How The West Was Won: The Oregon Militia Didn’t Build That

The militia- which even a cursory glance could tell you is not a well-regulated one- occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge has been called many things. Attention hungry springs to mind (I admit they are well-orchestrated). A “clear case of white privilege” is another (to point out that if they were black or Muslim they’d be dead was as immediately axiomatic as it is correct). To a very select few they are heroes, but even to the GOP candidates they are misled, though their cause- militating, literally, against overwhelming federal power- is a correct one.

It’s the proximate cause that I think is underlooked in all the coverage. There are a number of underlying causes, the most prominent of which is the victimization complex of well-armed white guys who want to “take back the country” that never actually belonged to them. The psychology here is really is of course the big deal, the sharp end of something wild and dangerous howling through the country. But we also need to really look at their stated cause, which is both dismissed and under-remarked on.

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