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Idaho legislature proposes Oregon border negotiations

In an interesting twist of popular sovereignty, the Idaho house of representatives voted to open negotiations with neighboring Oregon in response to growing momentum of the “Greater Idaho” movement. 

Imagine that your area is distinctly different from those in your government.  They vote against your values, and you vote against theirs, but they utterly dominate.  So you and your neighbors get together and decide you’d rather be a part of a different government.  You put it to a vote, and everyone wants to leave.  Not only that, the split would benefit everyone involved.  Familiar readers may assume I’m talking about the relationship between Texas and the United States, but this time I’m not. 

Oregon politics are dominated by the populous and liberal areas on the coast and the city of Portland.  Rural counties in eastern Oregon don’t share many of the same values.  Eleven Oregon counties so far have voted to break their affiliation with the state and join Idaho.  As a Texit guy, that seems totally rational, natural, and prudent.  And just like Texit, some folks in the media are losing their minds.  

The Idaho Capital Sun, a broadly funded “nonprofit news organization”, has poked fun at the passing of the resolution, saying it was passed with “a wink and a smirk.”  They also suggest that the move would require the Idaho Legislature, the Oregon Legislature and Congress to all sign off in favor of the change, which they don’t think is likely to happen.  Even better, they say it is unlikely because it hasn’t happened “since the Civil War.” Those of us who favor Texit smirk right back at “The Civil War” as a reason for anything in this century. 

Today the Idaho Statesman posted an opinion piece that ridicules the Greater Idaho effort along with the “rural” people who want separation.  Saying “it’s a joke”, they then add to the list of implausible jokesters none other than the Texas Nationalist Movement.  They include self-determination efforts in New Hampshire, California, and Illinois as well, lumping sovereignty into this summation: 

“Each of these proposals is as unserious as Greater Idaho. But there are common threads among them. They’re led by conservatives. They draw their support from rural areas. They promote the notion that they are preserving traditional values and a rural way of life against encroaching urban cosmopolitanism.”

The measure passed the house 41-28 and goes next to the Idaho senate.  A poll of western Oregon residents taken in January 2022 showed only three percent believe retaining the rural counties is worth the tax burden. The majority (51%) of Idahoans support adding Oregon counties, according to a November 2021 Trafalgar poll of 1,100 residents.

Even with good support, it’s far from a done deal.  The measure is nonbinding and all it does is call for the Idaho and Oregon governments to talk and work out the details.  Time will tell if this week’s measure is just a symbolic gesture or the start of real progress for eastern Oregonians.  

The Greater Idaho movement has popular support, just like Texit.  Our support is even stronger, with 66% of likely voters in favor. We’ve got a strong grassroots organization, although we’ve only had one county come out formally in our favor so far.  We’ve got the legislature in session right now.

We’ve also got the media willing to insult us as “rural”, willing to call us a “joke” and ask if we’re “really serious” about secession.  Greater Idaho has found the same opposition.  One thing missing from the opposition hit pieces?  Concrete proposals.  They poke fun, say “y’all can’t leave”, threaten Civil War, and don’t offer a damn thing to address the political and social differences that make rational people want to leave in the first place. 

What’s it going to take for the Texas legislature to put Texit on the ballot?  A bit of boldness, a bit of practicality, and lots of pressure from constituents.  I don’t care if it’s passed with a “wink and a smirk” or not, so long as it goes forward.  I don’t care if any single representative is for or against Texit itself, so long as they don’t stand in the way of putting it to a vote. The politicians are in a gatekeeper role of sorts, but they don’t make the decision for the people of Texas, Oregon, or Idaho.

We’re going to face media ignorance if not downright opposition.  We’ll face half truths and fearmongering about civil war.  The establishment uses those techniques in Scotland, Idaho and Oregon, New Hampshire, and Texas.  

Regardless of the barriers, regardless of the process, the fundamental truth of politics is the same in Idaho as it is in Texas: the people have at all times the right to amend, reform, or abolish their form of government.  Many Texans, myself included, have never been to Idaho or Oregon, but our support for their issue is the same as support for ours. 

The next hurdle in the political journey toward Texit is getting a bill filed and passed in the Texas legislature.  Now, this minute, not tomorrow, is the time to call your legislator.  Tell them you are a voter in their district, that Texas independence is important to you, and that you expect them to file the bill, move it through the process, and pass it. The TNM has put together a resource to help you find your legislator and their contact information.  Today’s the day to call!

Written By

Noah is the Acting Editor of the Texian Partisan. He has written for the Texian Partisan, the Texas Nationalist Movement, and several other large-circulation publications and sites. Named for an early Texas settler and veteran of the Texas Revolution, Noah pours his passion for Texas independence into his writing. He is a 6th generation Texan from the Hill Country.


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