Militia extremist Ammon Bundy shows how 'emboldened' America’s far right has become: journalist
Ammon Bundy (screengrab)

In deep red Idaho’s 2022 gubernatorial race, the outcome is likely to be: ultra-conservative, far-right or even more far-right. The incumbent, conservative Republican Gov. Brad Little, is getting a far-right primary challenge from Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin — who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump and spoke virtually at the 2022 America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC), which is organized by white nationalist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes. But as far-right as McGeachin is, a candidate who is running as an independent — rancher and militia radical Ammon Bundy — is even more extreme.

Journalist Sergio Olmos, in an article published by The Guardian on April 5, takes a look at some of the chaos Bundy is bringing to the race. Bundy, Olmos notes, recently “threatened a sitting Idaho judge” over a child custody case by “summoning his supporters to go to” the judge’s home. And Bundy, Olmos adds, was also “arrested on trespassing charges at a hospital in Idaho.”

Bundy told his supporters, “I’m calling on you to put off whatever you’re doing tomorrow, and come to (the judge’s) house.… Patriot groups all across Idaho and around the country, I cannot try to hold you back any longer.”

According to Olmos, the fact that Bundy was willing to threaten a judge shows how “emboldened” the far right has become in the United States.

“What had excised Bundy so much was a child custody case, but what his actions really revealed was a troubling development in America’s ever-more-divided political landscape where far-right figures feel emboldened enough to threaten a judge, wield their followers against the institutions of the state — and where an implicit threat of violence is increasingly present as they seek elected office,” Olmos explains. “By the time Bundy made his remarks, his 17,000 YouTube subscribers were receiving near-daily updates about a ten-month-old child near Boise, Idaho, who was taken into temporary protection from his parents after officials determined the child was suffering from severe malnourishment and in imminent danger.”

The child’s grandfather is Diego Rodriguez, Bundy’s campaign consultant and a far-right Christianist pastor at the Boise Freedom Tabernacle Church.

Bundy heads a group called the People’s Right’s Network.

In February, Bundy (the son of fellow militia extremist Cliven Bundy) announced that he would not be entering Idaho’s GOP gubernatorial primary but would be running as an independent in the general election.

“Bundy’s People’s Rights Network aims to form a coalition of militia members, anti-vaxxers, conspiracy theorists, preppers and other far-right travelers,” Olmos explains. “Its size eclipses most far-right groups put together, and many experts see it as a real threat to democracy.”

According to Devin Burghart, director of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, Bundy’s group has “repeatedly shown an ability to mobilize large number of armed far-right activists to threaten, harass, and intimidate (the) public.”

Burghart told The Guardian, “Ammon Bundy, with People’s Rights Network, was the first to grasp on to COVID-19 denial as a mobilizing vehicle. The first to galvanize militants to oppose COVID-19 restrictions and to meld together anti-vaxxers, paramilitaries, (the) Proud Boys and others into a larger movement to protest and protect these kinds of efforts.”