Opinion

Our Voice: Separating Washington is a one unitedly bad idea

Being embarrassed by the actions of our elected officials is not as rare of an occasion as we would hope.

But sometimes the actions of some are more cringe-worthy than others.

A case in point is a recent bill that proposes separating eastern and western Washington into two states.

Technically, the bill creates a task force to examine the “impacts of adjusting the boundary lines of Washington to create two new states with one state east and one state west of the Cascade mountain range; and creating new sections.”

The end goal, however, of the legislators sponsoring the bill — including our own Larry Haler and Brad Klippert — is two states.

Furthermore, Klippert and Haler are sponsors on a second proposal, HB 1832, that would create a task force to consider splitting Washington and Oregon to create two new states.

Seriously?

With all the challenges our state faces in terms of funding for education, mental health services and transportation is this a good investment of time and whatever political capital they might have?

We don’t always agree with the decisions made in Olympia where west-side interests dominate, but secession isn’t a realistic answer.

Actions like this only perpetuate the hick reputation of Eastern Washington in the eyes of our brethren on the west side.

We need our lawmakers to get real work done during the legislative session, not this kind of silliness which displays such a level of naivety on their part that it makes us wonder what kind of students of our state government these guys have been for their multiple terms in office.

The bill cites lifestyle, cultural and economic differences as reasons to divide Washington in two.

Sure, there is an obvious political divide between the two sides of the state on a number of topics and yes, generally the west-side ideology wins. But threatening to take our ball and go home isn’t the best way to influence policy. Effective, intelligent, persuasive representation is — and it appears lacking.

This is not the first time some unrealistic politician — or individual citizen — has proposed secession. Hopefully it’s the last.

The bill will go nowhere and accomplish nothing but to further weaken our legislative clout.

One of the bill’s sponsors said they signed on to get people’s attention.

Mission accomplished.

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