Picnic time for the Tea Party (Perry/Petraeus 2016)

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America doesn’t make them like Elliot Richardson, “the archetype of the cultivated New England Brahmin” (from his New York Times obituary), anymore. We, the Boston Irish street urchins, have taken over. When they lifted the rock on the IRS, it revealed a third-world federal infrastructure run by amateurish political hacks. Benghazi was worse, a state department run by celebrity politicians taking inspiration from a pop, globalist literati like Bono, Lady Gaga, Bob Geldof and The Boomtown Rats. 

America needs now to gather her strength. Possibly the Tea Party can help.

I proposed here that Tea Party needs a Congress, a gathering. Consider an “experimental Congress,” say, in Louisville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn., or Reno, Nev., made up of state legislators and governors.

This would be the creative cauldron where the new ideas would hatch and grow. But the libertarianism of the Pauls, overnight state sovereignty, devolution from federal law to states and regions, abolishing the Fed, abolishing the IRS, shifting to the gold standard and Austrian economics, unlinking foreign policy from outmoded treaties are vital formative ideas, but they will not rise to fruition in Washington and they will not happen overnight. They need new forms and they need new leadership.

It may take a hundred years to wean America off its central government dependencies and shift from a New York-based Hamiltonian view to a rural heartland Jeffersonian view. And Niels Bohr’s dictum that “one can be a particle or a wave but cannot be a particle and a wave at the same time” works the same in politics: One cannot get big and get small at the same time. And the same agency that gets big, cannot get small. (It is why America cannot make a good small car.)

There must be two groups running parallel to one another sympathetic to the other's different needs: the president looking outward and a governors' council nurturing the interior life, as the Senate is supposed to do and once did before the passage of the 17th Amendment.

The presidential race in 2016 will address the base of America’s rising future: the American heartland. The century rises anew now in 2016, 2020, and as I’ve been writing for a decade, America will be born again in the West where culture and economy awakens (or it will languish and die on the vine in the East). Demographics and economic shifts demand it.

A Perry/Petraeus ticket in 2016 could emphasize these two different and often opposite needs: Petraeus, the necessity of the federal government to look out to external life and emphasize the role of commander in chief; and Perry, the obligation and responsibility of the state governors and legislators to form and fulfill the internal life of states and regions rising together competitively and fraternally in freedom and prosperity.