The Rainbow Family Gathering in Oregon should make federal government hypocrisy undeniably evident. Many who are angry at this double standard are saying that there is no difference between this event and the rancher protest that occurred last year. However, there is one big difference, and it’s this difference that is the reason for the federal government’s double standard.
The rancher protest was a direct and vocal protest against unconstitutional activity of the federal government and their agents. The Rainbow Family gathering is not. The ranchers were engaged in the fundamental expressions of freedom of speech, protest, and redress of grievances that government exists to protect. The Rainbow Family Gathering is having an organized picnic.
The federal government’s choice to continually placate some groups compared to the violent and punishing reaction that ensues in regard to anyone who challenges them, should make it clear to the American people that the federal government is sending a message; do not challenge us, do not question us, and if you do we will destroy you.
That is why the federal Forrestry agents never tried to “bring the ranchers a permit” for their protest as Mr. Nehl, deputy Forest Service supervisor on the Malheur Preserve, is doing for the Rainbow Family. It is why local and federal governments are not demanding that armed federal agents move in and extract the Rainbow Family.
The First Amendment was codified to prevent the federal government from punishing protests. History and human nature both prove that when government can determine what are acceptable and unacceptable gatherings then there is no freedom of speech, no freedom to peacefully assemble, and no way to redress grievances.
It is the Liberty embodied within the principle of equal rights and equal application of law that makes a government a just one. When governments and their agents are allowed to punish opposition we no longer have a just government.
What may be even a more disturbing testimony is the evident bias of the media in favor of the federal government’s choice of double standard. The very industry that exists because of the essential freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and petition have reduced themselves to condition of tributary slaves and have become mercenaries for a lawless government.
Let us hope and pray that no federal agents are sent into the Rainbow Family gathering to act as provocateurs to incite violence. Let us hope and pray that no one is lured out of the Rainbow Family gathering so that federal agents can have them executed. Let us hope and pray that the next group ranchers that choose to protest unconstitutional federal authority will be met with the same kindness and latitude served upon the Rainbow Family gathering.