While most observers and commentators have focused on Bundy’s recent statements on race, something far more problematic drives the standoff. Bundy, his family, and many of his supporters are part of the modern day Sovereign Movement, a loosely-knit group that subscribes to a complex system of bizarre legal theories. They believe that the current U.S. Government is an illegitimate sham, and, in the most extreme situations, they are willing to resort to violence when the courts and government agents don’t agree with their schemes.
From a distance, the Sovereign Movement appears to be little more than series of scams and schemes, wrapped in patriotic terms. Based on recent articles, blogs, and comments, many people have assumed that Cliven Bundy is just a greedy man looking for a way to line his pockets on the government’s dime.
For most Sovereigns, however, the American Dream is not defined as a comfortable home and happy family. Their goals are substantially more ambitious and hopelessly futile; they want to return the United States to a romanticized version of the 18th century, and fervently believe that they have the numbers and resources to achieve this fictional goal.
To do this, they need to get rid of the U.S. government.