The Big Picture –
By Glynn Wilson –
It looks like the insurgent occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is winding down. While it could be viewed as more tragic than funny, especially for the wildlife, it strikes me as bordering on hilarious that the remaining cowardly cowboys who are ready to leave now are trying to negotiate assurances that they won’t be arrested.
Are they kidding? That’s part of the deal when you try to start a revolution and fail. If you plan an occupation of federal land, you better be prepared to get shot and die for your cause, no matter how ill-conceived — or at least get arrested for trespassing.
The other tragi-comic thing about this entire story is how the media got sucked in so thoroughly to such a fake protest. The massive insurrection campaign promised at the outset of this story never materialized, yet the white, redneck, Republican, Christian insurgent occupation overshadowed almost everything else in the news except the Trump campaign for president.
It might seem somewhat surprising with everything else Trump has said that he didn’t make the trip to Oregon to join the revolution. Except that these cowboys couldn’t even get 100 of their fellow rednecks to join them on the refuge. The entire army was only made up of about four cattle ranchers and a few of their employees. It looks like less than a dozen all told. Even Trump wouldn’t waste his time trying to get the votes of such a small group.
How in the name of Benjamin Franklin did this story merit so much national and international attention? I mean the guys who got caught poaching on federal land and setting an illegal wildfire to try to cover their tracks had already admitted their guilt and turned themselves in to authorities to do their time.
The very idea that Ammon Bundy and a few of his drinking buddies could get this much attention and then escape consequences shows just how delusional the redneck right is in this country. Maybe they should lay off the moonshine.
Not only that, the cattle ranchers are already allowed to graze their cows on our land. Where is the injustice? What is the righteous cause? Many environmentalists oppose cattle grazing for the damage it does to the native plant life and wildlife, even taking food away from the wild horses. Then, where are the Native American tribes protesting to get their land back?
When Martin Luther King Jr. showed up on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, he fully expected to get beaten up and jailed. That’s the nature of nonviolent protest. You get beaten up. The media covers it. The nation and the world react sympathetically, learn about your plight, and come to join your cause. You get laws passed guaranteeing voting rights for the descendants of former slaves.
When the Occupy protesters staged sit-ins on Wall Street in New York and other cities across the country, they fully expected armed authorities to overreact and crush them. They garnered publicity and people learned about the abuses of the banks and the police.
The Cowboy tea party patriots, on the other hand, brought their guns to the insurrection party. What did they expect?
When Bundy and his spokesman buddy Robert “LaVoy” Finicum left in the middle of the party to drive a hundred miles away to try to recruit more cowboys to join them, did they really expect free passage back and forth from the feds? If so, they were not only rednecks. They were stupid rednecks. That’s not how this game is played.
If you are going to run an insurrectionist occupation, bring enough food and moonshine to last. Otherwise drop your weapons, come out with your hands up, and do your time. Don’t waste our time with this half-assed pussy-footed form of protest. If you are really all in and willing to die, don’t complain when that actually happens.
Now it’s time for the media to go home. When the free publicity stops, the cowardly cowboys will come out with their hands up and we can all go back to figuring out how to prevent The Donald from becoming president.
Instead of propping up this would be tinpot dictator by reporting every word he says as if it was legitimate, why doesn’t some enterprising reporter somewhere figure out Trump’s weakness and take him out?
I’m not going to do it. I like Trump as the Republican nominee. His very presence and his big mouth have prevented the Jeb Bush campaign from gaining any traction. No matter who wins, keeping Jeb Bush out of the White House is good for the country.
On the other side, when the Progressive Democrats of America came to me and tried to get my editorial support for running Bernie Sanders as an independent, I told them “hell no. Run him as a Democrat.”
That’s worked out pretty well so far. He’s the only truly progressive candidate in the field getting national attention focused on the problems with the big banks, the corporations and the corporate media. He’s even forcing Hillary Clinton to talk about some of the real issues we need to be focusing on related to the long-term economy.
Whether he wins the Democratic nomination or or the presidency or not, he’s already won by changing the debate. Go Bernie. Down with the cowardly cowboys. Let’s make America great again by using our minds to work together — not our guns and our words to continue the unnecessary political divide.
© 2016, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.