People think of Washington state as a progressive place, and it is on this side of the Cascade Mountains, where Seattle and Portland are located. We have two progressive Senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell. We have a progressive governor, Jay Inslee, and a progressive Attorney General, Bob Ferguson.
That’s on this side of the mountain range. On the other side, it’s a different world — including enough of the people who live there to elect state representatives who promote conspiracy theories and advocate armed resistance to what they see as a looming civil war.
“Washington state Republican representative Matt Shea and several associates regaled an audience with conspiracy theories, separatist visions and exhortations for listeners to arm themselves ahead of a looming civil war, at a gathering at a remote religious compound in the north-east of the state last year.
In recordings obtained by the Guardian, Shea and Jack Robertson, also known as radio personality John Jacob Schmidt, invoked their visions and fears of a violent leftist revolt in speeches at the 2018 God and Country event in Marble.
The Guardian last week published leaked chat records in which Shea and Robertson were revealed to have discussed the use of surveillance, “psyops” and violence against liberal and leftist activists.”
We’ve always had conspiracy theorists and survivalist preppers and people who wall themselves off from the rest of us out of fear, but I’m not sure I knew that there were enough of them to elect state representatives. They apparently want to be their own state, Liberty, and have it be a Christian fundamentalist place where everyone is armed with an AR-15 rifle and lives under the dominion of Christ.
What would Jesus do?