Wednesday, March 22, 2023

GREATER IDAHO: Greater how?

| March 17, 2023 1:00 AM

Having lived in various parts of Oregon, I deeply understand the issues driving the ‘Greater Idaho’ movement and the less well-known ‘State of Jefferson’ movement.

There are some misconceptions about these movements that need to be clarified, the biggest being that this is a partisan thing. This is not the case — many of those I knew who supported the Jefferson movement were decidedly ‘blue.’ This will likely be the case with the GI movement too.

Rather than being driven by an ideological divide, both these movements are driven by a desire to be heard. Many in rural Oregon feel disenfranchised. The policies adopted by the state are decided by tourists who see the rural parts of the state as their playground rather than a place where people live and work.

This puts those living in these areas in a tenant-landlord relationship. Not something that aligns with the nature of the republic.

And yet I don’t support the Greater Idaho movement. I am happy to see people examining if it serves them to change things around, but the truth is that Boise is quickly becoming Portland 2.0. The people in rural Oregon would simply be trading one ignorant and remote landlord for another. Idaho legislators have already discussed this in terms of resource gains versus the burden of adding low income people to the population. The people in Eastern Oregon are looking to be represented, not tolerated as the price of having a bigger backyard.


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