A Testimonial of The American Redoubt: A Look Inside
I have had the pleasure of living within the heart of the Redoubt area most of my life, helping people to understand that living a life that follows both State and Federal Constitutions actually promotes Freedom.
However, if you read the local papers, one would think we are only Christians, Isolationists, and/or Anti-Government.
First and foremost: I’m not Christian, I am Jewish. I have had Muslim, Buddhist, and Christian neighbors of all races. We have always gotten along because of the Redoubt concept of the “individual paying it forward is more powerful, and less costly, than government”. When I showed up with my plow everyone was equal. No one cared that I was Jewish, they just knew I was there to help.
My family moved here in the early 70’s. Life wasn’t easy but, thanks to the local community, it wasn’t so bad either. I can remember one month my Dad went into a coma from diabetes and we were forced to buy medication instead of paying to have electric power. My mom went in to talk with the company and a stranger in line paid to keep our electricity running. This was the real spirit of the area, neighbors helping neighbors.
We never knew who was going to need help. We had a huge garden and all of our neighbors benefited from a great harvest. We traded garden goods for milk, butter, or rabbits so we made it through the winters healthy, without the need for government handouts.
Good paying jobs were easy to come by, if you were willing to work hard. There were 6 lumber mills within 40 miles. Everyone knew each other so, if you needed a ride, you just had to get to a main road. Someone would come along.
No one I knew liked to be around crowds, except for an annual party. But, they didn’t see it as being isolated, they just wanted their privacy. Most of the folks I knew wanted neighbors far enough away so they could put their children in the house and jump in the wooden tub together for some alone time.
Hunting, fishing, and walking (a lot) was a necessity to feed your big family. It was a lifestyle, not a sport.
I first considered myself in the ‘movement’ back in the late 80’s. We were fighting to bring real law enforcement into the area, as Boise treated us as less than citizens with the exception of our tax money.
It wasn’t just happening to North Idaho. All of the Northwestern States were being neglected by Washington DC.
Police are still not minutes away in most areas. This is why most Redoubters have always had guns and wouldn’t be without a way to stop a bear from mauling their child to death. It is also a comfort that these areas have the highest percentage of veterans who fought for their 2nd amendment right.
Another big problem was access to any real medical facilities. Spokane Washington was 80 miles away and you just couldn’t get there unless you drove or went with a friend. Statistically you could die waiting on an ambulance.
Local churches stepped up to help those less fortunate. It was a necessity.
The area has always leaned more towards Christianity. But the 80’s brought big changes. The Jews in the area were threatened by a NAZI regime lead by Pastor Butler. He used his influence and money to manipulate the younger generation towards white supremacy, racial and religious entitlement, and pure hatred.
Yet, Sandpoint residents did not just let him take over the area. One may not have come to that conclusion at the time because citizens were big on Freedom of Speech. However, businesses could refuse services, which could not happen today under the “expressing yourself” ordinances. Our State legislators destroyed their funding sources, and our local cops stayed on their heels. Eventually Sandpoint’s efforts payed off and Butler moved his compound to Hayden where he was eventually arrested.
Butler made such a negative impact that most media accounts to this day use racist rhetoric when describing the area. Though most, if not all, are gone, the area is still marred.
In 1992, the feds descended on the area killing Sammy Weaver, a 14 year old boy. This led to an 11 day standoff in Boundary County.
At the time, most in the area were still looking to Washington and our state capital and saw both as needing to be reformed, though not necessarily in a negative light. This was due to the area’s high percentage of vets.
After the standoff, and seeing the Sheriff not step up to stop what turned out to be 2 murders, local groups of retired law enforcement, ex-military, and pro 2nd amendment groups began to pop up. They became prominent when similar situations arose around the country.
This left several of us to question why we were sending so much money to a Federal Government 3000 miles away when the money and services are needed locally.
Today the meaning of our fight has been manipulated by the media. This has infused those that believe their rhetoric. Redoubt seems no longer to represent equality of religion (though no one I know has changed their beliefs).
If it seems like we no longer want outsiders, this isn’t the case. We are just hesitant to change.
If it feels like our politics are based on religion, well, what’s wrong with following the 10 Commandments? And don’t forget “Love they neighbor as thy self” (which sure doesn’t offend me).
If it seems that we are against government, let’s look at (1) the property next door: 5000 acres of National Forest where all the fire trails get destroyed by the feds, (2) all those good jobs are GONE, and (3) our State balances its budget off a 20 Trillion dollar national debt.
It is left in our hands to save our next generation from unprecedented problems.
There is a place for the Federal Government as outlined in the Constitution. They have 4 really important jobs and most people that I know wish they would get back to them and leave the rest to the State or the Individual.
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