As Americans we speak frequently of Liberty. In fact, since the founding of our nation, Liberty has been a part of the DNA of patriots who demonstrated this unalienable right, one for which many have sacrificed their lives, fortunes and sacred honor.
Last week I had the honor of visiting Cliven and Carol Bundy, a couple that not only stand for Liberty but in standing they live and exhibit Liberty. I was privileged to meet them at the Bundy Ranch in Riverside, Nevada below the Virgin Mountain range within the boundaries of the Nevada Mojave Desert.
Recall that it was just last month in April 2014 when Liberty and Tyranny clashed outside the Bundy Ranch.
During my visit with the Bundy’s we chatted about their recent standoff with the Bureau of Land Management. Cliven reminded me that our founders never intended for the states to be subservient to a federal master. Rather, the founders’ intent was for the states to be masters of their own destiny with a limited number of enumerated powers vested in the federal government. Unfortunately though, over the years the roles have been reversed and our states have cowered at the feet of Washington. Cliven surmised that the primary culprit was not Washington but rather state governors and local sheriffs who were unwilling to stand for the liberties of their constituents and against an ever growing and intrusive federal government.
As we spent time chatting we also enjoyed some of their own delicious, steroid free organic roast beef courtesy of Carol Bundy. Following dinner, Cliven took time to tour me around their ranch, spending some time with their newborn calves, showing me some cattle that had just been rounded up by his cowboys and educating me on ranching in the desert.
The thousands of acres surrounding the Bundy Ranch are dotted with mesquite trees, bushes and indigenous plants, all which are the source of nourishment for the hundreds of cattle that have been a part of the Bundy family’s livelihood since the 1870’s. But given the sparseness of the vegetation, it can require up to ten times the number of acres to feed their cattle as it would for an equivalent number of cattle back in Tennessee.
The brief couple of hours with the Bundy’s went by too fast but as I left their ranch I realized that I had made new lifelong friends. Knowing that their battle is the same battle many of us are waging in Tennessee and around the nation was not only encouraging but it reinforced how critical it is for those who cherish Liberty to stand together as frequently as Liberty is attacked.
I believe we often think of Liberty in the abstract, as merely a concept, theory or right. Yet, the showdown between Liberty and Tyranny could not have been more clear or better contrasted at the Bundy Ranch.
Standing for and representing Liberty was a man, his wife and extended family: the Bundy’s.
On the other side Tyranny sought to tighten its stranglehold, by way of the behemoth US Federal Government’s Bureau of Land Management and its employees and contractors, willing accomplices of Tyranny’s agenda.
No doubt similar clashes were commonplace, easily detected and clearly understood in the late 1700’s as Patriots, whose names we revere, boldly stood for Liberty in the face of what no doubt seemed like overwhelming odds at the time. Today though, we Americans are much less astute in identifying this insidious threat. Even worse though, too many of us are unwilling to stand for Liberty and resist and proactively fight against Tyranny.
I would posit that when a couple like the Bundys step forward and refuse to yield to Tyranny they are not merely standing for Liberty, they are in fact living Liberty.
Without people there is no Liberty.
And without We the People, our nation will lose Liberty.
While the world only became aware of the Bundys battle over the last few weeks, the truth is that Tyranny had been prevailing in the Nevada desert for many decades. As proof consider that 20 years ago there were 52 ranchers in Clark County, Nevada. Today there is ONE. Yes, just one rancher remains. But that one rancher refused to be overrun by Tyranny or give in to evil, and Patriots from across this great land rode in to support and bolster Cliven and Carol Bundy.
And so the Bundys are a stark example that Liberty can prevail when one person, one family, one county, one state stands up and says, NO to Tyranny! Only by doing so can we insure that this ominous warning from John Adams never comes to pass:
Liberty, once lost, is lost forever!
Will YOU stand for Liberty?
Please visit the official Bundy Ranch Facebook Page and Like it to show your support: https://www.facebook.com/bundyranch
And the Bundy Blog can be seen here: http://bundyranch.blogspot.com/
A few more photos from my visit to the Bundy Ranch…
For further reading:
Federal Land Ownership as of 2010: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42346.pdf
Equal Footing Doctrine and more: http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/18038-bundy-s-case-feds-do-not-own-the-land-where-his-cattle-graze
Seizure of Land Unconstitutional: http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/18032-blm-s-seizure-of-nevada-rancher-s-land-rights-unconstitutional