Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

State Splitting Sillies

Believe it or not, some senators from Eastern Washington are floating the absurd idea of splitting the Evegreen State in two.

Why are we wasting our time with this nonsense?

Secession is often brought up as a proposed solution to many of the political differences that divide people in this country.

There are those people who say that all of the states that voted for John Kerry should secede from the United States and join Canada. There are people living in Eastern King County who want to secede and form their own county - "Cascade" County, or maybe "Cedar" County.

Before the Civil War, during the beginning of the War of 1812, there was serious talk about New England seceding over disagreement with the other regions of the country about going to war with Britain.

There's been only one time in our history when secession really became a reality: the Civil War era. And everyone knows what became of the Civil War era: the North, or Union, won, and secession was suddenly dead.

Talk about secession is about as old as the United States itself. But what does it accomplish? It's a strategy of divide rather than unite - a "divorce" over political beliefs and values.

Washington doesn't need to be split in two. People in the eastern and western regions of the state should be able to get along together and understand each other. And instead of growing further apart, lawmakers should focus on bringing the state together.

Each region of the state has something to offer the other.

The beauty of Washington State is that it isn't all the same. It's different. There are big cities, and small towns. There are large factories and small farms. There are mountains and foothills, and there are plains and valleys.

The biggest problem seems to be that people in both regions of the state don't understand each other well enough. So instead of talking about division, we should be talking about unity, and what we can do to understand each other better. We need to stop shouting and start listening.

We have more in common than we realize. An honest and open discussion about the issues and challenges that we face will be beneficial to all of us. It's time to take the courageous step and work out our differences - not allow those differences to drive us further apart.

I wrote this blog before reading P-I columnist Robert Jamieson's new thoughtful column - West side, east side: One story, not two, which makes many of the same points I made and ends with the same conclusion as my blog title.

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