Americans who toil away in the cushy confines of centrally heated and cooled offices have no idea the sacrifices made by farmers and ranchers across the country. Men, women, and their families often work sun up to well past sundown seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.
They are an exceptional hardscrabble lot – many of whom still work the original property their ancestors settled in the new world. Driven by the legacy of family and the innate connection to the earth, these men and women are careful stewards of the land.
The Heavy Hand of Government
Such was the story of Dwight and Steven Hammond, Oregon ranchers convicted of arson and sent to federal prison under the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act.
But President Trump changed their fate, and with a swipe of his pen, pardoned the Hammonds. It was a victory celebrated from southeastern Oregon to the rolling hills of the east coast – by the common people.
Toby Purvis, an oil and gas guy in New Mexico, weighed in:
“The assault against land uses has been going on for a long time. It seems to me the government wants all the land for themselves. BLM, and NFS have been blocking public access as well as the Ranchers. They come up with all kinds of lame excuses to limit access.”
Curtis Wilcox, a retired IT executive in Phoenix, was swift to point to the character of the Hammond family, and wondered how burning one acre of land in a controlled process landed the patriarch in prison:
“The many things I like and respect about the Hammonds are that they are good people, with good intentions, raised their family right, are respectful of the land and don’t just take, take, take but also give back to the earth and to the people around it. They are devoted, respectful & respected in the community, don’t bother anybody, including their local law enforcement and earn their keep in a harsh way these days to where if you fart, somebody’s gonna sue you, hug you, stab you, post you on FB and berate you or kill you.”
Please note that Mr. Wilcox is a master of sarcastic rhetoric with a wicked sense of humor.
Thomas from southeast Oregon, who wished to remain last-nameless, praised the president for reversing the heavy hand of government sentencing:
The Hammonds plight is a strong example of a government gone a muck! I hope that President Trump strives to get the Hammonds reimbursed for the $400,000.00 that they lost. The bureau of Land Management needs to be investigated and restructured so that situations like this don’t happen again. Remember the Bundys?”
The people of the Heartland took a refreshing pause from slaying the socialist left to celebrate a victory for people they have never met, but with whom they feel a kinship. Those flyover folks who support Trump beamed with pride at another life-changing decision for the little guy, in this case, Dwight and Steven Hammond. Several people pointed to the past administrations for their role in this travesty of justice, but as David Benson from Franklin, Texas wrote on social media, “So nice to have a clear thinking President in the White House.” It’s time to look forward and keep the conservative train on track.