What relevance does Washington have once America is all grown up? What role could it possibly play in, for instance, booming and independent-minded Madison, Wis., that doesn't amount to interference? What can it do for them today that they cannot do for themselves?
I bring it up as northern New England, where I live, appears to have grown fully dependent on Washington, starting even before 1865, and has looked to Washington for almost everything since. And has slipped decades back into a benign American arrested development. Today we are an abstraction; a platform where outsiders will come to promote an idea as Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown does today.
These past weeks, Israel has established its dominion possibly for the first time since A.D. 70 by destroying holes in the ground built by terrorists to kill them. Israel is no longer a Washington abstraction. It no longer asks Washington or anyone else for permission to be. It is now a Jewish place. Hamas fights for abstractions, as do Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Secretary of State John Kerry. Jews today fight for earth; filling holes of terror which go back to the Oslo Accords and to the "co-presidency" of Hillary and Bill Clinton in their fleeting moment of global arrogance which has cost the death of thousands.
Texas has established its dominion in an oddly similar case, establishing its line on its southern border where other tunnels have been dug. Likewise, to Washington, Texas is an abstraction. To Texans, even President George W. Bush, it is as much a real place as Virginia's earth was to Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson, but to Washington it is just another pseudo-state or economic zone in an "Alternative World" or "nonstate world" like those described in the United States National Intelligence Council which advises the CIA on the next 30 years of globalization.
It is for earth and a sense of place that Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) acts today on his border where Washington has failed, rather than for abstraction or ideology. Netanyahu today establishes dominion in Israel. Perry today establishes dominion in Texas. On a purely symbolic level, it is perhaps the singularly most important act of moral responsibility a Texas governor has taken since the Alamo.
It is an act of evolution of a mature region. Others will follow, here, there and everywhere. And it could send Perry to the presidency in 2016.
Or "conservatarian" Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R). These actions will shake the world in our time. Washington will seek a solution in mobilization for global war; the Russians are coming. Or the Chinese. It has worked before.
But possibly not this time. America, or parts of it like Wisconsin, and places mostly west of the Mississippi like California, Texas, and the Pacific Northwest, is new again. Washington is too old, too far away and too dangerously nostalgic for the old ways to possibly understand their rising action and passion.
Quigley is a prize-winning writer who has worked more than 35 years as a book and magazine editor, political commentator and reviewer. For 20 years he has been an amateur farmer, raising Tunis sheep and organic vegetables. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and four children. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.