What is this nonsense over that idiot rancher in Nevada? It all started when the Feds decided to ask the farmer in question to kindly stop grazing his cattle on federal land. He has had a free ride for many years, but now, when he would not longer be allowed to mooch off the land for his profit, well, you’d think the government was asking for his first-born. Claiming it was “his” land, he got his neighbors to join in the fun of blockading and threatening governmental officials when they tried to remove his doggies from their free feedlot. Then, right-wing radio and far-right politicians claimed this guy to be a folk-hero. He is merely standing up to the big, bad federal government, they exclaimed. He's the little guy fighting for his “rights” to turn his cattle loose on land that's not his, all in the name of freedom and, well, just to be anti-governmental.
I must be missing something.
As a farmer’s daughter, I always had the impression that if you want to borrow someone else’s land to farm, graze or otherwise use for personal gain, you have to pay rent. It has worked very well for a whole lot of years in my part of the country. For example, we have neighbors who now farm my parents’ homestead. They pay rent and in turn they get to keep all the profits when they sell the harvested crops. It’s a win-win. Now, did the U.S. government ever get a dime of this guy’s profits, when he sold the fatted cattle that had been eating the grass off the land? Nope. In fact, he owes you and me as taxpayers over a million dollars in back rent and fees. So why, then, is this hissy-fit that his gravy train was now history? Heck, he got years of profits at taxpayer expense. And he has the audacity to belly-ache that he now has to pay up and get off the land?
But it was his new racist comments that blacks may have been being better off as slaves that has all his new-found right-wing political friends running for the hills. He apparently liked all the heady media coverage of his 15 minutes of fame, so he has set out to be an expert on social issues. His comments as to urban blacks being on welfare, with the men in prison, and the women having abortions, cast a pall over his brief, shining moment in the sun. It is comical to see these fair-weather politicos and media talking heads now singing a new tune, calling his comments, “despicable” and disavowing their support. Yet, what did they expect? We have seen how the ultra-right wingers spew their bigotry by couching their words that Obama is an “illegitimate” president, that he wasn’t born in the U.S., even though Hawaii was admitted to the union a year before his birth. Oh, and he is the son of an African, i.e. dark-skinned father (guess his Kansas mom doesn’t count toward citizenship). The ultra-right members of Congress also have blocked virtually every appointment, every law he has asked to have passed, with no desire to work toward compromise, as a democracy is supposed to function. Even when the shoe was on the other foot, and the Democrats were the minority in Congress, they still worked with Republican presidents to pass legislation and approve most of their appointees.
Let’s face it – arch-conservatives helped to create this situation. Their methodology is to rile people up, playing to long-held prejudices among their base, all in the name of political or financial gain. Then, they try to wipe off their handy-work when one of their dumb-cluck protégés has the temerity to state what they have carefully cultivated to incite without actually stating the obvious. Whoops – looks like they backed the wrong horse on this one. The Rand Pauls, Ted Cruzes and Fox News are fleeing from the pox that is overt racism. Even for them, the ugly face of bigotry is more than they can stand.