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Inside Politics: Secessionist Idaho? Let Freedom Ring
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Inside Politics

Inside Politics: Secessionist Idaho? Let Freedom Ring

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Earlier this week, Idaho Congressman Russ Fulcher announced he will join a cabal of right-wing party members in Congress who want to steal America’s presidential election by objecting to the electoral votes in the 2020 presidential election. As of this writing, Congressman Mike Simpson (who represents the Magic Valley) and Senators Risch and Crapo have been conspicuously silent. Simpson did, however, sign onto a lawsuit from Texas seeking to steal the election through the courts (it was tossed). That. Combined with the chaos at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday is tantamount to support for secession from the Union.

For those of you who seriously want your “freedom” through secession, fine. You should know what you’re getting into.

First, let’s speculate as to who would go along with this scheme. Out west, you could probably count on Wyoming, Montana (maybe), Utah (maybe), North and South Dakota. It’s doubtful Minnesota, Iowa or Nebraska would go along. Washington, Oregon (at least the western half) and Colorado definitely wouldn’t go along. As such, Idaho would be cut off from the New Southern Confederacy of Louisiana (maybe), Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Indiana (maybe) and West Virginia. Texas, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina would likely not join. As such, the New Confederacy would literally be cut in half from the onset.

The United States, in its present form, has been free from foreign invasion – aside from Pearl Harbor and 9/11—for the better part of 170 years. A big reason for that is simple geography. We have friendly neighbors to the North and South (Pancho Villa excepted) and the world’s two largest oceans to the East and West. You couldn’t have a more strategically located country. If you are starting a New Confederacy, the first piece of business is defense. Idaho, as a foreign adversary, would be landlocked with hostile neighbors on its entire Western border, it’s Northern border and half of its Southern Border. Whatever military assets it has, like Mountain Home Air Force Base, would be evacuated prior to any revolt. Idaho’s defense would be limited to whatever arms are currently available or could be procured. Given Idaho’s poor transportation options going north-to-south, it could be cut in half with a few well-placed missile strikes. Ironically, highway and river access to the Pacific and Atlantic could be blockaded by walls.

The next step would be establishing an economy. This is problematic for multiple reasons. To begin with, every major employer in Idaho would jump ship for the United States. Chobani? Gone. Micron? Gone. Idaho National Lab? Gone, although the nuclear waste would remain. Once the United States cut off Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid payments, Idaho’s hospitals would shutter pretty fast. Idaho would revert to an agricultural economy tasked with feeding its people and selling its wares to foreign nations.

Great Britain nearly recognized the Old Confederacy as a legitimate nation because of one thing: cotton. Great Britain needed it and the South had it. Furthermore, the South had ports in New Orleans and Charleston for export. The modern-day equivalent would be China recognizing a Confederate Idaho and opening up trade in agricultural products. While they don’t eat a lot of potatoes over there, China does take dairy products from the Magic Valley.

One problem. You have to ship your products to Pacific ports which, as outlined above, would likely be impossible. Wyoming may be able to sell its oil, gas and coal resources to the United States and China, but do you really think they’d share the proceeds with Idaho? It’s a Confederacy, not the NFL.

Finally, lets get down to brass tacks. What would Idaho use for money? If you’re starting a country, you need a currency. It took the United States decades before it finally settled on the federally-backed dollar as its method of exchange. What would Idaho’s currency be? The Spud-Buck? Would we be willing to take whatever foreign currency we could get our hands on? Given that Idaho’s economy would be reduced to a subsistence level system, with major obstacles to export, how much do you really think foreign countries like the United States would be willing to pay for Idaho’s goods? Furthermore, whatever foreign currency we could procure would be concentrated in the hands of a very few. If you’re reading this a year from now in a Confederate Idaho, chances are good that you have no money, no healthcare and no home. And, if you think you can rely on the dollars in your 401k savings, keep one thing in mind. Your money is likely being held in the United States. How soon after a rebellion do you think your money is seized?

Better start mining for gold or Bitcoin.

If abject poverty, widespread homelessness and no hope for the future are your definition of “freedom,” then let freedom ring. The bell may be tolling for you next.

Jeremy J. Gugino is a Democratic communications volunteer.

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