Washington state Rep. Matt Shea is one of the many wingnut legislators to flock to the Bundy Ranch to spout inane comments about how he’s a hero and a patriot for refusing to pay his bills. And in an interview with the unhinged Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America, he offers a ridiculous false dichotomy:
Pratt: I’m not sure it’s all that much different from what it was in colonial America, when our forefathers drew their line in the sand and fought off the world’s most powerful empire. The estimates that I’ve read of historians that have really done some digging is that maybe three percent were actively involved in the war for independence. Maybe another 10 percent, if I remember their guesstimates correctly, at least supported materially in some way –‘Use my pasture over there, you can take those crops over there,’ whatever they might have done to help. Then there was a body of opinion that was kind of undecided and there was another body, a small body probably, that was pro-Tory, pro-king. Maybe we’re not that much different than that estimated line of public opinion in colonial America.Shea: I really don’t think we are. And I agree with the statement, you know, between three to five percent of the population is what gets actively involved to stand on that line, and then there’s just another huge swath of the population that will, you know, offer material support.
And I’ve been talking to folks recently about what really happened in Nevada, and I’ve really framed the question this way, which I think is the second thing that really relates to colonial America, and that is very simply: Are you a loyalist or are you a patriot? Are you a god-fearing, self-reliant, freedom-loving American, or are you a government-dependent, Constitution-ignoring socialist?
A government-dependent socialist? You mean like Cliven Bundy, who thinks the American taxpayers should give him tens of thousands of dollars a year in free grazing rights on public land? That sounds pretty government-dependent to me.