What does Matt Shea want?

Media reports that a Washington state lawmaker who has traveled throughout the west in recent years to meet with far right-wing extremist groups to organize anti-government (as in against the U.S. government) activities. He also participated in that infamous act of domestic terrorism at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in support of its armed occupation by the sons of rancher Cliven Bundy who has used federal (our) land without paying any fees for its use.

This guy, Matt Shea, a Republican from Spokane Valley, an elected Washington state representative, has also trained young people to fight a “holy war” against the citizens of the U.S. He’s intimidated his opponents and promoted militia training by the Patriot Movement (a right-wing militia movement that commits and supports acts of violence) for armed conflict with law enforcement. 

Investigators, headed by a former FBI agent and law enforcement officer, have obtained evidence that Rep. Shea “planned, promoted and engaged in three armed conflicts of political violence against the United States in three states outside the state of Washington during 2014, 2015, and 2016.” 

Disclosures from the investigations report that Shea helped plan and prepare for the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns in Harney County. Shea’s activities, ongoing since 2015, have involved asking for patriot and militia groups (Oregon has its own group versions and advocates) to rally against the U.S. government. Then there’s Shea’s involvement in the standoff with FBI agents in a dispute over grazing rights. Also, in 2015, he physically resisted authorities when they planned to remove firearms from the home of resident in his area who was forbidden by law to possess them.

Members of the state of Washington legislative body want Shea to resign as he has been determined unfit to hold public office. He refuses to resign and has dedicated himself to more activities to overthrow the U.S. government, the U.S Constitution and Bill of Rights and all U.S. laws. They want possession of all public lands, including wildlife refuges, national parks, and national forests.

Besides wanting this guy locked up so he does not hurt any other American and destroy public lands so he and his pals can subvert them to their personal use and profit, a couple of considerations cause me great pause. First and foremost, what form of government does Shea and his fellow right-wing activists want? Or, do they want no government whatsoever where every American citizen and his family are left to fend for themselves against a lawless collection of malcontents, thugs and thieves?

These people demand to have all matters of public consideration go the way they want them to. When anyone tries to stop them they will, like the agents of demagogues throughout world history, rule with ethical abandon and arbitrary decisions that by their law provide them with absolute power while all others are under their control. By their recipe for rule, we obey or perish.

(Gene H. McIntyre lives in Keizer and shares his opinion frequently in the Keizertimes.)