As a young boy, I was filled with hope for American republican democracy. I traveled to foreign countries and saw the gentleness of our people compared with the weight of king-like corruption and the contrast between citizens who littered shamelessly and those who swept the streets their friends and family walked on. Even the air smelled different.
All this was indicative, at least to my 6 year old self, that there was something special about our country and our system of government. Reasonable men with reasonable requests were able to literally make their neighborhoods a better place. Discussions were had intensely, but at the end of it all we were all on the same team. America and her interests were affixed permanently to our intent.
Somewhere along the way, though, we forgot about the roots of our republic. It seems like it became about greed and utility maximization, instead of principle. And, there was nobody left to contain the tyranny of the tyrants or of the citizenry. Our democracy was defenseless from our ugliest urges.
This debt crisis reveals the aforementioned ugly side. How have we forgotten what we are fighting for. For a long time, I think, people prioritized family, duty, God and community before themselves. Now, it seems the opposite and it's tearing away the strength we have from hanging together.
I don't pray about many things, but I'll probably pray that our leaders lay aside malice and guile to figure this out. Not only because a Federal default could have immediate and devastating consequences, but also because it would cast a modicum of doubt on the reputation of freedom and self-governance. It would question that our way of life is the right way of life. Policy wise, the debt crisis is probably much less consequential than other matters throughout history and future debates on gravely important issues.
But this issue is a small but poignant verdict on the stability of our republican democracy, which is affective of our governments foundation even if it is not consequential. In my opinion, because the solution is clear - the deals are just about the mix of policy solutions - this is not only a "debt crisis" but a "democracy crisis", of sorts (naturally this is sensationalized...that's what the situation has been called, though).
If a deal doesn't get done, patriots will weep. And I will be one of them. And as we clear our eyes, we'll see the path ahead from the light of the sun rising over our country's eastern shore. And those that wept will pick up the pieces anyhow.