Bundys in Whitefish: Their ideology is not welcome here

Print Article

What kind of Flathead Valley do we want to call home? In the not so distant past, we became an unwilling host to ideologies steeped in violent threats and the dogma of “The National Policy Institute.” Our community observed, scrutinized and emphatically rejected the abject convictions of Andrew Anglin and Richard Spencer. Action overcame indifference, and resolve surmounted the threats. “We the people” resoundingly let them know that neither their teachings nor their postures were welcome in Montana or the Flathead Valley.

Enter the Bundys.

We all are familiar with the hostile standoff in Bunkerville, Nev., and the armed occupation and documented destruction of public property at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Ore., places that are owned and, yes, managed by “we the people.”

In January of 2018, Cliven and Ryan Bundy, along with their cadre of home-grown body guards, came to Paradise, Mont., for a “Freedom and Property” rally. They seized an opportunity to espouse their agenda of individual sovereignty and divestment of public lands with the endorsement of American Lands Council CEO and Montana State Senator Jennifer Fielder. Promoted as an open public event, I – along with a number of members of the Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers – attended.

Next week, in Whitefish, Ammon Bundy and numerous proponents of public land divestiture, including Montana State Rep. Kerry White, will be speaking at a conference titled “A New Code of the West – Cleaning Out Corruption from the Crooked Corral.” The selection of Whitefish seems ironic, as the economic engine of both the town and the Flathead Valley depend on the surrounding public lands, including businesses like hotels, shops and restaurants. The region’s vitality is absolutely incumbent upon its national parks, U.S. Forest Service lands, and designated wilderness areas, all of them public lands owned and managed by “we the people.”

It would be easy to dismiss the Bundys, as they extol a simple life of spirituality, family and patriotism. The reality is that their extreme actions and objectives are funded by the deepest dark-money pockets in the country. Similar to Anglin, Spencer and their white-supremacist friends, the Bundy-American Lands Council agenda relies on intimidation, support by a few and apathy of the majority. All are unacceptable and equally menacing to the future of the republic and “we the people.”

Their culture is contrary to the rule of law, hates egalitarian ideals and is the enemy of public land. Their ideology is not welcome here. Not in our town. Not in our valley. Not in our state. Montana is for public land lovers.

—Tom Healy, of Whitefish, is the Region 1 board member for the Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.

Print Article

Read More Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor Dec. 9

December 09, 2018 at 10:13 am | Daily Inter Lake Marching band hand-me-downs I’m just checking to make sure I got the story right because, to be honest, I sometimes misunderstand and I certainly don’t want to be unfair to anybody. According to the...

Comments

Read More

Montanans would benefit from simple majority rules in House

December 09, 2018 at 10:13 am | Daily Inter Lake I never planned on being “Old Man Jones,” but time never stops. I am currently the longest serving Republican in the Montana House, having served eight years as senator and six years as representat...

Comments

Read More

The cost of health care

December 09, 2018 at 10:13 am | Daily Inter Lake In light of the exorbitant cost of health care, I find both a letter of non-apology from the KRMC board and a news article/advertisement for the Digestive Health Institute in the same issue of the Da...

Comments

Read More

Letters to the editor Dec. 6

December 06, 2018 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Time for campaign spending limits Thank goodness the midterm elections are over. We have been pounded day and night for months on every form of media imaginable. The sad part is the orgy of spending...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2018 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X