In a 2018 interview, our own State Sen. Dallas Heard (R-Roseburg) admitted that he had once been, in his own words, “a loudmouth radical,” and called some of his past public statements “non-thinking,” “juvenile” and “boorish.”
Unfortunately, that version of Heard returned Monday at the State Capitol in Salem.
After openly encouraging a mob of some 300 heavily armed Proud Boys and other far-right radicals to forcibly crash a special session of the legislature (they smashed glass doors and attacked courageous state troopers with bear spray but were held back), Heard made a fool of himself on the Senate floor by accusing his Democratic colleagues of a “campaign against the people and the children of God” and an “unchecked assault” against freedom, among other offenses.
According to news accounts, Heard then proclaimed a 30-second personal anti-mask protest, yanked off his mask, yelled at the Senate president and stormed ridiculously out of the session.
The public re-emergence of Heard as a “loudmouth radical” will no doubt be embraced by those who believe COVID is a hoax and masks violate our Constitutional rights, but his extreme and religion-based language portraying those of opposing viewpoints as working against God and America should be rejected by every thinking Oregonian. In his confessional interview a couple of years ago, Heard said he’d spent the past decade trying to live as a better person. He fell off that wagon when he pandered to the most extreme element in American politics.
Heard needs to remember that his constituents, whom he called “the good people of Southern Oregon” in his ballot statement, don’t all share his faith or views – but we all pay his $31,200 salary (plus per diem) and deserve to be represented honorably and decently.
On Monday, Heard fell embarrassingly short of that standard.