"Both the Skeptics and the Founders predicted that democracy's demise would most likely come not from runaway debt, dangerous as that would be, but from an erosion of the character traits (they always said "virtues') that give rise to liberty in the first place. The founding generation worried from the outset that what Lincoln later termed the "mystic chords of memory" would fade away, that a free people would come to forget what freedom requires, or what life without it would be like."

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels

Anyone who knows me very well knows I'm a fan of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. Typically, I hate catch phrases, but in my ever so humble opinion, Daniels is the definition when people talk about someone having "it." The man is a true leader and he absolutely has a handle on the problems the Republic faces today.

I've written a time or three about the governor's book, Keeping the Republic. Actually went out and bought a few copies, one of which ended up being read by John Hammer.

For those who don't know him, Hammer is a mountain of a man. Deep lines on his face and calluses on his huge hands describe a life of hard work. Five minutes into any conversation and it's clear the work was hard, but honest.

So when he called about the book, it wasn't a total surprise.

"Timmons, I'm not sure whether to thank or curse you for letting me read that book," he growled with a voice you could find in a dictionary under the definition rough.

"How's that, John?"

"Well, he didn't tell me a whole lot I didn't already know, but I'm just not too sure I agree with him that we're going to pull out of this."

"I don't know John, I-"

"Take this fiscal cliff the politicians are talking about in Washington. It all started out like they were going to work together and they were going to set aside differences for the good of the country and get things fixed and yada, yada, yada. Now, both sides are back to finger pointing and saying how the other side has it all wrong. We're just right back to business as usual in Washington."

"It does seem like they-"

"And here's the thing, Timmons. If they mess around and don't get this thing solved and it turns out as bad as they're all saying, then some folks are going to get hurt. Lost jobs. Companies cutting back. Layoffs. All because these (bleeps) in Washington want to play games."

"John, you are-"

"Daniels says in his book that the answer is us. We've got to stand up for freedom. We've got to do what's right. Daniels says that it's not the debt that will get us but us giving up the things we believe in."

"Yes, John that's-"

"What I don't get, Timmons, is what are we supposed to do now? When Washington basically says they don't care about us out here in Crawfordsville, Indiana because they're going to play some finger-pointing nonsense . . . well, what are we supposed to do?"

"I don't-"

"I'll tell you what we need to do, Timmons. We need to tell all them that's been elected, whether it's right here in town or in Indianapolis or in D.C., that if they don't start acting like grown-ups, if they don't start taking better care of the trust we've given them, then their time in office is limited. If enough of us take that stand, we can make a difference. We've got to get back to relying on our neighbors more than our government. If our neighbor needs a hand, we've got to give it. If we need a hand, we've got to put it out. And other than that, we've got to take care of ourselves. If we do that, we can hold all the politicians accountable."

I didn't say anything.

"Thanks, Timmons. It was good talking to you."

"Same here, John."

Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears most Wednesdays in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at ttimmons@thepaper24-7.com.