Riley Ripplinger
March 23, 2010

BOISE, Idaho – Ernest Hemingway, one of Idaho’s most famous residents, once said that “Courage is grace under pressure.” In an America being incrementally taken over by the federal government, the state where Hemingway spent much of his time is showing that courage and fighting back in a big way. Recently, the Idaho legislature and many of its citizens decided to supplement talk with action. This action is steeped in a deep tradition in self sufficiency; where many of Idaho’s citizens want to be free to do as they please while living a peaceful life in the Rocky Mountains. Idahoans have always voted for and enjoyed limited government, and thus the state is traditionally regarded as a guaranteed win for many Republican candidates in various levels of government. However, Idahoans can also smell trouble coming, and as the RINOs (republican-in-name-only) grew stronger under the Clinton and Bush presidencies, Idaho became known in the patriot movement as a state where libertarian ideologies of being socially liberal and fiscally conservative could prevail. It is this mindset that has been at the core of several recent occurrences in Idaho politics, and these events have captured the attention of patriots across America.

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Boise State University students recently protested the proposed tuition fee hike spending an entire afternoon on the steps of the capital.

In 2008, Ron Paul’s libertarian minded presidential campaign received 24% of the Republican primary votes in Idaho, which was Paul’s best showing in any state in the 2008 primaries. During the Ron Paul campaign, downtown Boise was alive with Dr. Paul’s supporters, who spent Saturdays waving signs and discussing the campaign with anyone who would listen at intersections and coffee shops. Apparently, Dr. Paul did not forget where his support was; the Texas congressman is paying a visit to Boise State University’s Morrison Center to speak this Saturday, March 27th.

In recent months the Idaho house passed the “Firearms Freedom Bill.” This bill allows Idaho to produce its own firearms that are exempt from federal firearms background checks and dealer licensing regulations. Idaho’s neighbor to the Northeast, Montana, passed similar legislation in 2009. However, Montana’s bill is currently under attack by the federal government, Idaho must prepared to defend its legislation with all the guts and gusto it can muster.

In a similar act of defying federal policy, Idaho recently passed a law that requires the states attorney general to sue the federal government in the event that the President Obama’s healthcare reform bill would pass the house. Not only did the Idaho legislation pass the bill, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter signed the measure into law before the federal healthcare bill passed the house on Sunday. Of the 30-plus states that have introduced similar legislation, Idaho was also the first state to have the state executive sign the bill into law.

In another battle on the civil liberties front, Idahoans struck a blow to the federal government again last Thursday when the house overwhelmingly passed legislation that limited the use of naked body scanners in airports. The bill introduced by Rep. Phil Hart limits the use of the body scanners to only those passengers who failed less invasive screenings like metal detectors and pat-downs. The bill also requires that the burden of proof be placed on the Idaho Department of Homeland Security to prove that the scanners do not expose the passenger to unhealthy levels of radiation before the scanners are legally allowed in the states airports. The bill passed the house by a vote of 58 to 9.

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Idaho is no stranger to hosting pioneers. Hundreds of miles of the Oregon Trail pass through this great state; the ruts can still be seen in many parks and preserved lands. In an age where big government is attempting to legislate, control, and regulate every aspect of our lives, Idaho and its citizens are standing up and speaking loudly. One of the newest chapters of the grassroots organization “We Are Change” is located in the Treasure Valley, strategically placed in a metropolitan area that houses the State Capitol. The chapter represents the entire state, and its membership is growing continually. The group is widely known for “street actions”, where its members, armed with video cameras and audio equipment, confront politicians on the hot issues of the day, and demand answers from their representatives.

The tea party movement, marijuana legalization movement, and other grassroots causes continually bombard the Capitol Boulevard and the Statehouse steps demonstrating and discussing topics that they feel are important. A sizeable contingent of Boise State University students recently protested the proposed tuition fee hike spending an entire afternoon on the steps of the capital. It is actions like these that prove Idahoans will not stand down; they will continue to protest and fight for less government, less taxes, and more liberty. It is the courage of these modern day pioneers that makes Idaho a hotbed for political action and real political change. So perhaps somewhere up in the heavens Ernest Hemingway is looking down on the state that he once called home with a smile, grateful for those who are showing the “grace under pressure” that he so coveted.

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