I type this as my young sons negotiate over who gets Boba Fett for the big battle this evening. At stake is the survival of their respective rebel and imperial bases, which they have been building for months, under threat of mutual annihilation during a tantrum. The result will be a messy bedroom covered in Lego pieces and crying kids late into a school night.

This has me thinking about what's happening in our nation's capitol. While it's easy to blame Congress, its purpose is to represent us. The founding fathers built this and other key branches of government around mutual trust, cooperation and compromise.

If Congress is willing to put our nation at risk because of mistrust, animosity and stubborn ideology, then it is a reflection of us as a people. Empires have fallen this way. Why should we be any different?

If Congress cannot agree on how to do the nation's business, then maybe it is time to cede federal power back to the states, a rollback to the early years of our nation. We would then have a choice of living with other people that share our values and ideas, and go back to identifying ourselves as Virginians first and Americans after.

If our home state did not reflect us, there would be 49 others to choose from. We could even consider dissolving into individual nation-states or groups of states bound by common values.

Oh good, my oldest has offered his Anakin as a compromise. It ends in a quiet night with no screaming and wasted hours picking up the pieces. Mutual trust, cooperation and compromise have prevailed once again with the promise of a happier day tomorrow.

Travis Deane
Burbank