Oregon’s Rural Secession Movement Should be a Wake-Up Call to Blue States

Darrell Todd Maurina
7 min readJan 1, 2022

Pulaski County residents, and more broadly, Ozark residents, are largely isolated from the political uproars that dominate the politics of many states. Things are far different in places like Oregon, a state in which the attached article from The Atlantic magazine by Antonia Hitchens documents a serious secession movement. So far, eight of ten counties asked to vote on leaving Oregon and joining Idaho have voted in favor of that switch, and more will be voting soon.

Missouri, which as recently as the 2008 presidential election was a toss-up state, and historically was regarded as a model of the national political climate, has become a deep-red Republican stronghold. We don’t have to deal with legislators in Jefferson City harassing rural residents; on the contrary, liberals living in Missouri’s major cities believe state officials are restricting their ability to require masks or otherwise adopt regulations on the local level that have become standard in many of the urban areas that dominate America’s political landscape.

Here in the Ozarks, we have few Democrats left, and those who speak the loudest usually have the least influence and even less chance of getting elected. Our two remaining local Democrats in elected office, Circuit Court Clerk Rachelle Beasley and Associate Circuit Judge Colin Long, hold offices that are usually viewed as being nonpolitical and both avoid unnecessary political battles. Many Republicans like them, and the vote totals show most voters agree they should stay in office. By contrast, Democrats in our county who advocate an aggressive liberal agenda usually go down to defeat by massive margins.

It’s hard for those who have recently moved to our area to understand just how much of a change this is for Pulaski County.

Less than twenty years ago, the 2002 elections were the first time in generations that Republicans won a significant number of county races. The 2004 election proved the previous wins were not a fluke but rather a trend. Pulaski County was once viewed as a solid Democratic stronghold where Republicans had little chance of getting elected and often didn’t bother running. Today, the reverse is true; for many offices, our local Democrats don’t even have a candidate for whom they can vote since no Democrats wanted to volunteer as a sacrificial lamb by putting their name on the ballot for a race they were nearly certain to lose.