Representative Matt Shea is a fine example of a politician who relies on peripheral or blinder issues like property and gun rights while avoiding more critical issues like health care, the environment and justice.
By magnifying their relevance, he creates an emotionally angry, fear-based campaign. By claiming that our essential freedoms are at risk and that only his tough measures will work, he can denigrate anyone who disagrees. Shea is like many others on the far right around the world who have unfortunately found manufactured polarization to be a winning strategy for appealing to those who would rather not expend the energy required to understand more complex ideas.
As a constituent, I recently asked Rep. Shea for a meeting to discuss the pros and cons of the bill (HB 1026) that would establish universal health care coverage in our state. To illustrate my point, my request was initially ignored, then coldly refused.
Polarization is extremely harmful for democracy and we need to do everything we can to reverse this social malignancy. While Ted Cummings, Shea’s opponent, does not have legislative experience, he understands what it means to work together to solve problems. That should be reason enough to vote for him.