In the heat of his standoff last month with the Bureau of Land Management, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy wanted to take the movement national. While he was still a favorite of Fox News, he called on “every county sheriff in the United States” to “disarm the federal bureaucrats.”
Bundy’s star has since faded after he made his views on “the Negro” known. High-profile conservative supporters have abandoned him. But Bundy and his closest allies haven’t given up the fight. They still seem to believe that a war is on the horizon and they are trying to rally forces to their side.
The Bundy Ranch site has become a quasi-permanent militia outpost, the Las Vegas Sun reported Thursday. Armed supporters have set up tents outside the Bundy house, and the Bundys have provided them with food. They appear to be still wary of some looming federal incursion — even though the BLM pulled out nearly a month ago.
But at least one member has bigger ambitions. Ryan Payne told the Sun he wants to turn the ranch into a commune for Las Vegas’s homeless veterans.
“Teach people how to raise their own food and animals, solar and wind power generation,” Payne said. “Here’s your community. Now learn to live together.”
While they figure out how to make the ranch a more permanent outpost, the Bundys are also urging supporters to take other stands against the BLM that have sprouted in the last month. A message posted Wednesday on the official Bundy Ranch Facebook page asked followers to join an all-terrain vehicle rally that is protesting the BLM’s presence at a Utah canyon.
The protesters are opposing the BLM’s closure of Recapture Canyon, which closed to ATV’s in 2007, according to the Durango Herald.
“The BLM are trying to stop this. All who can go out and support this please do!!,” the Bundy Ranch message said. “We need to stick together and continue to make a stand!”
BLM workers have also been threatened in Utah in recent days, though it’s unclear if the aggressors are connected to the Bundy Ranch movement in any way.
Bundy himself is also taking his message to the World Wide Web, as Gawker reported Thursday. He has been proselytizing in videos posted to the Bundy Ranch Blog about his views on the Constitution and how to reform the federal government more to his liking.
“All of the problems of this world, other countries, and their domestic and their religious and their government problems and their battles between each other and all of that, can be really solved by following our Constitution,” Bundy says in one of the videos.
They also continue to solicit supporters to come to the ranch, according to Gawker:
We desperately need protestors at the Protest site on Bunkerville road every day. We are far from done with this effort. We need to keep the media focused and they will leave if there are not enough protestors. So come out and see us.
But the effectiveness of their continued efforts seems to be waning. The mainstream conservative attitude toward the Bundy Ranch situation became clear after Bundy’s controversial comments on black people went public. As quickly as Bundy had become a conservative icon, he was pushed aside just as quickly.
“The fact is Clyde (sic) Bundy is a side issue here compared to what we’re looking at in the state of Texas,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry said the day after the comments were publicized. “He is an individual. Deal with his issues as you may.”