Earlier this month, Glenn came under fire from some in his own audience and beyond for his response to the standoff in Nevada between rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal government. Despite the escalating tensions, Glenn advocated for a peaceful response to the conflict. While the majority of Bundy’s supporters and those who gathered at his ranch were simply standing up for what they believed to be another example of government overreach, there were violent and fringe elements of the group that caught the media’s attention.
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On radio this morning, Glenn revisited the Bundy story in the light of an alarming report from the New York Times, in which Bundy is quoted spewing racist remarks at a recent press conference.
As Glenn explained, he was initially hesitant to throw his support behind the rancher because there was very little known about Bundy or what he stood for. While Glenn did have a chance to speak with Bundy both privately – those conversations led to more questions than answers.
Glenn explained that his private conversation with Bundy centered primarily on faith and Scripture. Glenn hoped to get a better sense of what kind of values and principles Bundy was rooted in, and he walked away from the conversation with the sense that Bundy was “a decent guy.” When Bundy joined the radio program the following day, however, the conversation had a different and more bizarre tone. During the interview Bundy said that he wanted the government to be disarmed, and Glenn found that particularly strange.
“When I asked him to tell the story, he said, ‘Here's what I'm told to say: The government needs to be disarmed.’ Okay. Well, that's not what we talked about, but if that's how you want to use your time… I don't have preconditions of guests,” Glenn said. “Pat looked at me [when Bundy said that] like this guy is so unhinged. And I just put my hand up and I turned my mic off and I said, ‘Let him speak. If he's going to hang himself, it's better for him to hang himself than us too.’ So we let him speak for 45 minutes. People that were listening started to say, ‘Well, wait a minute, I agree with some things but I think he's unhinged on other things.”
Glenn, Pat, and Stu agreed that, at the end of the day, they really never felt like they fully understood Bundy’s intentions, and they were disappointed with the way he handled the situation.
“We don't know him,” Pat said. “And while we agree with the basic principle of states rights and land ownership and all of those basic principles, the way in which he's gone about this, we've been bothered by. We've been bothered by that from the beginning.”
A New York Times article published Wednesday, paints Bundy in a very different light. In the article, “A Defiant Rancher Savors the Audience That Rallied to His Side,” reporter Adam Nagourney explains that while the federal government has seemingly moved on from the conflict, Bundy “has not.”
According to Nagourney, Bundy has chosen to continue holding a daily news conference – regardless of how much press is on hand. This past Saturday, just one reporter and one photographer joined Bundy supporters at the ranch. The Times article describes the scene as “a town meeting with supporters, discussing, in a long, loping discourse, the prevalence of abortion, the abuses of welfare and his views on race.” It was to that audience that Bundy delivered some alarming remarks:
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.
“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
Read the entire New York Times article HERE.
“That shows you how unhinged from reality this guy is," Glenn said. "You've got to distance yourself. You must know who you are standing next to at all times – with exactness. With exactness we will save our nation.”
Glenn believes these “degrading,” “disgusting,” and “offensive” comments should give pause to all those who have considering aligning with or supporting Bundy.
“You wondered if blacks were better off as slaves picking cotton and having a family life? They didn't have a family life! That's the real key to what he said. And there's no way around that sentence,” Glenn said exasperatedly. “Unless the New York Times made this up out of whole cloth… If that doesn't end your relationship with [Bundy], you've got to go back and question where did you go wrong.”
Ultimately, Glenn is keenly aware of and understands the American people’s overwhelming frustration with the federal government. But Bundy and the standoff at his ranch simply does not provide the proper opportunity to take a real stand.
I beg of you. A: Don't let this harden your heart by saying… I still say: The government is out of control. I still say they used over-the-top force. I still say return the land to the west – I am still for that. But I'm not with him. And if we don't clean out our own ranks –
I wrote two weeks ago to the boys: This is the beginning of the separation. And it's an important separation. There was the Martin Luther King movement and there was the Malcolm X and Weather Underground movement. One side was violent. Vengeance was theirs. The other side was peaceful and loving. I know you. I know your heart. I know your intent. I know your love for this country. I was with you in Washington, D.C. I know you felt it. If that is what you're looking for, then that comes through peace and love and kindness. That's what I am looking for. And if I stand alone in the end, I stand alone in the end. I'm totally fine with that, if I'm the only American left. But I know I'm not.
I know what you want. And if you want vengeance, then… I'm not with you. I am not with you. If you want peace and love and true tolerance, if you want small government that doesn't steal things from people and leaves people alone – let them make their own decisions, whether that is in their bedroom or their house of worship or their office, trust people to do the right thing because they will if they're given the opportunity. If they're given the chance, they will do the right thing.
I have seen on social media, people have said they are so sick and tired of hearing me talk about God. That's okay. I warned my staff five years ago when I started talking about God, we're in trouble. When I start actually reading scriptures, we're doomed. But it will be the sign of the times. I don't want to be this guy any more than you want to be who you are at times. But the times call for it. It is not exactly the road to success to be the guy who says, ‘Peace and love, no matter what it takes.’ And ‘Read your Bible.’ That's not the road to mainstream success. But it is the road to winning in the end. Bonheoffer won. Gandhi won. Martin Luther King won. And so will we.
Updated: Watch video of Bundy's remarks below: