy is somehow a victim or a patriot is based on a false and shamefully ignorant reading of history.

There is a festering and venomous populism to which Bundy is appealing that has been very slyly and very tactfully slipped into place.

It seems there is little else that could convince so many so fully that a fee-evading freeloader like Bundy is some kind of poster boy for freedom. It is not about ‘the patriots vs. the evil government;’ the people are the government.

It is ironic that any politician who wears a $2,000 suit and who drives an expensive car has the ire to put on a cowboy hat and talk about how wasteful and corrupt the federal government is.

Make no mistake, the GOP is now distancing itself from Bundy because he has revealed too bluntly that he and such figures as Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Rick Perry are all cut from the same cloth where their views concerning the federal government are concerned.

Bundy is not a patriot, nor does he have the right to pick and choose which laws he follows.

If it comes to violence, he and his rabble will be dealt with, and they will not die heroes, or patriots, but as the armed criminals that they are.

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