There's only so much you can pack inside a headline, right? So before we dive in, the subject warrants context and clarity. In America, we're entitled with the inalienable right of free speech. However, while we as Americans do enjoy the fruits of the First Amendment, that isn't to say it goes entirely without consequence.
If you understand Idaho, you know Idahoans take free-thought and free-speech to heart. Like Voltaire, even if we "wholly disapprove of what you say" when it comes to politics, religion, bacon, or bourbon, we'll "defend to the death your right to say it."
But here's the deal, defending what you have to say versus endorsing it are two very different animals. For example, if taking cheap shots at Idaho, Idahoans, and Idaho's way of life is on your agenda, that's more than fine. Circling back to our earlier point, it's your right as an American. Just know we might not like you so much thereafter. We won't disrespect you or try to change your mind. We'll simply move on.
How do you know if you're not our cuppa huckaberry tea? We ask that you kindly and respectfully refrain from the following:
- Confusing Idaho with Iowa. It's high time you brushed up on your geography, pal.
- Assuming we're unfriendly. Speaking of growth and transition, we're the first to say that at times it's a been hard balancing act. Sure, we're periodically peeved over the soul-crushing traffic brought about by an influx of newcomers, but we don't hate the newcomers.
- Asking us if Idaho is in Iowa. We grew up eating potatoes, but it seems ya'll dined on crayons.
- Dismissing our "wave." Idahoans are at the ready with a friendly wave. From traffic to the grocery store, or even when we're out on a stroll, we're unapologetic waivers. When you don't reciprocate, you come off as anti-Idaho.
- Telling us we've lost it. Listen, we know the Gem State is in a state of growth and transition. That doesn't mean we've abandoned or lost all that makes us uniquely Idaho.
- Trashing "The Blue." Just don't. We're fiercely protective of Boise State University's blue field.
- Disrespecting LEOs. Idahoans honor the law enforcement officers who work tirelessly to secure our state and respond to us in times of need. If you can't so much as meet as in the middle on that one, our friendship wasn't meant to be.
- Taking our guns. From conserving order and balance in nature's wilds to shooting for sport, Idaho will always support the Second Amendment. Before you shoot yourself in the foot, educate yourself on gun safety and gun culture in Idaho.
- Potato/poh-tah-toe. We love potatoes. We grow potatoes. We know potatoes. But we're so much more than tubers and tater tots, ya'll. Idaho has a vibrant culture of its own. It's steeped in history, patriotism, our connection with nature, and the love we have for our families and communities.
Those are the big rocks. Steer clear of these slights and faux pas, and we'll get along famously. Step on our potatoes, and you can expect a different outcome.