The state of Oregon is often associated with the leftist politics of those living in Portland.
The city, which is in a constant state of unrest, protest and chaos, has come to embody the epitome of enlightenment envisioned by the far left.
A great many rural Oregonians say they have been voiceless for decades, and they are currently seeking a life raft to escape a sinking ship.
Most of those people reside along the coastal Interstate 5 Willamette Valley corridor from Portland, near the Washington state line to the north, and down south through Eugene and on to Medford.
The state’s rural population is held hostage by the liberal politics of the coastal elites.
A movement called “Greater Idaho” is seeking a peaceful separation of rural citizens, who want out of the madness and to join their more conservative neighbors in Idaho, which has a Republican governor and Republican majorities in both houses of the legislature, and which supported President Donald Trump in the 2016 election over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by a 59.2 percent to 27.5 percent margin.
The Oregonian reported the long-shot initiative, which began making moves in February, would see 22 of Oregon’s 36 counties become part of conservative-leaning Idaho. Residents of several conservative northern California counties also want to join the movement.
Expanding Idaho to the Pacific Ocean in such a manner would need the approval of state legislatures in California, Oregon and Idaho, as well as the approval of both houses of the U.S. Congress.
It seems unlikely that all of those dominoes could fall, but the group behind the movement has collected enough signatures in one county to start the process.
The measure to join Idaho will be on the November ballot in Wallowa County, The Oregonian reported.
— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) July 21, 2020
Mike McCarter, who is with the group seeking to liberate the blue state conservatives, praised those in Wallowa County for gathering the signatures, despite such activities being frowned upon by those ruling Oregon amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a media release.
“In Jefferson, Union, and Douglas Counties, we’ve surpassed half our goal, but we don’t know if we will reach our goal, which is the required number plus 30% extra to account for invalid signatures. Other counties are farther behind, so we will need a federal injunction to get on the ballot in most of those counties. This lockdown has hurt our ability to collect signatures,” McCarter said of progress in other counties.
The group that wants to see some Oregonians become citizens of Idaho makes a pretty strong case.
Grant Darrow, who lives in Union County in northeast Oregon, laid out the plight of the state’s rural citizens.
“Rural Oregonians in general and East Oregonians in particular are growing increasingly dismayed by the manner in which Oregon’s Legislature and Oregon’s urban dwellers have marginalized their values, demonized their lifestyle, villainize their resource-based livelihoods, and have classified them as second class citizens at best,” he said in the introduction to the Greater Idaho website.
“The Portland metro area is home to 47 percent of Oregon’s voters and covers a mere 3,776.41 square miles of Oregon’s 98,466 square miles, that’s less than 4 percent of its land mass, 3.83 percent to be exact. Five of Oregon’s 36 counties now control 100 percent of Oregon’s legislative activity. None are rural. None are east of the Cascades. None are outside the Willamette Valley,” he added.
Describing the situation in Oregon as “unpalatable,” Grant further argued: “Since 1988 Oregon’s urban dwellers have elected a group of individuals that represent nothing short of an aristocracy of political power, they have switched their role in democracy from servant to lord. These people have successfully disenfranchised and subjugated the people occupying everything not Portland or the Willamette Valley.”
The Greater Idaho movement also has strong words for those lords of power in Portland and Salem, the state’s capital.
“Our message to Oregon’s state political leadership is: let our people go! Your counties have different goals, different values, and different economies. Your primary voters will be glad to get rid of ‘Trump-voting low-income counties.’ Let us be governed by a state that understands us. Please negotiate a deal with Idaho,” the group says.
While it is unlikely that Greater Idaho will succeed in the redrawing of maps, congressional districts and the voting demographics of the liberal Pacific coast, the patriots behind the movement are making their voices heard.
They might be virtually powerless in the state legislature, but their movement has, at the very least, drawn attention to their struggles.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.