— Published with Permission of AmericanPolicy.org —
Watch the video below and see for yourself the sad and frightening saga of the destruction of the old west – and the American dream.
Wayne Hage, Sr was a friend of mine, as was his second wife, the late Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth. Both were courageous leaders in the battle to save private property from the tyranny of government takings.
Wayne was one of the first to stand up and fight back against federal efforts to remove independent ranchers from the rangelands. That fight is now best known through the desperate efforts of the Bundys. Years before, there was Wayne Hage. In similar fashion to what the Bundys would eventually face, Wayne endured outrageous harassment and intimidation from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). His fences were cut and livestock stolen. His life threatened. His ability to run the ranch made nearly impossible.
But Wayne Hage fought to his dying day to save the ranch and lifestyle he loved so much; the independent American rancher taming the wild frontier, romanticized in so many old western movies. Now they were being reduced to victims of a corrupt and dangerous government out of control, determined to destroy an entire way of life in the name of “protecting the people’s land.”
He won his case in court numerous times, proving his grazing and water rights were his legally, not publicly owned and controlled as the government insisted. Yet each victory was appealed by the heavy hand of government, moving the case to the next court and the next judge in the system, forcing Wayne to spend more and more on legal fees. The government plan was simple and obvious. Destroy him financially until he was forced to give up.
Now their viscous tactic has finally forced his family to give up the fight as they prepare to move off the ranch and let the tyrants of government have their spoils in the war over the rangelands. And so, we are witnessing the end of a way of life of the strong, independent, free-thinking cowboy who will now have no choice but to be herded into the Smart Growth hell holes of the easily-controlled mega cities where private property is never a consideration.
Wayne Hage once said, “If you can’t own and control property – then you are property.” Welcome to the utopia of government control where never is allowed a discouraging word.