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Op-Ed: Demystifying Ammon Bundy, Part 1

By • October 10, 2022

Ammon Bundy mystifies many Idahoans. To them his opposition to authority is over the top. The media has presented him as a troublemaking, radical, gun-toting, militant, criminal, anti-government buffoon – or at best an ignorant cowboy.

Whatever he is, he is tiring.

One may ask: What could motivate a person to behave as he has?
The answer to that question begins in 1877, when Ammon Bundy’s ancestors settled the Virgin River country in southern Nevada. Upon arriving, they dutifully obtained legal water and grazing rights from the state. In the 1870’s the great American explorer, John Wesley Powell, proclaimed these desert lands “inhabitable.” Within ten years the Bundys and thousands of other ranchers and farmers proved Powell’s assertion correct. Their success played a large part in convincing Congress to create the Bureau of Reclamation in 1902 and later the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), further opening the West to settlement. Initially these agencies’ relationships with ranchers were simple and symbiotic. However, with the “environmental movement” of the 1970’s, the government began citing environmental exigencies that required federal “ownership” and administrative “control of the public domain” within the Western states. Over the next fifty years, the BLM moved from being the beneficiary of the ranchers’ accomplishments to a persecutor of their everyday existence.

Cliven Bundy, Ammon’s father, asserted there was a fundamental problem with the BLM’s claim to the land. The US Constitution requires the federal government to 1) “purchase” the land; 2) “by the consent of the Legislature of the State,” 3) for exercising the federal government’s “authority over all places” purchased, such as property for military forts and postal roads (i.e., today’s freeways). The BLM (and other environmental agencies) have done none of this. The Constitution of Idaho itself states: “All property and institutions of the territory [of Idaho], shall, upon adoption of the constitution, become the property and institutions of the state of Idaho.” It cannot get any clearer. The US Congress accepted the state and its constitution on these terms. These clauses had been conveniently ignored by the federal government on the grounds that the nation’s founders could not foresee the future; therefore, the Constitution must be flexible and accommodate a federal response to environmental issues. In fact, the founders recognized there would be reasons to alter the Constitution. For this purpose, they placed the Amendment process in the document.

This democratic tool has been routinely disregarded throughout the nation’s history, but, regarding the Bundys, resulted in the BLM taking their cattle in 2014 to pay fees and fines that had been levied against the family. As over fifty fellow ranchers gave in to federal edicts and left their holdings, Cliven Bundy, along with Ammon and his brothers, considered the ramifications of an act of “civil disobedience.” Arrest, jail, trial, prison? Or keeping their land and rights by exposing the silent and perpetual overreach of government and constitutional law? Cliven and his family, as circumstances unfolded, chose both. He and his family were staying put and so were his cattle. Still, the Bundys were shocked when hundreds of federal officers arrived in military fashion, including snipers and helicopters. They had ignored the county sheriff’s calmer threat assessment and developed their own instead. Word got out, and people from all over the nation poured in to support the Bundys, the vast majority unarmed. Those few who were, had the legal right to be so and never used their weapons. After two weeks of crisis the Clark County Sheriff rightfully stepped in to end the confrontation.

The occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, two years later, occurred under similar circumstances. When the protesters arrived, they found the facilities unoccupied. A few protesters brought guns; Ammon Bundy did not. When all was said and done, the Bundy’s were acquitted of all charges by the jury in Oregon. In the Nevada court, the judge pronounced a mistrial and declared the government’s actions “shocked the conscience of the court,” “violated the universal sense of justice,” “due process rights,” and was a “miscarriage of justice.” In other words, the federal government had developed a habit of severely overextending itself, at least in this case, just as Cliven and Ammon Bundy had claimed. The judge was speaking directly to the FBI, the National Park Service, the BLM and their attorneys. They had been acting outside the spirit and letter of the law. Even the left leaning Ninth Circuit of the US Court of Appeals affirmed the verdicts, and the Bundy’s were finally set free. The reader is strongly invited to do a fifteen-minute internet search of the names Larry Wooten and Dan Love. You will be appalled.

Only the public and the press still have not acquitted Ammon Bundy. This, despite the fact he served two years in prison, including one year in solitary confinement – “guilty until proven innocent.”

Ammon Bundy is not “anti-government.” He is for good government. His acts of civil disobedience show a singular courage, fortitude, and fidelity to the rule of law. He has the principles, gifts, and ability to administer our rights, privileges, and opportunities as Governor of Idaho – working with and respecting the state’s legislative and judicial branches exactly as stated in the Idaho and US Constitutions, and with profound respect for the amendment process for needed change. It is time to recognize him not only as faithful American, but as leader of American values.

Go to or his public appearances and get to know him, and then vote as you see fit.

This Op-Ed was submitted by Rick Hydrick. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.

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Tags: Ammon Bundy, BLM, Cliven Bundy, FBI

28 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Demystifying Ammon Bundy, Part 1

  1. Ammon Bundy is not the problem; the press, the good old boy Republicans, the Democrats and the feds are! Bundy is the solution!

  2. Nice right up. Another true patriot trying to Keep Idaho Idaho
    Thank you.. I will be sharing your writings

  3. Our Federal Government has been out of control for a long time: Randy Weaver’s family in northern Idaho murdered by the Federal Government, the massacre of men, women and children in Waco, Texas by the Federal Government, the murder of a peaceful man leaving the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.
    Enough is enough…!!!

  4. I appreciate the information. However, this does not change my kind to the fact that Bundy is an unstable revolutionary and has no business being in leadership or representing the people of Idaho. In a time where we need rational, intelligent, and strong leadership, he has none of these qualities. Furthermore, I feel sad to see so many rally behind him in an act of desperation.

    1. Standing up for one’s rights is not demonstrating instability, it shows courage. Good old boy little “bends” wherever the money comes from. Claims he’s a rancher, but the Chinese love him and so does Big Pharma. “Nothing to see here.” Certainly not a leader and an IQ that plummets daily, maybe negative numbers.

    2. Please, specify how he is unstable. I believe if you make statements like this you need to back it up with evidence. Otherwise, it reads as a biased and emotional response.

    3. Strong leadership? My opinion on strong leadership is one who puts the people first our children first the bill of rights the constitution.! Ammon has proven many times he is a leader for we the people . Ask yourself what has gov little done to help Idaho ? He is one of the good old boys club . Research who is sponsoring gov little? Is big pharma ok?that every commercial you see on TV is a drug w side effects ? Isn’t that a bit strange? This us mind control. Telling peole they are sick take this take that but there’s 100 side effects . If you do not understand this battle we are in you will not get how big pharma rules the world. Dig deeper. Where is the money coming and going ? You say Ammon is unstable. Are you serious? You must be about 20 something yrs old sorry honey you have alot to learn . AMMON IS FAR FROM UNSTABLE he has a family he has lived life where justice was not fair ! He lived it . But God put him here for a reason . Soon you will understand spirituality and what is actually happening in our world right now! May take you more years many more to understand. But you will look back on this time frame and say to yourself . ” Now I understand what’s been going on . “!

    4. I suppose Governor sheep farmer is your answer? Now that the R party is about the “right kind” of welfare, no one appears to have any issues with the massive amounts of CARES money that Little took to obtain our “budget surplus.”
      I left the R party. I’m tired of the nonsense. Not a real con in the bunch.

    5. My three part column is about his stability. He is remarkably consistent in acting on his principles, which are American principles (or so many say), and thus his response to government overreach, whether we are talking about a single toddler or generations of ranching families or a governor who clearly and inexplicably ignores the law and state constitution and disrespects the legislative/Republican role in government to speak for the people. That is not revolutionary. That is courage.

  5. While I respect Mr. Bundy I think by running as a “3rd party” candidate he will split the vote and that will elect the Democrat as Govenor.
    I am remembering that is how Bill Clinton came to power.
    How did that work out?

    1. Ammon has done a video on how this is not statistically possible. There were thousands of demo that switched parties to vote for Little in the primaries. They have switched back to vote for their party.

    2. No because Janice lost to little so now all the other candidates people who voted for them will switch gears. He has an excellent chance at winning !

    3. If he splits the vote, the legislature will void anything radical done by a Democratic governor. The Democrat probably can’t win the election outright anyway. I believe we are at a point where we must vote our conscience.

  6. Thank you for this. I’m still on the fence, but Bundy appears to be a “working” governor, which I believe we need right now.

  7. Many of us folks here in Ohio and the rest of the nation see the Bundy clan as heros standing against a bureaucratic nightmare called the federal government . This out of control government has taken for itself powers never granted by we the people and it is high time to stop it . I wish I was a citizen of Idaho so I could cast my vote for Mr Bundy and like minded patriots that still love America even in her current troubles . Charlie Daniels sang that ” This lady may have stumbled , but she ain’t never fell ” . This election may determine the truth of those lyrics . Vote Bundy if you still love America !

  8. We were told by the press that are enemies are Al Queda then Isis. Who would ever believe that the press now wants us to believe its American Patriots.

  9. We were told by the media that are enemies are Al Queda then Isis. Who would ever believe that the press now wants us to believe its American Patriots.

  10. Why no mention of the Lavoy Fincum, the man whom Bundy led to his death during the armed insurrection in Oregon?

    1. Ammon and others were miles behind Lavoy’s vehicle. All parties had no idea there was a trap ahead. Or law enforcement would start shooting well before Lavoy stopped his truck and got out. It is sad for all that Lavoy acted on his own volition to continue to John Day. Ammon grieves to this day and always will.

  11. And, please go to Read the planks of his platform, watch tv interviews, read other articles, watch videos. Go and watch him in person. Ask your questions. I think you may be surprised at his candor and honesty.

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