A lack of leadership and rampant anti-Blue State bias from the president and his administration has resulted in multiple states alliances forming across the country to deal with covid-19. While the “Western States Pact” between Gov. Gavin Newsom (California), Kate Brown (Oregon) and Jay Inslee (Washington) has only recently been formalized, it’s an idea that has been kicking around for quite some time now. In fact, it dates back several decades in a form that would elevate said “pact” to another level: the “Cascadia Independence Movement.”
(Before I launch into this, I want to clarify that I’m not advocating for some sort of violent revolution. I am simply considering the well-established fact that the president doesn’t like Blue States and he’d probably just let us go. Without the entire West coast voting, he’d definitely have the chance to become “lifetime president.”)
The idea to break off and create an independent nation, Cascadia, evolved into its most modern iteration in the 1975 novel “Ecotopia.” There have been a number of map redraws since then, but most visualizations include all of Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and a portion of Northern California.
The concept of Cascadia is surprisingly well-known and has been featured in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Business Insider, and a number of other online and print publications. An article from Time Magazine (2011) named the Republic of Cascadia as one of the world’s “Top 10 Aspiring Nations.”
The article reads: “Abundant in both natural and industrial resources, home to giant corporations like Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks and Nike, and host to the ‘Hollywood of the North’ (Vancouver), the country would likely prosper.” (It also says that it has “little chance of ever becoming a reality.” Ah well.)
Proponents of Cascadia say that we should prioritize environmental sustainability and reallocation of federal tax dollars (did you know that Washington is a “donor state”?), and frequently bring up the divide between the people on the West Coast and the lawmakers in the East.
“For too long have our people put up with indifference and condescendence from distant seats of power. We have been subject to francophonic imperialism and wasteful spending of our tax money,” a 1998 Republic of Cascadia website reads.
Not too surprisingly, regional support for the nation ramped up after the 2016 election. CascadiaNow! sells Douglas fir flags on their website and said that a year’s worth of flags sold in one day: Nov. 9, 2016.
In addition to selling merch, CascadiaNow! is a nonprofit working on the more constructive, less-literal side of the movement. They are a “positive and inclusive, place-based movement focused on building autonomous and equitable local infrastructure that is both resilient and sustainable… based on the idea of transcending arbitrary state borders and shifting our actions and impacts locally.”
It wouldn’t be difficult to make a convincing geopolitical/economic pro-Cascadia argument, but I don’t think that’s really necessary at this point. Instead, I hope people can look at what we have here in Pacific County and the broader Cascadia area, and consider who we are and what we collectively value. It doesn’t matter if you support Trump or not — if he refuses to help Blue States, then he’s not supporting you. We don’t know for how long and we don’t know to what extent, but we do know that we are “in this together.”
(And if things devolve further, I have already begun planting the seeds of revolution!)