Nothing unusual about Calvin Bundy, he's a right wing republican nut job. Right here at home in Virginia's 5th and 6th Congressional districts there are thousands just like him. The main difference is they don't have cattle that they are grazing on federal lands for free. Beyond that their thoughts and beliefs are exactly the same as Cliven Bundy's. They hate the poor, minorities and anyone the slightest bit different from them. So as you read about Cliven Bundy don't make the mistake of thinking he is anything special. Look around you will see him everywhere that republicans hold political power.
Almost overnight, Cliven Bundy became a hero of the anti-government right wing after his armed standoff against the Bureau of Land Management, to which he owes over $1 million in grazing fees. Fox News’ Sean Hannity has lavished praise on the Nevada rancher, who has also elicited support from several Tea Party lawmakers.
Unfortunately for conservative politicians trying to elevate him as a patriot battling government overreach, Bundy is using his new national platform to argue that black people were better off as slaves.
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” Bundy said at a news conference on Saturday, recounting how he had seen black people in a public housing project in North Las Vegas. “Because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are
they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
After the comments broke, a few of Bundy’s prominent supporters immediately set about distancing themselves.
Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), who called Bundy a patriot last week, was the first to denounce the comments; his spokesman told the New York Times the senator “completely disagrees with Mr. Bundy’s appalling and racist statements, and condemns them in the most strenuous way.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was quick to follow: “His remarks on race are offensive and I wholeheartedly disagree with him,” he said in a statement. Neither man faced the cameras and delivered the message personally. Both Senators hid behind statements released by their spokesmen.
Others, however, haven’t said a word. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) also rose to Bundy’s defense earlier this week. “I have a problem with the federal government putting citizens in the position of having to feel like they have to use force to deal with their own government. That’s the bigger issue,” Perry said Wednesday. Cruz called the standoff “the unfortunate and tragic culmination of the path that President Obama has set the federal government on.” Perry said he had not yet heard Bundy’s
comments Thursday morning, and Cruz has stayed quiet thus far.
Conservative pundit Dana Loesch even stuck to Bundy’s defense, arguing Thursday that he simply lacks media training. There is no escaping the knowledge that conservative thoughts are symbolic of mental illness.
This cycle has become all too familiar when it comes to conservative media symbols. Conservative media and lawmakers rallied around Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson after he was suspended from A&E for making offensive comments about gay people and African Americans. In fact, Robertson sounded a lot like Bundy when he asserted that African American sharecroppers were “singing and happy” in “pre-entitlement, pre-welfare” America. Joe the Plumber, the Republican hero of the 2008 presidential campaign, also used his platform to amplify racist speech, reposting an essay claiming that “wanting a white Republican president doesn’t make you racist, it just makes you American.”
Bundy, meanwhile, is reportedly asking the New York Times to retract his musings on black America, insisting, “I’m not racist,” but was just “wondering” if they are better off without slavery. The Bundy Ranch Facebook page agreed: “Cliven is a good man, he loves all people, he is not a racist man. He wants what’s best for everyone and free grazing for his cattle.”
Conservatives and Fox News Turn on Bundy
Fox News now calls Bundy an Ignorant Despicable Repugnant Racist. That's a big drop from the Conservative right wing hero Bundy was just a few hours ago.
Since Wednesday night, when the New York Times published Cliven Bundy's observations about "the Negro"—including his musing that African Americans were better off as cotton-picking slaves than they are today—conservative pundits have scrambled to distance themselves from the Nevada rancher, whose recent standoff with federal officials over grazing fees on public land became a rallying cry for anti-government conservatives. Fox News host Sean Hannity, who had vociferously championed Bundy as a hero, kicked off his Thursday show by slamming Bundy for his "ignorant, racist, repugnant, despicable" remarks.
Bundy defended his initial comments on Thursday saying, "If they think I'm racist, they're totally wrong…Again, I'm wondering are
they better off under the old system of slavery or are they better off under the welfare slavery that they're under now. You know,
I'm not saying one way or the other." And on Friday morning, he told CNN that he didn't see a problem with using terms like "Negro" or "boy" for black people. "If those people cannot take those kind of words and not be (offended), then Martin Luther King hasn't
got his job done yet," he told anchor Chris Cuomo.
Meanwhile, Bundy's daughter, Shiree Bundy Cox, is striking back at conservatives who have turned tail on Bundy, especially Hannity. In a Facebook post Thursday night, she accused Hannity of abandoning her father and pandering to ratings. Here's a snippet:
I'm sure most of you have heard the news about my dad being called a racist. Wow! The media loves to take things out of context don't they? First off I'd just like to say that my dad has never been the most eloquent speaking person. Like someone said, he's a Moses who needs an Aaron to speak for him. This is true. Second, however, is that the media has turned this into a circus side show. It's like their trying to throw us off the real subject. Why was this ever even brought up? What does this have to do with
land rights issues? Sean Hannity was all for reporting the happenings at the Bundy Ranch until this popped up. I wonder if someone hoped it would be that way… By the way, I think Mr. Hannity is more worried about his ratings than he really is about what my dad said. If he supports a supposed racist, what will that do to his ratings? He's already lost his #1 spot on Fox.
Cox, who is one of 14 children, also suggested that the controversy concerning Bundy's racist comments had somehow been
orchestrated to undermine her father's cause:
Glenn Beck was never 100% on board with my dad, but now he has an excuse to distance himself even farther. Could there be
people out there who want it that way? Get the un main stream media out of the way from reporting this situation in a positive
light and the battle is more than won for the opposing side… Again I'd like to ask, "What does my dad's opinion on the state of the
Blacks on welfare have to do with the land rights issue?" Nothing! It's a detouring tactic. It's taking away from the real issues
and what has been accomplished. The mainstream media want this to happen to make people deviate from the real important things and focus on a comment that has absolutely no relevance. It's a tactic that has been used for decades. I hope people will see this for what it really is.
While she came down hard on his critics, Cox's defense of her father was not so fierce: "Is my dad a racist. No, I really don't
think so. Could he have said what he means with a little more tact? Sure he could have. But most of all, should it even be an issue
One wonders why Bundy threw his thoughts on this issue into the conversation. It's not like someone else made the quotes up and credited them to Bundy though Bundy did try to pretend that was what had happened until the video appeared and proved him to be making up a story.
Conservatism, as a political attitude, is defined by the desire to conserve and is reflected in a resistance to, or at least suspicion of, change. However, although the desire to resist change may be the recurrent theme within conservatism, what distinguishes conservatism as an ideology from rival political creeds is the distinctive way in which this position is upheld. The central themes of conservative ideology are tradition, human imperfection, organic society, authority and property. For a conservative, tradition reflects the accumulated wisdom of the past, and institutions and practices that have been 'tested by time'; it should be preserved for the benefit of the living and for generations yet to come. Conservatives view human nature pessimistically in at least three senses. First, human beings are limited, dependent and security-seeking creatures; second, they are morally corrupt, tainted by selfishness, greed and a thirst for power; third, human rationality is unable to cope with the infinite complexity of the world (hence the conservative faith in pragmatism and their preference for describing their beliefs as an 'attitude of mind' rather than an ideology). The belief that society should be viewed as an organic whole implies that institutions and values have arisen through natural necessity and should be preserved to safeguard the fragile 'fabric of society'.
Conservatives view authority as the basis for social cohesion, arguing that it gives people a sense of who they are and what is
expected of them, and reflects the hierarchical nature of all social institutions. Conservatives value property because it gives
people security and a measure of independence from government, and also encourages them to respect the law and the property of
However, there are significant divisions within conservative thought. Authoritarian conservatism is starkly autocratic and
reactionary, stressing that government 'from above' is the only means of establishing order, and thus contrasts with the more
modest and pragmatic Anglo-American conservatism that stems from the writing of Edmund Burke (1729-97). Paternalistic conservatism draws upon a combination of prudence and principle in arguing both that 'reform from above' is preferable to 'revolution from below', and that the wealthy have an obligation to look after the less well-off, duty being the price of privilege. Such ideas were most influentially expressed by Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81). This tradition is most fully developed in the form of One Nation conservatism, which advocates a 'middle way' approach to state-market relations and gives qualified support to economic management and welfarism. Libertarian conservatism advocates the greatest possible economic liberty and the least possible government regulation of social life, echoing laissez-faire liberalism, but harnesses this to a belief in a more traditional, conservative
social philosophy that stresses the importance of authority and duty. This tradition provided the basis for New Right theories and values.
Conservative ideas and doctrines first emerged in the late eighteenth century and the early nineteenth century. They arose as a reaction against the growing pace of economic and social change, which was in many ways symbolised by the French Revolution (1789).
In trying to resist the pressures unleashed by the growth of liberalism, socialism and nationalism, conservatism stood in defence of an increasingly embattled traditional social order. Authoritarian conservatism took root in continental Europe but was increasingly marginalized by the advance of constitutionalism and democracy, and eventually collapsed with the fall of fascism, with which it had often collaborated. The Disraelian form of conservatism ultimately proved to be more successful, using Burke's notion of 'change in order to conserve', it allowed conservatism to adapt values such as tradition, hierarchy and authority to the emerging conditions of mass politics, thereby broadening its social and electoral base.
Conservatism's remarkable resilience stems from its ideological caution and political flexibility, enabling it, at different times, to embrace welfarist and interventionist policies as manifestations of the One Nation ideal, and to advocate 'rolling back the state' as recommended by the New Right.
Conservative thought, however, has always been open to the charge that it amounts to nothing more than ruling class ideology. In
proclaiming the need to resist change, it legitimises the status quo and defends the interests of dominant or elite groups. Other
critics allege that divisions between traditional conservatism and the New Right runs so deep that the conservative tradition has
become entirely incoherent. In their defence, conservatives argue that they merely advance certain enduring, if at times unpalatable, truths about human nature and the societies we live in. That human beings are morally and intellectually imperfect, and seek the security that only tradition, authority and a shared culture can offer, merely underlines the wisdom of 'travelling light' in ideological terms. Experience and history, conservatives warn, will always provide a sounder basis for political action than will abstract principles such as freedom, equality and justice. Conservatism represents a flexible set of values that the ruling class change at will as the need to maintain power dictate. It is rooted in the fear of others taking their posessions away from them and is therefore a position of weakness.
Amherst County Virginia Democratic News