By John Kanelis / firstname.lastname@example.org
TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Traveling through the state of my birth I am astounded as I ponder an item I saw on the news the other day.
Residents of seven counties in rural eastern and southern Oregon, where I was born a million years ago, want to separate from the state to which they have belonged since 1859 and join — gulp! — Idaho.
Why? I guess those folks feel more akin to the thoughts, policies and political mores of their neighbors to the east. I had heard about petitions that are asking for the separation.
I was visiting with a high school friend who now lives near Walla Walla, Wash., and he and I agreed on two points: The folks in rural Oregon are fanatical about Donald Trump and — this is the more important element — a separation and joining with another state ain’t gonna happen.
I reminded my friend that we have this discussion in Texas now and then. Some nimrods talk openly about Texas seceding from the Union, which of course is illegal. Other nimrods insist that there is some language in the Texas Constitution that allows the state to partition itself into multiple mini-states. This kind of malarkey is heard occasionally in the Texas Panhandle, where we lived for 23 years before moving to the Dallas/Forth Worth Metroplex.
It’s also been a subject of coffee shop banter in the Oklahoma Panhandle, aka No Man’s Land, where folks feel next to zero connection with the policies handed down from the state capital way down yonder in Oklahoma City.
Back to my point about the seven Oregon counties.
The argument we hear in truth is not unique to Oregon. These seven counties all voted significantly for Donald Trump in the two elections for president in which he ran. They have no affinity for the politics of Portland, Salem or Eugene — those liberal bastions where the bulk of the population lives and which voted overwhelmingly for President Biden in 2020 and for Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016.
I am not going to lose any sleep, expend any emotional capital or worry one little bit about it all. Other than to lament that this kind of nonsense is bound to pick up some steam for as long as Donald Trump is alive and willing to fan the flames of such idiocy.