Rise up (or not)…

I like to think that somewhere beneath my polo shirt clad exterior lies a rebel heart. I want to imagine that if I were forced into making a choice between running the machine and tearing it down, I’d opt into the later group.

When I look at a few dozen western ranchers who decided to make their stand over issues of cheap grazing on federal lands, I realize I really don’t have much sympathy for rebellion – at least not as they have packaged and sold it. As much as I bitch and complain about the way things are, serving the machine has done well by me. Decent enough pay. Plenty of vacation time. Even a respectable, if not gold plated, retirement plan. There’s money to be made in rebellion, of course, but they tend to offer precious little by way of security.

I can certainly imagine circumstances where I might be tempted to take up arms in order to uphold my long ago oath to support and defend the Constitution, but those scenarios are exceptional. I enjoy rousing the rabble as much or more than the next guy, but rising up against lawfully constituted authority, it seems, is against my nature in except all but the most fractious of circumstances.

Hitching your star largely to issues of western range land management feels like grievances best redressed by the courts and doesn’t do much to inspire my inner revolutionary spirit. Bring me a cause with some real meat on the bone and I could be persuaded to get behind it with my life, fortune, and sacred honor. Going to the mat over a couple of convicted felons just seems like wasting good powder.

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