Carly Fiorina: A “True West” conservative at CPAC 2014

A curtain could lift in the Crimean situation. Momentous changes could come to us in a dark epiphany. We may suddenly realize that we, the Americans, are not "the world" after all, that Irish punk bands are not the very best guides to American foreign policy, that holding up little candles in Lafayette Park will not stop Russian tanks in Crimea or Russian icebreakers hovering above Canada. We may suddenly recognize that the election of teenagers to the presidency — liberal or libertarian — is not the best approach.

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Russia's invasion of Crimea and the CIA's invasion of Congress have the same motive: They do it because they know they can. Who's going to stop them? Vice President Biden? Secretary of State John Kerry? Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power? Who stopped the illegal invasion of Iraq? Who stopped them when in plain sight they passed the National Defense Authorization Act? Who stopped ObamaCare? But this time, says Fareed Zakaria, it is different. This time the president must lead.

But it will require a turning; a fundamentally new approach, more human than political. It will require of a supermajority of Americans the acceptance of adulthood as the primary driving principle and engine of personal life, public life and all of history.

We may have seen traces of a new beginning at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in a voice almost overlooked: That of CPAC's co-chair this year, Carly Fiorina.

Introducing her at CPAC, Mercedes Vianna Schlapp, co-founder of Cove Strategies, said "She bravely took on liberal Barbara Boxer in California ... Wouldn't it be interesting if she took on another liberal woman in 2016?"

It would indeed.

Conservative Political Action Conference 2014 has introduced what might be called Texas Gov. Rick Perry's (R) "True West" approach to conservatism. His talk brought down the house and my essay here at The Hill on his speech has been widely redistributed. Not long ago, Perry founded Americans for Economic Freedom. "Washington is Broken," they say. And "the answer to our nation’s woes are not going to be found in Washington, D.C. They are to be found in the states that are thriving because of conservative leadership like Arizona, Texas and Florida."

Fiorina, CEO of Hewlett-Packard from 1999 to 2005 and Fortune's Most Powerful Woman in Business for six consecutive years, gave a strong talk at CPAC and has recently signed on as an advisory board member to Americans for Economic Freedom. And this is important because California is a Western state, too, and without California there is no "West." And because that thing born wild in the Alaskan forest and brought forth in passion with former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) and the Tea Party may be following the basic anthropology of people in groups and hitting a positive new plateau, finding organizational strength, balance and mature management today in Perry, Fiorina and friends.

Possibly she ran for senator in California too soon in 2010. For conservatives it was a time of first passions and passions need to run their course. Maybe Palin had to come first in a rite of entry to a rising era — a new age of conservative thinking - ahead, one which could run the century.

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 quigley1985@gmail.com.