I happened to write a novel titled The Other Oregon (2015). It includes a reckless and menacing militia movement scheming away out in rural Oregon. Now we have the true story of self-appointed militiamen (“domestic terrorists”? “militants”? “reenactors”?) threatening rural Oregon and this tale just keeps getting stranger.
I wondered if I was a little far-fetched in my fiction. As it turns out, the truth fetches far further.
At this writing the story is already so jam-packed with all that’s kooky and hypocritical about America it's ready to blow. The angles are endless. It’s Red Dawn meets the Rajneeshees meets Deliverance meets Idiocracy. It’s the 1870s with machine guns. The bumbling Bundy gang, it seems, are unknowingly doing performance art as sanctioned by the Coen brothers. My favorite hashtags: #OregonUnderAttack #VanillaISIS #Yallqaeda. Now we have #BundyEroticFanFic, conclusive proof that there’s hope for America yet. Satire being the bad-assest gun ever fired.
But while we satirize, we should always take these extremist groups seriously. Because they don’t think they’re funny. They don’t see the stunning hypocrisy. They are deadly serious. Because they are the true believers. Because other groups have been scheming much longer than the Bundys and are cunning enough to stay clear of this fight. Because they’re planning the next one. The Oklahoma City bombing was a next one.
Not too long ago: Armed militias roamed the land for a cause to convert into their own, ultimately seeking the takeover of a democratically elected government they despised. They too believed. Claimed they're only protectors of the people, harming no one who didn't deserve it. That was in 1920s Germany.
Or, just ask the Burns Paiute tribe what they think.