EP 279 What a Standoff in the West Tells Us About the Politics of Our Time

  In 2016, a group of armed, divinely inspired libertarian protesters
led by Amman Bundy occupied the Malheur(translated: Bad Luck) National
Wildlife Refuge in the high desert of eastern Oregon.  Encamped in the
shadowlands of the republic, they insisted that the Federal government
had no right to own public land.  Were they heroes or villians?  The
answer to that question depends on your interpretation(or
misinterpretation) of the Constitution and your sense as to whether a
nation, built on abstract principles like America, has a being anyway. 
Sharing the expansive stage are a host of others who lay their own claim
to the American promise of liberty.  Among them are Native Americans,
public-land ranchers, militia members, environmentalists and Black Lives
Matter activists.  Inn many ways, this conflict is a parable of our
populist moment and unpacking this story may help us to better
understand our current political crisis.  To guide us through this most
tangled web of ideas and protestations is Anthony McCann, author of
‘Shadowlands’.    This one requires thought and attention.