Cliven Bundy, the Nevada cattle rancher who inspired armed militiamen to face off with federal law enforcement, has become a cause célèbre among conservative activists and right-wing media outlets.
"If Bundy was black, female, Muslim — indeed, anything other than a rich male in rural America," writes Robert Azzi in the Portsmouth Herald, "this would be portrayed on Fox News as lazy, indolent, tax cheats trying to bilk hard-working Americans:
The embrace of Bundy, who has been stealing from the taxpayers for years — he’s in arrears about $1 million — is just the most recent manifestation of an incoherent philosophy that privileges a minority while disenfranchising most Americans.
It’s really tiresome, ignorant and un-American. It reinforces a false narrative that conservatives have a special privilege — a privilege to defy any laws they happen not to like — as long as they offer “constitutional rights” or “religious belief” as their excuse, all while denying the opportunity for similar privileges to others.
Bundy, who doesn’t believe in the “United States government as even existing,” is not acting out of civil disobedience, which is about changing unjust laws, but out of greed, exception and privilege.
One New Hampshire politician who has embraced Bundy is U.S. Senate candidate Karen Testerman. In an email to supporters, the conservative activist expressed her solidarity with the armed protesters who converged on the Bundy ranch.
"[P]lease pray for those Freedom Fighters,” she wrote, “especially our Granite Staters, who have gone to the Bundy Ranch in Nevada to help the Bundy family defend their cattle and their rights.”
"These efforts [by the federal government] threaten our citizens, attack our property rights, and intimidate us through the over-reaching power of the ‘Big Government,’ " she warned.