By Bernie Quigley
For The Hill on 2/26/12
Russia without Putin, England without Elizabeth, America without Kennedy and Bush. We are people of personalities and archetypes and when they go, the age goes. As it did with Jefferson, with Victoria, with Roosevelt. Wisconsin is right to plan for its own future with schemes of coining its own cash as Ron Paul suggests. Vermont and Texas and Scotland ready to go alone as well. Kansas seems about to roll and Alaska never quite fit. Arnold Schwarzenegger had some good ideas for California and saw it as a great, rising city state. Sadly, no one else did. Maybe there really is no California. Maybe it is all just an idea. Then they all go home to New York and New England. Because that is the big problem in America and the world: Mistaking ideas for places. Places – Texas, Quebec, Russia, Scotland – remain. Ideas – U.S.S.R., Britannia and the U.S.A. they are saying now – are made of air. And that Rick Santorum wants to be president is sure sign of the end times.
His is a classic of recently arrived ethnic people like the Santorums and Quigleys; here but not quite here yet. It is the classic American ethnic tale told in “The Sopranos” and the masterly “Miller’s Crossing”: “Up is down. Black is white.” We crossed the water with JFK. Now they go back across the river. I have four kids. Had I listened to Santorum I’d have 28, one for each year of marriage. That practical people listen to him represents a shattering of conservatism and potentially a shattering of America. They really don’t.
But when Elizabeth and Phillip go as invariably they will, and Kennedy and Bush and the current batch of pop stars, I see an auspicious Age of Catherine rising just ahead. An age in which the Anglosphere has found its natural edges for the first time which it may not breach. It is here already and it is an auspicious beginning for England, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. And the suggestion that Canada team up with Russia at the North Pole, suggested by scholar Michael Byers in the most creative of foreign policy journals, “Global Brief,” is also interesting: The world allied for the first time in line with the North Star which may have been God's purpose from the first. It would be a cold, new Jerusalem. Everything changes. It is the law of all things.
And there seems to be a natural bond in the cold places through hockey; places even as far away from Boston as Vancouver. Natural relationships seem to run across and above the 44th parallel. It is cold up here and you have to live by the head to survive each winter. Things come more easily below and there you are free to live in the heart. A better life no doubt, but not ours.
And football is the defining mandala which since post-war has shifted the axis of America to places like Wisconsin and Texas and Indianapolis. America is finding its true center in the middle. It is a step forward in time from the baseball era; the Civil War era when it was all about New York and Boston. No more. Pretty much ended when they shut down Toots Shur’s.
England falls, Israel rises. No heaven, no country, no religion too. Only football keeps us together. And warfare. Our world today is a donut. In the middle we play football. Around the edges they play soccer. But that will change as well as everything changes.