I don’t hold with government bodies coming in and taking land from individuals. Yes, it was legal when the U.S. did it – they didn’t count the people who lived there in those days as “people” – and I don’t hear Bundy complaining. After all, if they’d let the natives keep it, Bundy would have to pay THEM compensation. As a racist cheapskate, that wouldn’t be a choice he’d want to make.
But until the next moodswing of history, the property is "ours". By which I mean, it belongs to my family – the United States of America. So it’s my land, honey. Mine and… well, yours too. But Bundy, though a family member, doesn’t like what the majority decided to do, which was to charge people who use it for private profit.
This happens all the time. My family owns a lot of property. We share the air above the land, and the watersheds below. We hold it “in common” and many of us want our kids to have the same kind of air and water as we do – which is to say, slightly more than marginally drinkable and breathable. We figure the people who want to use some of it should pay, and the ones who mess it up should pay to fix it.
But greedy folks steal. They don’t mind coming it and making the air unbreathable and the water undrinkable, and the land unusable by anyone else. Like very bad tenants, they pretend they didn't make the mess, or that it's the landlord's responsibility to clean it up. What gets their self-righteous panties in a bunch is having to pay for what they use. After all, the point of stealing the land in the first place was for the rich to get richer and the rest of us to suffer.
I heard the chant “we made it” just once. I’d love to make a video of the parts of the United States which are no longer usable, with a series of logos of rich people flashing in the corner, and that chant “we made it” over it. Because that’s what they made.
Cliven Bundy is trying to use my land without paying for it. He’s willing to take anything he wants and shoot anyone who gets in his way. There's an old West name for people like that. Outlaw.
He’s not a rancher. He’s a thief.