Eastern Oregon is pretty much just a colony of imperial Portland in that state, where the tyranny of the majority there makes life a living hell for the lumberjacks, farmers, fishermen, truckers, and other rural constituents outside that part of the state.
I can’t imagine being a farmer there growing potatoes, cherries, wheat, hay, or running a greenhouse nursery, and having to put up with antifa, potheads, crime, and wokesterism such as that seen coming from the Portland nexus. The taxes must be hell over there. The greenie regulations must be California cubed and like California, lead to a lot of brown wasteland. Meanwhile, the wokesters live to extract, from the east and south, in sharp contrast to their claims to being all in for conservation and sustainability.
Yet the state is so delightful otherwise, with its famous northwestern cuisine, its excellent hard-science universities such as Oregon State, its beautiful flower farms, its world-class wool sweaters and blankets, its exotic seed companies, and its splendid vegetarian restaurants. I’ve never set foot in that state but I have relatives there around the colleges and I order a lot of stuff I’m very happy with from this state, coming from those farmers and artisans, most of whom are in the east and south, if not dependent on its agricultural largesse. Representation? They don’t get representation under tyranny of the majority law in Oregon. They just take what’s dished out from the left.
Which makes for a very unhappy situation. This is why that move from that part of Oregon to break off and join Idaho, basically just moving the state’s borders to the next state over, is so fascinating. Fox has a map of the potential changes here.
Turns out it’s gaining momentum now, according to a new report in Fox News.
A campaign to have rural eastern Oregon effectively secede from the blue state and join more conservative Idaho [sic] is gaining steam as leaders from both states express support for relocating the border between them.
Former Oregon House Speaker Mark Simmons penned an op-ed in the Idaho Statesman, a daily newspaper, over the weekend to explain why he supports the so-called Greater Idaho movement, which seeks to incorporate about 13 Oregon counties, or 63% of the state’s landmass and 9% of its population, within Idaho’s borders.
“Idaho would have the satisfaction of freeing rural, conservative communities from progressive blue-state law,” wrote Simmons. “We are dismayed by the manner in which Oregon government has marginalized our values and villainized our resource-based livelihoods. This is why our counties voted 75% Republican last year (Idaho voted 67% Republican).”
They’re even more Republican than Idaho, and that’s saying something.
For all the argument going on about a “national divorce” and the divisions in the country, this move would make so much sense. Eastern Oregon and sections of southeastern Washington and battered rural northwestern California, according to the maps, have far more in common with Idaho than they do with the states run out of their respective capitals. They are rural, they are rules-based, they have a way of life they seek to reinforce and support, and they have a bad need for some kind of representation.
The problem of course is that the left doesn’t want them to go, viewing them as a colony to extract from, along with a “benighted” people to “change” and “reset” and “tranform.” Well, they can’t transform them because they aren’t steeped in big wokester cities and their values, they already have their own — and they would likely become far more properous if they could just put those values into their government.
Advocates, according to the Fox piece, say that the state could lose its Medicaid and welfare bills by cutting loose the eastern and southern halves, where many residents are the rural poor. That’s probably the only argument that might excite the leftists, who’d like more money for welfare, NGOs, and other things they shovel cash for.
As for Idaho, they, like Florida, are suffering from lost farmland due to urban expansion and high housing costs. Expanding the state to include Oregon would give them room to grow the natural way with no loss of lifestyle. Will the left tolerate that? I can only see them opposing that, even as residents flee their state. They’d hate to make life better for either Idaho or eastern Oregon.
The issue not brought up by Fox is the prospect of red congressional seats emerging as these states draw people. The move itself would be a 21% population gain for Idaho. Again, that would be a flaming point of contention for the left, which can’t tolerate the idea of people voting for representation. They don’t want eastern Oregon to have representation, they are happy with being their representation as they know what’s best for them.
Fox notes the difficulty ahead:
Moving the Idaho-Oregon border would require the approval of both state legislatures as well as the U.S. Congress. Despite the support of Idaho lawmakers, the idea may face greater resistance in the Democrat-controlled Oregon legislature. Oregon state Sen. Dennis Linthicum, a Republican, has filed a similar proposal to begin talks with Idaho, but the proposal is unlikely to make it out of committee.
Still, proponents of Greater Idaho note that 11 counties in eastern Oregon have voted for ballot measures to explore the move and that, according to some polling, Idahoans would welcome expanding the state boundary. In Oregon, meanwhile, polling has shown a roughly equal number of voters support and oppose the idea, with about one-fifth of the population undecided.
That suggests that the best way to persuade these pith-helmet Democrats lording over eastern Oregon with no regard for those communities’ wishes, might be on the question of money. If they can go bankrupt with no bailout in site, cutting loose eastern Oregon might be their way out. Perhaps the eastern counties will have to adapt a strategy to extract more and more money from them to the point where it becomes “unsustainable.” Or else, just get loud and obstructive on all things so that the Portland crowd can start imagining getting rid of the east. It’s hard to say how they might persuade them, but this separation is far better than a civil war, or violent conflict, which could happen if things get woker and bluer against the will of the eastern part of the state.
The left never sees danger in such things, any more than they see a problem with people fleeing their state, so it may take time. But in the east, we see a train still moving slowly forward.
© Copyright © 2023 American Thinker, All rights reserved.