The idea of America as 50 yeoman states, crucibles of democracy striving and competing with one another, the Jeffersonian model which Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) very often advocates and I have strongly supported here, is an idea long gone with the wind, starting in 1913 and the passage of the 17th Amendment when karma, cash and culture alike defaulted to New York and Washington. We have become instead a country which identifies with ad hoc or pseudo "neotribes," ignoring states altogether; a concept which hasn't found a real name yet: identifications with abstraction or ethnic theme instead of place and earth, region and tradition — black, gay, feminist, Irish-American, youth, Nuyorican, Jewish America, hippie, neocon, rural, etc. A reality-based policy might follow this make-believe American culture in evolution and grant Senate seats accordingly to neotribes as percentages rise to each, and forget the states altogether. That, or the fledgling Article Five constitutional convention proposed, should move to repeal the unconstitutional 17th Amendment.
In comparison, Mother Country appears to be doing better with the 53 states of the Commonwealth: Indians are still Indians and proud to be, Singaporeans are Singaporean, Jamaicans Jamaican and Australians undoubtedly Australian. That on which Jefferson risked all hopes appears to have better formed over time with Mother.
I'm looking forward to the Scots' vote to leave England, or not, which brings their situation to resolution in days just ahead. Not that I have any particular love for the Scots, but I'm crazy about Canada and if the law of unintended consequences sets in, as I guess it will, England will readily leave Scotland behind and quickly find a better friend, a younger friend, a friend just awakening to the world and a friend in the center of the world and the Commonwealth.
Key to the unfolding events ahead default back to the Stone of Scone, taken from Scotland to Westminster Abbey by King Edward I in 1296, making him "Lord Paramount" of Scotland.
Then in 1996, the Brits unceremoniously gave it back to Scotland.
There had to be the suggestion then that England no longer cared. The Stone of Scone thing was anachronistic. She had new friends, better and more contemporary friends, like Canada, Australia and even India. And what was the purpose of both World Wars if not to get the U.S. and England back together?
If Scotland votes this month to leave the U.K., it could change the U.K.'s relationship to the European Union, a make-believe vision of friendship already fraying. As Mark Gilbert comments in Bloomberg View on Sept. 2: "Scotland's referendum on whether to split from the U.K. is a bit more than two weeks away, and the opinion polls suggest the British government may have sleepwalked into a deep political fissure. A schism on Sept. 18 might be the best way for Scotland to stay in the European Union, and make it more likely that the rest of the U.K. disembarks."
Scotland's defection puts England in play. And this is important: England knows how to play. And if and when the rest of the U.K. disembarks from the EU, she will turn again to her real friends, better friends, especially Australia, India, New Zealand, Canada and certainly the United States. For what hides in plain sight here is the Anglosphere, a civilization formed and still forming naturally over time, in war and peace, in sickness and in health, and fated to go forth together as the Book of Common Prayer suggests, in strength and of good courage, holding fast to that which is good and rejoicing in the power of its spirit.
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.