Dangerous Message

The subject of today’s article wasn’t the biggest story of last week but it certainly has the potential to be the most hazardous to America.

Thursday an Oregon jury acquitted the Bundy brothers Ammon and Ryan along with five other defendants of federal conspiracy charges related to their armed occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge earlier this year. As sure as I’m sitting here writing this article they will all be in court again. Hopefully they don’t kill anyone in the process. In fact the Bundy brothers were remanded to Nevada to face charges stemming from a 2014 incident.

Most amazing to me the seven were found not guilty of possession of firearms in a federal facility. Were the news reports doctored or were my eyes deceiving me? Lawyers and the cases they present do make a difference in jury trials. I would not be the least surprised that eventually it will come out that the prosecution was simply “outgunned” and got beat in the courtroom.

This is all playing out against the background of Donald Trump running around the country telling every Bubba that will listen to him that the election is rigged and that if he loses it had to have been stolen from him.

The Trump campaign in apparent coordination with the Republican National Committee (RNC) is busy recruiting vigilantes to watch the polls in “Certain neighborhoods” on Election Day. The RNC is publically denying any coordination in large part because they want to be released from a federal court ruling that prohibits them from anything resembling such activity because they were caught doing racially based voter intimidation and suppression in the 1981 New Jersey Governor’s race.

Many Trump supporters actually believe he is winning and say they will not accept the results of the election if Hillary Clinton is declared the winner. The vast majority of them is harmless and will simply go on with their lives starting on November 9th regardless of the outcome of the election. There is a small minority who are dangerous. Remember among the Trump faithful are the militias and white supremacists; many of whom are always looking for any excuse to take up arms against the government.

With this verdict that small but dangerous sub-culture has been emboldened. They actually think they are the true patriots and that they have not only a right but a sacred obligation to defend their perception of America and the Constitution.

I am far from predicting widespread violence in the streets of America in the wake of the election. But this verdict makes it almost inevitable that some small group(s) will take arms somewhere shortly after the election or inauguration. We as a society will be forced to confront this situation again. Let’s hope the next time no innocent people get killed in the process and that we send a clear message that anarchy will not be tolerated.

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