Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Eastern Washington

So Washington has a budget deficit. This is not my fault. I don't imagine it's your fault either. The state legislature, because they don't have the, uh, ability to print currency like the feds do, have to resort to something other than printing monopoly money to pay for their re-election schemes. So they recently repealed (I mean temporarily suspended. It's just a temporary measure, of course) the requirement for a two-thirds vote in order to raise taxes or create new ones, and straightaway started the process of instituting an income tax. While I could go on about the ridiculousness of taxes, which are only theft under a different name, I won't. Secession is a much better topic.

Usually talk of secession conjures images of rabid antebellum slave owners and off-kilter Texans, but this is a bit different. What if, instead of Washington seceding from the United State [sic], the eastern half of Washington formed it's own state? Let Olympia build as many stupid light rails as they want, let them restore their own rivers to a pristine and dam-free natural state, let them legislate their way to clean air, and let us live how we want to live without interference from the west side. It's something I've been thinking of for a few years now, but it seems like this might be a good time to get serious about it.

People have a right to be governed in the way they want to be governed. This is not a right bestowed by the state (because that wouldn't make much sense, would it?). Jefferson wrote it in the declaration of independence—governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. So it stands to reason that when the consent of the governed is withdrawn, the power is also gone.

What do the two halves have in common? Geography? No. Look at a map and you'll see a pretty distinct dividing line between green and brown. This geographic and climate difference necessarily leads to a cultural difference. I hardly need to spell this out. How many times has the utopia envisioned by west siders been scuttled by uncouth rednecks from the east side? How many times have the earth savers from the west side tried to save fish, dismantle dams, restrict water use, and otherwise save the ignorant farmers from themselves? Why do they bother trying to control a population they have a general disdain for, and nothing in common with? Why is Olympia our capitol? It has nothing to do with us.

The great part about this idea is that if enough people latch on to it, and if enough counties get together and decide to exert their sovereignty, there isn't anything anyone can do to stop it. If Olympia doesn't like it what will they do, punish us with more taxes? Guess what, we don't have to pay them, we're our own state! Will they refuse to maintain our roads? Big deal, we're our own state! Maybe they won't let us on their new billion dollar light rail. Watch us cry, we're our own state! They might have tech companies and billionaires, but we have agriculture, we have hydro and nuclear power, and we also have way more guns than they do. I'm just sayin'.

So seriously, this needs to happen. I'll post more info as I get it, but for now I have to work on some bumper stickers.

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NaDell said...

Sounds good to me. Make those bumper sticker and a phone call to Monty Benham might not hurt. They hate him anyway. He could be the governor of our half.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

That's actually a very sensible proposal. When I moved to in Eastern Washington, I was struck with how different the area was to my perceptions of the state as all forests and shoreline. Seattle and its environs were as far away from our thoughts and concerns as California was. The Eastern half of Washington has absolutely nothing in common with the Western half of the state.

I always felt the same about California, too. This state is too big to function as one state.

When I grew up in the L.A. half, I wondered why our capital was way up north in Sacramento. Now that I live in Sacramento, we never think of the Southern Californian's concerns as having much in common with our own.

Geography and distance are important factors. People should be allowed to govern themselves as to their own interests. I can't think of people with more disparate interests in the same state as those in Washington. Those are completely different worlds.

Isaac said...

And the funny thing is, both sides of the state harbor a general distrust, and even a mild dislike, of the other side. What, are we keeping this marriage together for the kids? Let's get the divorce over with, I want to start wooing Eastern Oregon.