The Death of Optimism

I have bolstered my circle of family, friends and co-workers in the fight to maintain a positive outlook for American politics.  I’m not sure that I can keep it up.  The best news about the COVID-19 pandemic is how obvious the need to change various supports, social economic and political, has become.  Those movements, Medicare of All, a living wage, student debt forgiveness, a universal income and others are becoming part of the general conversation.

The problem is that they are not part of the conversations among the wealthy, the elites, the wealthy elites, the power hungry or the egoists.  And Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.  Money, propaganda and elitism have won again.

The United States is controlled by “Trump.”  I can’t bear to append all the necessary adjectives here, but the President made a statement and then claimed not to have made it less than five minutes later in the same press conference.  When there’s no truth, nobody lies.  If nobody lies, how do you value anything?

As we each fall to exhaustion and fatalism, as we each accept the unchangability of our current reality and foreseable future; how do we maintain even the faint hope for change?  My situation is better than many others, but still not ideal. Do I simply narrow my scope to “now” and my personal tribe?  How do I then remain optimistic?

I’ve always valued fairness, equal opportunity, justice and equal treatment under the law.  I know that none of that is guaranteed even now, but I thought we were consciously working toward them.  I though all of those were values we shared.  Instead, I see a cult of personality and greed, a dehumanizing of all who are different from us in even the smallest of ways, and a pattern of scapegoating and tribalism.  How do I turn that a positive outlook?  How do any of us?