It was an early Friday morning in Wichita Falls and I drove the two hours to the southeast and boarded a plane at Dallas-Ft. Worth airport for Mordor on the Potomac AKA Washington DC. It was just a short visit as I boarded a Metroliner to travel to Balitmore to attend a cultural conference over the weekend.
It is indeed a different world and when one flies into Washington, one can see the numerous buildings adjutting both sides of the Potomac many which contain offices that benefit from the generous largess provided by the taxpayers and public debt. Defense contractors, homeland security technology firms and major medical companies are headquartered here for our “benefit.” As I left Union Station on the train, I see numerous construction projects going on as the seat of our government grows richer every day. In fact, three of the five richest counties in America are located in the DC area (Fairfax, Arlington and Loudoun). It is interesting that the three aforementioned counties in Northern Virginia voted heavily for Democratic candidates in the recent election in the Old Dominion many of which were very progressive candidates.
The conference that I attended had many interesting speakers who were professors at universities, columnists at major magazines and men who were authors of several books. Of course, being a librarian, I was able to have a few good conversations with these folks. I told them that they could donate a few books to my library and that they would get read. They were very pleased.
Most of the speakers spoke about the fracturing of our country and that forces in academia and the media were silencing those that had dissenting opinions. It seems that there is now a major disconnect between the Ruling Class on the Eastern Seaboard and in Hollywood and the despised people in “flyover country.” The elites judge people in the hinterlands to be “uneducated,” “backward” and in need of enlightenment. It sounds almost puritanical. Indeed, the British libertarian, Sean Gabb writes on this very theme in his article of a few days ago. In it, he states:
The restored Puritan ascendency in Britain and America has nothing to do with the religious disputes of the Reformation. Harriet Harman (British politician) believes in gay marriage. Oliver Cromwell was a chain smoker. They have nothing in common but a particular disposition. Bring them face-to-face, and each would itch to persecute the other. They are Puritans not because of their form, but because of their possibly innate substance. The latter is unchanging across the generations. The former depends on circumstances.
He further states:
What each cycle has in common is the obsessive search for error, and its painting as sin, and the competitive display of those who think themselves most without sin.
In the scrum of Union Station of Washington, it seemed that everybody was well-dressed, engaging in conversation and keen to eat at the fancy restaurants there and showing an air of wealth and superiority. I wonder what goes on inside their hearts. Perhaps they are the new missionaries, ready to take the gospel of progressiveness and prosperity to the heathen in Wichita Falls, Amarillo, Lawton and Altus. Perhaps they are just in it for the money. Whatever the truth, one thing for sure. Our nation’s capital is a soulless place.