I feel...hopeful.

I noticed something odd just recently. It took me some self-reflection to realize what it was, and more to understand why I felt that way. I’m wondering if anyone else shares my feeling.

I’m feeling hopeful.

The feeling crystallized for me when President Obama hit the campaign trail on behalf of Democrats for the mid-terms. I listened to his first speech and I caught myself thinking things like, “we are all in this together”, “we can fix this”, “we fight against bullies”, “we call out Nazis”. It sounded so commonsense and yes, even inclusive. We might dislike the actions of the opposition, but it’s possible for us all to do better together, working with the opposition. We are all Americans.

I felt several things listening to be honest. A few were petty, like, “so this is what a president who can finish a thought sounds like.” A little mild regret that Obama is gone, and not coming back. A whole lot of “it’s about time a grown up started talking!”

And then…I started feeling hopeful.

There had been a few promising signs before that moment. The polls are trending well. Enough evidence of impropriety and criminal activity is before the public that I think the wheels are coming off of the Trump train. Now though, now I feel like Democrats have a voice that isn’t about how bad things are, but about how good all of us are together. A voice about what we need to do, instead of what is screwed up. A positive voice of hope, instead of the constant clash of hatred and fear.

I like this. I like this a lot.

I feel pessimistic but I’m hopeful that my pessimism will turn out to be unfounded. Okay, I’m actually not hopeful about that because my pessimism makes me pessimistic about the possibility that my pessimism is unfounded, but I hope that I’m wrong.

I saw a bit on the tv about donald trump and they interviewed some “people on the street”. When they mentioned the criminal activity, the response of at least one person (I wasn’t paying close attention) went “meh, they all do that”. I found it quite surprising that anyone would just accept it as normal.

As the resident Pollyanna, I feel hopeful most of the time. But it makes me feel better to know some one else is feeling it too. So happy.

In my opinion, the people who elected him, are themselves convinced they’ll get screwed over by trade deals and lying, corrupt politicians no matter who gets elected. That’s why he can’t lose their support. Who cares? We’re gonna get screwed regardless! At least he’s mightily pissing off the left, the gays, the immigrants, every one they already blame for their ills!

They’re grooving on watching the other half get screwed over too! The greater the outrage, children in cages, free press, Russian collusion, the better!

Yes, but the step from “my candidate didn’t do that” to “everyone does that” is an important one. At some point enough decent people see the light.

Didn’t you just move from Oregon to California?

Madam, what you are feeling is Vitamin D coursing through your veins.

Cali-forn-i-ay, where the rain doesn’t rain, it just drizzles champagne…

My hopefulness/hopelessness changes on an hourly basis. I sometimes think that of course we are going to get through this and Trump will be gone and we can get back to normal, but later I feel that the country is truly divided, the right has the power and left is so disorganized they can’t shoot straight, and that depresses me. I think about fleeing to Canada (the border is only 100 miles away) but I don’t think I should have to leave my own country because it’s been hijacked by crazies. I listen to Obama and Bernie and it uplifts me, and then Trump claims victory for the failed relief effort Puerto Rico, which makes me believe he is crazy and I remember he has his button on the nuclear arsenal, and the cycle continues…

Didn’t Trump, in part, fund his ICE adventures by taking $200bn from the FEMA budget?

This. Combined with whoever I talked too last. Just how dim a bulb that average voter is today dashes what hope I muster pretty quickly.

Divide that by 20,000 and you’ll get closer.

Aw, cheer up everybody. They were saying the Republican party was dead after Romney’s loss in 2012. 4 years later Trump was president and republicans controlled everything.

I seem to veer from hopefulness to hopelessness frequently these days. Sometimes I think that the Trump presidency represents a sort of last gasp of far-right extremism in the US. On bad days, I fear that the Trump forces, when taken together with the Putin presidency, the ultra-nationalist and fascist parties in Europe, etc. might turn out to be harbingers of a new and very dark age for the world.

Fooled you! (I leave this week. ;))

I feel… skeptical. I have a lot of fear the alarm was sounded too loud and too early. Granted, it was all done for a good reason, but still-- when an alarm won’t turn off, no matter what they do, people quickly learn to just ignore it.

I feel hopeful about most things in life and am a resolute optimist overall (because if it’s a choice, which life would you rather live, the one full of constant worry and doubt?), but politics in this country is definitely the exception.

Even if Trump and his entire administration went away tomorrow (which isn’t an option even if there were magical D landslides everywhere in November), I don’t think any optimism is warranted, because the actual problems the US faces aren’t on the table to be solved.

When you go to vote for any national-level politician at the Senate / President / Congress level, your choices are literally:

Candidate 1. Somebody who is a millionaire and needs to raise tens of thousand of dollars every week, and whose policies are going to favor big corporations and the 1% while hurting the middle class, and is pro huge military, pro spying on all US citizens, pro perpetual copyright laws, and pro “tough on crime”


Candidate 2. Somebody who is a millionaire and and needs to raise tens of thousand of dollars every week, and whose policies are going to favor big corporations and the 1% while hurting the middle class, and is pro huge military, pro spying on all US citizens, pro perpetual copyright laws, and pro “tough on crime”
So all actually serious public policy problems we have in this country such as soaring productivity coupled with stagnant wages over the last 40 years, job insecurity, a disaster of a healthcare system, nondischargable student loans, stratospheric college costs, shitty k-12 education systems, housing becoming more and more unaffordable, wealth inequality, literally unbelievable “defense” expenditures every year, us being a literal police state and imprisoning more than anyone else…none of these are on the table for real change.

Instead, our “choice” boils down to some window-dressing along the lines of:

Candidate 1 (D) - I believe gay people are okay, and gun control can be considered, and immigration should be expanded. Also, abortions should be a woman’s choice.

Candidate 2 ® - Guns are the foundation of our society and we will fight to the bitter death any and all attempts to control them, gay people and abortions are NOT okay, and we need to tighten up our borders.

Just because lately Candidate 2 has added “we hate brown people and muslims and are fueled by the tears of libtards and will bring back a bunch of manufacturing jobs to factories that no longer exist!” doesn’t actually change much, besides making that choice a particularly reprehensible one and making Candidate 1 seem better by comparison.

With Trump and his administration in particular, there’s significantly higher risks of financial crashes, nuclear brinkmanship tipping over into something really bad, and election-nullifying hacking, so I will totally agree that anything we can do to moderate or get rid of this administration is a very urgent and important thing.

But the thing is, even if we go back to a world with sane candidates on both sides, at the macro level even Candidate 1 (D) sucks!

None of the SERIOUS broad societal problems we have as a nation are on the table to be solved, because both candidates are and will always be millionaires in the pockets of corporations and the 1%. And that’s not going to change, barring revolution or unrealistically huge systemic changes to campaign finance, first-past-the-post, and the electoral college.

The only saving grace for the optimists among us are that the federal government has relatively less impact on you than your state and local government, so even though it’s all irredeemably fucked at that level, you can still get along with your own life with relatively slow changes or impacts trickling down from that level.

I am not optimistic, but no longer despairing. I think we have irrevocably lost something valuable, and I think our cultural tolerance for horrific bigotry has expanded. I also think that the GOP has damaged themselves quite badly and that this damage will continue to reverberate for years even if we don’t immediately see it in voting patterns.

You’ve encapsulated my feelings exactly. I will vote of course but I cannot follow the political news of the day without tumbling into absolute despair.

I will peek at a few threads on this website and that is about it.

I really do hope we see a change in direction at least.

I do not feel hopeful in the slightest. The worst thing they have done is to the supreme court and that will last quite a while. Roe is dead, no reason to doubt that. But suppose they outlaw the union shop. Suppose they decide that congress has no power over wages and hours. Suppose they say the whole idea of the government mixing in health care is unconstitutional. What about social security? The FDA? Those ideologues are out of control. I am very pessimistic.