The Politics of Public Lands, Part I: A Willful Ignorance of History. Democratic Perspective’s regulars, Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster, and Steve Williamson, are joined by Paul Schwartz for the first of a two-part series on the developing controversy over the ownership of federally-administered public lands. How did the Federal Government come to own and administer so much land in the western United States, and why have so many people in the West come to believe that federal ownership of these lands is illegitimate? The short answer: to take the anti-federalist position of a Cliven or Ammon Bundy, or a Paul Gosar, you have to pretty much ignore a) the public interest, b) 240 years of United States history, and c) what the Constitution actually says. This would be quite a reach for honest people, but when there’s money to be made, there’ve always been those willing to give it a try, the public interest be damned.
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