Two years ago I was in a tizzy about the political battles that risked our financial system. Now I am blasé. The government shutdown is a great mistake, an injustice to the needy and a body-blow to our feeble economy. It was alas inevitable. One group is intent on demonstrating its faith in a strong set of beliefs. Zealots don’t stop until they’re broken.
The shutdown will end when it hurts political donors. I am unconvinced that it will solve anything. Zealots don’t stop. The Roman politician Cato the Elder signed every document ‘Carthage must be destroyed.’ Stay on message for decades, you can get your way.
Things can change fast. The Soviet Union dissolved peacefully in three years. Why couldn’t America dissolve?
And as peacefully as the Soviets did, resentments and mistrust notwithstanding. Share certain operations – roads, ports, armies and navies. The like-minded regions need not be contiguous. If during nuclear tension we could run West Berlin, we can master rights-of-way between red or blue zones.
This is brainstorming like for a fictional setting, not reasoned analysis with data. But sometimes the novelists get one right too.