Some Eastern Washington lawmakers have revived the proposal to divide Washington into two states.
House Joint Memorial 4000, which was prefiled earlier this month for the upcoming legislative session, would split the state into two separate entities at the Cascade Mountains. It is being driven by two Spokane Valley representatives and one from Moxee.
This is not the first time members of the Eastern Washington delegation have proposed such a division.
Our very own Larry Haler and Brad Klippert co-sponsored legislation to create a task force aimed to do the same thing in 2015. Two of the three legislators on the current bill joined Klippert and Haler in 2015, as well.
It was a dumb idea then and it’s a dumb idea now.
As much as we dislike the fact that Western Washington’s wishes can dominate Eastern Washington values in elections, we need them just as much as they need us. Both economies depend on it.
What our country and our state need is for those with differing views to find empathy and understanding with each other’s points of view. Working together to find compromise is part of successful leadership.
Compromise is also a sign of maturity. A sign of immaturity is when a kid doesn’t like the outcome of a game and takes his or her toys and pouts all the way home.
That’s kind of like this situation. Let’s show our maturity and wisdom by suggesting we separate ourselves from half of the state because we don’t like the outcome of an election or 10.
Rural versus urban. Progressive versus conservative. Citified versus country. Those are just some of the ways people describe the two sides of Washington.
But what they are generally targeting is the Puget Sound region. If you go north of Marysville or south of Olympia, you’ll get right back into the more rural way of life even on the west side.
It’s the population density in the Everett-Seattle-Tacoma area and the voting power that comes with it that those with different tastes in other parts of the state can find frustrating. We understand that. But, for example, just because you don’t like a law enacted because an initiative won the majority vote doesn’t mean you get to ignore it.
We all have to live with some rules we don’t like. Without them, we’d be a lawless mess of renegades doing whatever we choose.
Lawmakers have been proposing to split the state since as far back as 1915. We expect HJM 4000 will suffer the same fate — a death from lack of interest. But at least our local lawmakers, recognize the folly in being associated with such a movement. There are very serious challenges facing lawmakers this session and we need our Mid-Columbia representatives to be taken seriously.