Ammon Bundy is Not a Convict; He’s a Man of Conviction
Ammon Bundy has been arrested many times in the past two years. Most people think it’s a gimmick to get attention. But Ammon Bundy is as sober-minded as people come. His actions are constitutionally and commonsensically based and are far removed from the antics of a habitual misfit.
It is not wrong to question his actions. His behavior is unusual. Historically it is extremely rare to find someone so principled and devoted to what is by nature and law constitutionally ours, and willing to pay the price of intense deprecation in every form imaginable to obtain it. Ammon Bundy never sought personal publicity. For three years after his trials in Nevada and Oregon, he was living life quietly with his family. Then Covid engulfed our lives. Initially, he had strong objections to elements of the government’s response, but he confined them to his private behavior. It was when Governor Little and state government continued violating the heart of both the nation and state’s constitutions that Ammon spoke out. Or tried to.
Most would agree that state government has a responsibility to determine the proper size and type of response to a dilemma the complexity and size of the pandemic. Executive orders are one tool the state’s governor has been given permission by the people to use in sudden and extreme emergencies. And, thus, Governor Little did so.
After two consecutive thirty-day executive orders, however, they lapsed automatically, and Governor Little was required by statute to convene the legislature to determine the state’s ongoing response to the pandemic. Governor Little ignored the law, despite his sworn duty per Article Four, Section Five of the State Constitution to “see the laws [of the state] are faithfully executed,” and despite being reminded of his duty by members of the state legislature.
Chasing $19.2 billion dollars in federal Covid relief funds for the state is no excuse for his behavior. Especially when the distribution of the funds is solely under his purview, and not the legislature’s. Then he took full credit for a budget surplus and sent out $150 checks to taxpaying voters. If the governor does not have the responsibility to follow the constitution, who does?
History shows that violations of a government’s constitution signal further violations in the future and usually for lesser and lesser causes. President Biden’s recent unconstitutional and unconscionable forgiveness of personal student loans is a perfect case in point. Habitual government overreach is what Bundy has been trying to reveal to the public. His was not the habitual behavior of a social misfit, nor was it anti-government. He wants responsible government for us all. Had the legislature been convened to act, Ammon Bundy would have honored the process. He is a Constitutionalist. Had he disagreed with the legislative outcome, he would have worked to amend the law or even the state Constitution.
In the case of Baby Cyrus, the toddler was taken by the state and placed in St. Luke’s Hospital. Cyrus was suffering from malnourishment. His parents, since his birth, had been doing everything the medical field had suggested to help their tiny boy. Despite this, they were arrested. The couple were personal friends of Ammon Bundy. Bundy went to St. Luke’s to argue for the release of Baby Cyrus, or at least that his breast-feeding mother could stay with him in the hospital. A police officer snuck up from behind and arrested Ammon without resistance. Within days Baby Cyrus was released by the hospital back to his parents. The hospital quietly admitted thateven it could do nothing for the one-year-old. This is another instance where Bundy had been arrested for objecting to executive overreach by bureaucrats “in authority.”
When I asked Ammon why he stood up at the risk of his campaign, he responded with just six words, “I was protecting other people’s rights.”
St. Luke’s series of incidents is the only place I have questioned Ammon’s decisions. I shared my concern with him, and he listened. As a public servant for forty-two years, I do not believe in doxxing individual public servants. Doxxing is a counter-constitutional device that is akin to pronouncing someone “guilty until proven innocent” -with the accompanying intense anxiety and fear that comes from such unadjudicated behavior. In the balance, it is anti-American and counter-productive on many levels. However, I do believe in peacefully protesting public institutions.
St. Luke’s is now suing Ammon Bundy for harassment and defamation. This is a civil, not criminal, issue. I asked Ammon why he wasn’t responding to the suit. He answered, “it would distract from the campaign.” He would rather forfeit the judgment and pay the claimed damages, which are significant, out of his own pocket. Ammon was also brought to court for using his campaign efforts to meet the conditions of forty days of community service for his “civil disobedience” at the state capitol and for which he was sentenced to ten days in jail. It is understandable in today’s ultra-cynical world that the judge scoffed at Bundy’s claim. But it was an honest, creative, earnest, and principled way of combining protest and lawful campaigning consistent with Bundy’s stands in all things.
It may seem bizarre, but is it not reasonable and consistent to suggest that legally and earnestly running for office is a valid model of community service by any citizen of the state, despite the fact it does not suit the judge’s intention to punish him for his appropriate civil disobedience? He certainly did not run for governor to avoid jail time. And his campaign efforts continue to this day, undistracted.
Ammon Bundy will, he has proven in every way possible, follow the letter and the spirit of our state’s and country’s constitutions and honor executive, legislative, and judicial stewardships. He is not wild-eyed; he is steady-eyed. He means what he says and says what he means. A unique–and vitally needed–quality for someone running for or serving in office. We are not used to a person so principled. This, NOT the use of political gimmicks, is what makes Ammon Bundy so unusual, but so needed in, and so valuable to, our state leadership.
Do we not see he is a man for these times? Go to VoteBundy to further acquaint yourself with him. I think you will be impressed by his unaffected candor and humility. Then cast your ballot according to your conscience.
This Op-Ed was submitted by Rick Hydrick. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.
Tags: 2022 Election, 2022 Idaho Election, 2022 Idaho General Election, Ammon Bundy, Baby Cyrus, Brad Little, Governor, St. Lukes