It’s an uphill battle trying to remain upbeat and positive when your country is being decimated by a group of amoral thugs who seem to have limitless power and money to do whatever they want, especially when no one seems to be able or willing to stop them. It’s even harder to be positive when you are going to be personally affected by their cruel policies, which have the potential to destroy your life or the lives of your loved ones.
Yes, the situation is bad. It would be dangerous and foolish to deny that. But as the old cliche goes, there is always a silver lining to every dark cloud, and in the midst of all the evil, there are reasons to feel hopeful that good will triumph and we may emerge from this stronger than we have ever been.
Here are 12 reasons why it’s okay to feel hopeful.
1. Robert Mueller knows what he is doing and who he is dealing with. In spite of GOP efforts to stop or discredit him, Mueller knows ways to throw a monkey wrench into their efforts, and is tenaciously pursuing justice for us all. Even if the unthinkable should happen and Trump is able to somehow stop Mueller, I can tell you right now that people aren’t going to just lie down and accept it. I guarantee half of the country will be storming Washington, jamming the phone lines, and showing up in huge numbers to protest against it. Besides that, firing Mueller now would leave no doubt of his guilt. It would be a huge problem for Trump, as it was for Nixon. I realize it’s not 1974 and government is alot more broken than it was then, but I have to believe that it will still work as it’s supposed to, even if it’s not doing it well.
2. There are a lot more people who oppose Trump and his administration than there are supporters. And that number is increasing.
3. Trump’s base is eroding, albeit slowly. Pew just reported that Trump’s approval rating just sunk to 32%. That’s the lowest it’s ever been. Hitler’s approval rating was always much higher, even at the height of his power.
4. George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn, and most likely others too, have flipped and are giving Mueller vital inside information that will hasten justice and eventually end this nightmare.
5. Despite GOP efforts to undermine the free press and honest investigative journalism, it’s stronger than ever. Readership of newspapers that stay as close to truthful reporting as they can like The New York Times and Washington Post have seen record numbers of subscriptions this year and are still rising. At the same time, Fox News, once the most popular cable news channel, has sunk to third place, behind MSNBC and CNN. Rachel Maddow’s show is the most popular news show on television. As long as the free press remains relatively intact, we will not descend into full fascism or totalitarianism.
6. There is strength in numbers. There are a lot more of us than there are of them. Together, we can do a lot of damage. Snowflakes, while fragile and weak on their own, are formidable when they coalesce to form a blizzard.
7. The Republican Party is self-destructing. While the Democratic Party may not be in good shape either, people are leaving the GOP in droves, even people who have voted Republican all their lives. Among progressives, while there is bickering between Never-Hillary democratic socialists and establishment Democrats, the divisions within various factions of the GOP are much deeper and less likely to mend themselves.
8. People are more motivated to vote than they have been in decades (conservatives have always voted, so those numbers will not increase). Don’t forget the recent blue sweep across many states last month, even a red state like Virginia. Democrat Doug Jones may very well win Alabama, even though that state is deep red and extremely conservative. He and Moore have been polling very close. If a state like Alabama can turn blue, that’s a very good sign for us all.
9. The country is rediscovering its soul and realizing what we have lost under four decades of increasingly right-wing policies. Trump is both the end result of this and the shadow we have refused to face or denied. Now we are compelled to face the truth and make necessary changes. Most of America is finally starting to care about issues that have been increasingly discredited or demonized by Republicans and ignored or dismissed by Democrats. We are waking up to what’s really important. In a sense, Trump is actually doing the country a huge service, as long as we do our part and don’t give up and keep resisting.
10. TIME just gave its Person of the Year award to the women of #MeToo. Sexual abuse is being exposed and addressed at all levels in a way it never has been before.
11. History is being made. If you’re familiar with generational/turning theory, every 80 years or so, the country enters into a Crisis period (the last three were the American Revolution, The Civil War, and The Great Depression/WWII.) in which America reinvents itself. America has always come out of these crisis periods stronger and better than it was before. I have to believe this time is no exception. This won’t last forever.
12. Related to #10, the Millennial Generation (people born 1982 – 2004) is the most politically progressive generation in modern history. They can’t be stopped, because there are so many more of them than Gen-X and even Baby Boomers, who are starting to die off. Most Millennials are politically aware and aren’t allergic to the “s” word. They realize, like Franklin Delano Roosevelt did, that capitalism works best when seasoned with a good helping of European-style democratic socialism, as it was from the late 1930s to the early 1970s when we had policies that actually benefited We the People and not just the corporations and the wealthy. Millennials realize that trickle-up economics (recognizing that jobs are created and the economy thrives when the “little people” are living better), works better than trickle down economics, which has never worked for most Americans. This is the generation that is beginning to have its effects felt in government and politics and is only going to keep increasing.