At the local level, many new Democratic office-holders such as Hidalgo will likely adopt very much the national party agenda, with its emphasis on dense urbanization, climate change and racial “equity.” She has already announced that she will campaign against “sprawl,” which literally defines Houston, greater spending on trains, which have done very poorly in the area, and an agenda focused primarily on transfers to the poor. Add to that the Democratic Party’s climate-change mantra, including provisions to eliminate fossil fuels by 2030 and forbidding energy executives from serving in the White House, and you have a scenario that could devastate an economy still built largely on oil and gas.

The rest of America should care if Texas abandons its model. Without it, we will increasingly resemble European countries—like France—where all power and wealth is concentrated in the largest, densest and most established cities, while everyone else is on the outside looking in. And the country will have lost its premier safety valve for young people and families priced out of the coasts.