Nate Jackson / May 21, 2021

Divisions in Oregon Typify American Politics

Several counties voted to explore secession from Oregon. But the whole nation is in trouble.

“For 220 years, the injustice of taxation without representation has lived on in Washington, D.C.,” complained DC Mayor Muriel Bowser earlier this year. Her push “to finally right this wrong” involves the Democrat pet project of statehood for the constitutionally distinct federal District of Columbia. It’s a bastardization of the “no taxation without representation” slogan of the American Revolution, but the good people of eastern Oregon have said, Hey, maybe they’re onto something.

Earlier this week, voters in five Oregon counties — Baker, Grant, Lake, Malheur, and Sherman — approved measures to recommend the process of seceding from the state and joining neighboring Idaho. Jefferson and Union counties passed similar measures last year, and there’s a push for more to make a contiguous Idaho. The argument is that the more conservative eastern portion of the state is clearly not being represented by the more populous, powerful, and very leftist western side.

According to The Hill, “Oregon voters favored President Biden over former President Trump by a 56 percent to 40 percent margin in 2020, but voters in those five rural counties gave between 69 percent and 79 percent of the vote to Trump.” Democrats in Portland — and their lawless vagabonds filling the ranks of antifa — have a stranglehold on the state, and voters in the eastern half clearly aren’t feeling Joe Biden’s “unity.”

“This election proves that rural Oregon wants out of Oregon. If Oregon really believes in liberal values such as self-determination, the Legislature won’t hold our counties captive against our will,” said Mike McCarter, president of Citizens for Greater Idaho, which is pushing for Idaho to absorb 22 of Oregon’s 36 counties and even some of California’s and Washington’s. “If we’re allowed to vote for which government officials we want, we should be allowed to vote for which government we want as well.”

Obviously, this is not going to happen anytime soon. Idaho’s legislature may readily agree to bring in more land and population, but the shift would also require the approval of the Oregon legislature and the U.S. Congress. Oregon isn’t going to do so for a number of reasons, but there’s really only one that matters: The state legislature has strong Democrat majorities — 37-23 in the House, and 18-11 in the Senate with one Independent. While letting Republican areas leave would actually solidify Democrat control over Oregon, they have little reason to empower their political opponents while letting go of tax revenue and nearly three-quarters of the state’s territory. Greater Idaho says Oregon legislators do have some reasons, including, they tell us, that “these counties are a drain on the Oregon budget,” so removing them “would actually help the Oregon state budget.”

Moreover, aside from a few minor border adjustments, approval from Congress for such splits has come only three times in our nation’s history. Kentucky was born out of Virginia in 1792, Maine separated from Massachusetts in 1820, and West Virginia seceded from Virginia in 1863. There’s also a move afoot to split California into three states, but let’s just say it’s been a while since this happened.

The real story here is the serious division between conservatives and leftists. Again, despite Biden’s promise to bring “unity,” Democrats have only sown hatred and division for years now. Given that a significant number of residents in one state have decided divorce is better than living under the same “roof,” how much longer can we expect our country to abide its deep divisions?

(Updated with more information from Greater Idaho.)

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