The Spirit of America
by Jessi Winchester, author of From Bordello to Ballot Box
“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God … anarchy and tyranny commence.”
- John Adams
The “U.N.-free zone” roads signs are going up in Grant County, Oregon and residents declare they are ready to fight for freedom and their way of life.
John Day, Oregon reminds me of the spirit this country possessed as it contemplated a new government separate from English oppression. A spirit that included individual control over one’s own life, a national freedom that has made us one of the most remarkable nations on the planet, a refreshing spirit that leads and even defies bureaucracy when it is in the best interest of its citizens, and a spirit that is willing to go to jail or even take up arms and fight for what is precious.
Grant County voters recently approved a measure banning the U.N. in their territory. This largely ranch and timber region also decided to fly in the face of the U.S. Forest Service by approving another measure allowing folks to cut trees on federal land in defiance of federal policy. In this time of conformity and political correctness that is ruining the very essence of America, it is remarkable to see this type of rebel bravery.
Grant County has shown more courage than millions of silent Americans who follow government dictates like sheep and passively hand over precious freedoms so dearly paid for by our forefathers.
John Day residents know they are pushing the envelope but their way of life has been stripped from them by environmental restrictions and federal timber policy. The cowboy way is a quiet, tough, clannish attitude that doesn’t cotton to outsiders coming in and telling ‘em how to live.
The land is a generations long way of life to these ranchers and loggers and has instilled a fierce protectiveness not only of the land but of managing their own affairs without interference from the Feds as well. After all, that was the whole idea back in the 1700s when America was just starting out. The Founding Fathers actually made the role of the federal government quite small back then. Now the ever expanding take-over by the Feds has imposed itself to the point that folks can’t even make a living. John Day residents have made it clear they’re not going to take it any longer. Good for them.
Nevada faces a similar dilemma with the constitution trampling, power hungry BLM confiscating private cattle. In the Old West, cattle rustlers and horse thieves were the lowest form of scum and were hung or shot on sight. Today, they work for BLM. The federal government claims to own 87% of Nevada land. 60% of Grant County, Oregon is federally managed now that the Feds have shut out most loggers and ranchers. The Beltway is closing off more and more land from public use by declaring it a “wilderness area,” thus forcing folks to live in metropolitan areas where they can be more easily controlled and contained by a government determined to take over our lives.
Grant County residents still have their guns and are willing to use them and that is the key to why we are not yet under full control of the government. That is also why the government is hell bent on getting our guns. As long as we can defend ourselves – we can all take a lead from Grant County and choose to stand strong for freedom and the America envisioned by those wise men so long ago! God speed, Grant County!
Copyright © Jessi Winchester 2002 All Rights Reserved
Originally published in Liberty For All June 21, 2002.