Advancing age offers unusual perspectives. The frenzied countdown to “default on the full faith and credit of the United States” reminded me of two events of long ago.
I remember October 20, 1962 as President Kennedy informed the American public of missiles in Cuba. We college students spent the next few days not knowing whether we would be alive the next day.
Then I remembered Three Mile Island in 1979 – our first brush with a nuclear accident. Again the whole nation sat glued to the television not knowing whether we would lose the entire Northeast.
It is remarkable, to say the least, that the American people are glued to cable news and the internet worrying that our economy, as we know it, might end with the default of the U.S. government on its debt.
Although many political commentators decry the evil Tea Party, “disgusting” Washington politics, and congressional stalemate, I am heartened that we had, perhaps for a brief period of time, the attention of the American people, who might actually tell Washington that the days of “business as usual” are over. Maybe the time is ripe for a serious national dialog leading up to the 2012 elections.