If you kept up with the news last year, you may remember Cliven Bundy as the Nevada rancher who inspired dozens of conservative states-rights supporters to take up arms in response when the federal government committed the horrific crime of making him pay his taxes. You may also remember Cliven Bundy as the Nevada rancher who inspired dozens of conservative states-rights supporters to pretend like they totally didn’t know him when it turned out he was racist as fuck.
Regardless, their heroic stand against the evil federal government was a rousing success. On April 12, the dastardly federal police retreated against the righteous might of Bundy’s illegal mob militia (sources report the police were seen shaking their fists and saying “We’ll meet again, Spiderman”). Two days after Bundy’s victory over this shameless attempt by the government to needlessly control his private property, some of his private property wandered out of control onto Interstate 15, causing a crash that heavily injured two.
The driver in the incident drafted a lawsuit against Bundy in early September, saying that as a private rancher it was his duty to keep his cattle from becoming a public safety hazard. Bundy of course, being the self-sufficient, non-government-reliant maverick that he is, had a different response: it was the state’s fault his cows got loose.
See, Bundy says, the state government failed to maintain the fence around the interstate, and thus he cannot be held culpable. Representatives of the state called bullshit (which according to Bundy is a healthy foodstuff high in protein. No, really) on his argument. They noted that Bundy’s cows should not have been able to get near the fence anyways, as he had not purchased grazing access for the government-owned land in between his ranch and the interstate.
But who are we going to believe, the government that steals from its citizens by lawfully taxing them, or the man who said that being on welfare is literally worse than slavery? Clearly, the state ought to have done a better job of stopping Bundy’s cows from wandering onto their property, but without actually stopping them, because that land belongs to the county anyways and it’s unconstitutional. Or something.
Some have used this incident as evidence that Bundy is little more than a self-serving hypocrite. But that’s not fair. It’s the federal government Bundy refuses to acknowledge, not the state government. It’s not like those two groups are affiliated, or anything. And in the end, all Bundy wants is to reap the benefits of government-funded public works without reservation, without having to contribute to the government in any way he deems inconvenient. How is that in any way inconsistent?