If you missed the national saga of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, consider yourself lucky. Although at first Bundy appeared a sympathetic figure in the fight against an encroaching federal government, the facts quickly revealed a man with not only racist viewpoints but an unsympathetic argument.
If you want a primer on Bundy’s land issue, The Washington Post had a good summary timeline on the issue affecting his land.
Sadly, a number of Arizona legislators jumped on the bandwagon before knowing the facts and Mr. Bundy himself. Arizona State Kelli Ward (R-Lake Havasu City) was unfortunately one of those public officials.
As soon as the premature defense of Bundy began, Bundy’s true beliefs became known.
Although fairly repugnant, Ward skirted her association with Bundy.
“Apparently he has some thoughts that aren’t shared by many Americans. He is free to think and speak as he chooses (even if it may offend) and we are free to listen (or not) and form our own opinions. I am thankful for our amazing Constitution and the 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech — if I don’t agree, I don’t seek to silence or shame the speaker or to paint his associates with the broad brush of collective condemnation.”
Although Ward quickly distanced herself from Bundy, it calls into question her judgment and her leaping before looking rationale. We need real leaders in Washington, particularly the U.S. Senate, where deliberative analysis takes place.
When our Arizona elected officials entertain crazy conspiracy theories like Chemtrails and associate with known racists like Cliven Bundy, one begins to wonder if they are fit to lead.