BY Richard Moorhead, The Western JournalJanuary 19, 2023
1 year ago
BY 
 | January 19, 2023
1 year ago

Fed-Up Oregon Counties Get 1 Step Closer to Fleeing Liberal State for Idaho

Have you ever considered escaping your state without moving even a single mile away?

More than a dozen counties in rural Oregon could declare their independence from the progressive-dominated state and forge a new future within the state of Idaho.

Legislation introduced this month in the Oregon Senate invites the state legislatures and governors of both states to begin talks on relocating the border separating Idaho and Oregon.

The symbolic legislation represents a step forward for an untried idea that's more realistic than it might seem.

State borders have changed before, through agreements of state legislatures, although most changes have been minor adjustments in the boundaries of newly admitted former territories.

Article XVI of the Oregon Constitution reserves the Oregon legislature's rights to adjust state boundaries, subject to approval from the United States Congress.

The bill notes that residents of eleven counties in eastern Oregon have already voted to depart the state and join Idaho.

Residents of the conservative region feel under threat from left-wing governance enacted from the state's urban coastal centers.

Oregon has become associated with antifa riots and militant progressivism, values at odds with the conservative-leaning and rural eastern part of the state.

Eastern Oregon is much different. The state's rural counties voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election in a rebuke to the coastal elitist values associated with cities such as Portland.

You're more likely to find American flags, pro-military imagery and public displays of Christianity in this part of the state. You could even describe eastern Oregon as a red state -- like Idaho in all but name.

Chances are that eastern Oregon would never agree to join the state if its residents were to decide their fate today.

Oregon's borders were decided 163 years ago. Rural residents of the state are stuck with the existing boundaries -- lumped in with anti-gun liberals who don't share their values.

Rural Oregonians have to deal with some of the worst gun laws in the country, courtesy of the state's liberal population centers.

Militant progressives plan on banning all hunting and fishing in the state in a 2024 ballot initiative -- a slap in the face to Oregon's rural residents who have practiced these crafts for generations.

The proposed restrictions would also apply animal cruelty laws to those who own livestock, thus threatening to deprive Oregon's cattle ranchers of their livelihood if Initiative Petition 13 were to come to pass -- unless they were to dodge the extremist idea by joining Idaho.

"Eastern Oregonians have begun to see Oregon government as a threat to the livelihoods, liberties and values of their communities," Oregon State Senator Dennis Linthicum asserted in the bill, titled Senate Joint Memorial 2.

A spokesman for the Greater Idaho movement pointed to increasing tensions between coastal Oregon and the state's rural counties.

"Portland voters forced a gun control measure on the whole state, although eastern Oregon voters almost blocked it," Greater Idaho's Matt McCaw said of the divide, according to KOIN.

"Grant and Harney counties are ranchland, and Portland is not. It doesn’t make sense for these two cultures to be dictating policy to each other."

If anything, rural Oregonians' desire to join Idaho shows the bankruptcy of Oregon's woke authoritarianism. Oregon has 36 counties, and would lose nearly a third of them if Greater Idaho's boundary adjustment plan were to be enacted.

Oregon is already losing residents without ceding its eastern counties to Idaho.

Census data revealed that the left-wing state lost residents for the first time in decades in 2022, with crime, riots and homelessness spurring residents to new pastures.

Oregon Senate President Rob Wagner -- a Democrat -- told KOIN that he doesn't envision the bill progressing in the state senate.

You'd think that Oregon's government would be willing to part ways with the entire chunk of the state that wants to break up with them, but Oregon's given every sign it intends to keep its rural east chained on a tight leash.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Richard Moorhead, The Western Journal

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