The State of Idaho




wild promise Promised Land
border core (2) grow/grew/grown (2)
scenic outskirt square (4)
rural spacious equivalent
urban torn (2) remote (2)
bliss head (3) dream (2)
sparse expanse demarcate
sprawl oppose real estate
attract root (2) conservative
tame bastion vehemently
ultra quarter stream (2)
harm separate progressive (2)
militia decision supremacist
trailer storm (2) advanced (2)
defend diversity appear (2)
benefit outskirts destination
spread awesome safe/safer/safest
native vacancy disapproval
influx offense resistance
local pristine wilderness
vote isolation generation
influx junkyard 1/2; 1/3; 1/4
favor pristine generation
enjoy annoyed ridiculous
a third literally obviously
broker reconcile resentment
hectare clientele off the radar
prefer property hide/hid/hidden
priority integrity surrounding
at least refugee determined
extent spectrum reasonable
ultra movement


Video, first 6 or 10 minutes




The Wild West lives on, at least in part of the modern United States, a scenic postcard of rural bliss — and for tens of thousands of Americans a new “Promised Land”.

Alexandra and Spencer are moving with their two children from California to one of the most sparsely populated regions in this sprawling country.

Alexandra, Mother: “Cross the border.”
Children: “Idaho!”
Alexandra, Mother: “We did it! Woo hoo!”

Idaho is attracting a growing number of new residents; the state’s population has grown by 20% since 2010.

Alexandra and Spencer bought a house on the outskirts of Boise, the state capital. Their new home is spacious, with four bedrooms and even a playroom for the kids.

The 280 square meter House cost the equivalent of €900,000, a third of the price for a similar house in California.

Alexandra, Former Californian: “It’s so safe here and everyone’s got really high integrity. And I just have peace of mind for me to just be able to like relax and know that they’re safe is huge.”

The couple want to live the dream of a quiet life in the country . . . but do they really know what’s happening around them?

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It’s not just young families who are attracted to the endless expanses of untamed nature in the northwest of the US: Idaho is part of a newly demarcated region that covers Wyoming Montana and Eastern Oregon and Washington.

Brett Surplus, Real Estate Agent: “This is for food; this is for protection.”

Many move to the region to get back to what they believe is their roots, while others see the area as an ultra conservative bastion to defend at all costs. They’re vehemently opposed to a multicultural and progressive America, and do not want ethnic and sexual minorities in their communities.

Viper, Biker: “And it brings harm to our children our country — you bet there’ll be a fight here.”

Their vision is essentially having their own colony: White, Christian and separate from the rest of the US, a cause that has brought together White Supremacists and right-wing militia groups.

Militiaman: “They’re going to have to come in — and that would be an extremely important decision for them to make.”

The storming of the capital building in Washington in January 2021 was a kind of advanced warning.

Back in the isolation of the Northwest, the Far-Right are regrouping on the political front too.

What kind of future is the US Northwest headed for?

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Boise, the state capital of Idaho and home to almost a quarter of a million residents is on the surface a young, urban and dynamic city.

But the ethnic diversity found elsewhere in the US isn’t part of that image: around 90% of the population are White.

Alexandra and Spencer’s moving truck has arrived on the outskirts of Boise with their belongings from San Francisco.

Alexandra, Mother and Wife: “Hi Michael.”
Michael, Long-Haul Mover: “Hi guys. How you doing?
Alexandra: “Good. Hi Frank. You too. This is Everest . . . Spencer.”
Spencer, Husband and Father: “Hi how are you?”

Frank Adams owns a moving company and is benefiting financially from Idaho’s appeal as a dream destination. He moved here from California himself just a few years ago.

Frank Adams, Boise Boys Moving Company: “You know how I found out Idaho is I top ten-ed it I top top 10ed best safest places to live, top 10ed best schools, top 10ed best cost of living, top 10 happiest people.”

The family quickly makes new friends.

Alexandra: “Hi guys I’m Zan.”
Erica, Neighbor: “Zan, nice to meet you.”
Alexandra: “Thank you guys so much. Hi guys.”
Erica: “So this is our crew except daddy cuz he’s at work.”

Erica arrived from California six years ago.

Alexandra, Newcomer: “Thank you. Oh you guys are so sweet. This is awesome; make little snarfies up fast.”

“Upstairs, big bedroom.”

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But not everyone here is so welcoming towards the stream of newcomers from California. Mover Michael makes no secret of his disapproval.

Michael, Boise Boys Moving Company: “This means “No Vacancies” means we feel like we’re full; we got enough people here — we don’t want any any more people here and that’s how natives feel, you know people who call Idaho home.

And then, like I said uh influx of foreigners from other states drive up the real estate market; I’ve got four kids and I can’t afford a house like this.

And, I don’t mean no offense to nobody but it’s just how I feel.”

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But the influx doesn’t appear to be slowing and it’s now also spread to the north of Idaho where there’s even greater resistance among locals. Almost 2/3 of Voters here favored Donald Trump in 2020.

They want things in this pristine wilderness to stay just the way they’ve always been.

Brett Surplus, Real Estate Agent: “Another beautiful day on the lake in Idaho.”

Brett Surplus was born in Idaho; he can trace his family four generations back here.

Brett Surplus, Real Estate Agent: “Just being able to actually come out and enjoy God’s beauty you know I mean it was created for us to enjoy.”

He’s annoyed when he has to share the lake with others while fishing.

Brett Surplus, Real Estate Agent: “Yeah not even 8:00 and they’re out there trying to ski in the morning it’s just ridiculous. Well those people I think can stay in their own state.”

But Surplus is torn by his resentment for the new arrivals, because he’s a real estate broker: they’re a major source of his income.

Brett Surplus, Real Estate Agent: “Love the flag by the way; good flag.”

But he reconciles his values with his work by being very selective in his choice of clientele: White, Christian and very much on the right of the political spectrum.

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Hidden away in this forest is a property he sold to two such customers, who in general prefer living in natural surroundings.

Brett Surplus has become friends with the biomedical engineer Andrew and interior designer Nicole. The married couple paid €300,000 for the remote two hectare plot of land.

Andrew: “And uh we plan on building our house right here, yeah. So this will be our house . . . uh what’s the square footage?

Do you want to just explain? We’re both Christians and I feel like being over in Idaho, that’s definitely more more of a priority in Idaho than it is in Washington — I feel like Washington state is definitely becoming more, more and more Progressive.

And that just doesn’t align with our core family values.”

Both the pandemic and the election of democrat Joe Biden to the White House pushed them to move here.

Brett Surplus, Real Estate Agent: “You’re they’re political refugees that’s what people are; we as people, we’re free people. So this is land of the free. That’s that’s what this place is.

Andrew: “We could literally raise your kids how you want to, free to do what you want on your property to within obviously reasonable extent.

We felt that that gave us our best chance to raise our kids the way we wanted to not the way the state wanted to.”

Brett Surplus says he sold similar properties to 10 families for similar reasons in just one year.

The real estate broker is part of a broader movement determined to make the Northwest an ultra conservative colony, a colony of land owners, new residents and its own soldiers.

Biker Michael Birdsong AKA Viper is among the movement’s supporters. The 66-year-old lives off the radar together with his 23-year-old girlfriend bear in a trailer in a car junkyard.

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Conservative. Alexandra and her family have moved from New York City to Los Angeles, California. Everyone wants to move to California. True or false?

Far-Right. Why do many people like to live in Idaho?

Leftist, Far-Left. What was a major watershed in US history?

Big Government. Is the United States a united, homogeneous nation in terms of politics, ideals, values, religion, orientation and race?

Small Government. How would you describe Boise, Idaho in terms of demographics and way of life?

Taxes. Are the locals of Idaho welcoming and open, hostile and xenophobic of outsiders, both, neither or it depends?

Welfare, Public Assistance. Do all Idahoans love pop concerts and cosmopolitan city life? Do they like multiculturalism and diversity? What is most important for them?
Entitlements, Benefits. My friends and I would like to live in Idaho or other parts of the Rocky Mountains. Yes or no?

First Amendment. Are there parts of your country that has natural beauty? Do people love living there?

Second Amendment. There are deep social, ethnic and political divisions in my nation.

Militia. What might happen in the future?

Patriot, Nationalist. What could or should people and governments do?

Globalist, Diversity, Multiculturalism. Where would you like to live? What kind of lifestyle would you like?

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