Optimism in America? 2

[I’m just going tp pit this post up and let the air clear again. I was working on other things and didn’t get today’s done. But Jessica reminds us of some eternal verities here. America was built on optimism, and we’d be remiss if we see only the gloom these days. So enjoy. Neo]
America optimism

One thing which has always struck me about America, and it is one of the reasons that FDR and President Reagan stand so pre-eminent, is that it is built on optimism. When you think of the situation of the Founding Fathers, goodness, what a leap of faith! They literally laid their lives on the line in a fight for independence against the great British Empire with its huge military might; but they triumphed. Their Republic consisted of twelve States on the eastern edge of a great, and largely unexplored Continent, with French and Spanish territory to the south and south-west; Louisiana essentially barred the route westward; Spanish Mexico barred the route to the south. Yet, within fifty years of the founding of the Republic, these barriers had vanished.

West of the Missouri, however, despite Lewis and Clark’s famous expedition, was more or less terra incognita, and even within the United States, tension was growing between the slave-holding States and the Free, so much so that by the 1860s, the Republic was tearing itself apart in one of the bloodiest of civil wars. Until the end of World War II there was hardly a decade when Bruce Springsteen’s lines about having ‘no work, because of the economy’ were not true; forty-odd years of exceptional prosperity in a material sense may have inculcated the belief that somehow the Republic’s people would always live on easy street – but that, whilst being part of the American hope, was never necessarily something most people actually achieved; you only have to look at the history of the Irish and Italian immigrants to see how it was for many first generation ‘Americans’; and of the suffering of the slaves, well, that is indeed a scar on the conscience.

But, despite of these things, America got on with it. Shady politicians? Crooked businessmen and bankers with their hold over the politicians? Politicians who were in it for themselves? Pork-barrelling? Faction fighting? Bitter insults hurled by political opponents at each other?  These are not new, these are American history; and you know what? America is bigger than them all. Sure, there are worrying developments – that FDR and his attempts to use SCOTUS to put in place that socialistic ‘New Deal’, with that Communist Wallace and Harry Hopkins, that really worries me! What’s that, that happened in the 1930s? Oh well, I mean Obama and Pelosi – except they don’t have an ounce of the talent and drive of FDR and his ‘Brains Trust’. The Great Republic remains standing. Does that mean that the fears of FDR’s opponents were wrong? Or does it mean that their vigilance stopped the worst happening? Or does it mean that the realities of America proved too great even for FDR’s ambitions? I confess I don’t know.

But what I do know is that at his first election Obama spotted something important – he knew that the American people are optimists, ‘can do’ people; after all, how many of their ancestors would have been there had they not been so?  So when he ran on a rhetoric of ‘hope’ he struck an authentic chord in the American people. It was one his opponents did not catch and still show insufficient sign of catching. It is all very well to call Obama out for being pretty useless, and to prophesy that the skies will darken and the waters rise and doom will fall upon the land; but is it a political programme to put before a People founded on the optimistic dreams of a bunch of guys who, if they’d calculated, would have paid the tax on tea and gotten on with feathering their nests?

I am an outsider who loves America. But I can’t help thinking that unless President Obama’s opponents get away from negativity (after all, if people feel, as they do, negative about him, they don’t need to be told to feel it) and offer a vision of the America its people recognise as optimistic, then for all her many faults, it will be Hillary in ’16. At which point, even my capacity to be Sunny will vanish 🙂


About JessicaHof
Anglican Christian, evangelist, survivor, grateful

18 Responses to Optimism in America? 2

  1. Yes, Optimism went with the charge of modernity and postmodernity, especially from the late 20th and into the 21st century! I too love it here in America (more freedom here than the UK, so far at least), though many Americans appear to be coming not just secular, but more godless? I do hope God just might send a late and real evangelical renewal, but its not looking good? And I have noted here a kind of new indifference, and even a hatred with some for Modern Israel! Lord have mercy surely!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. the unit says:

    Without getting political (heh, heh). Any of y’all’s opinion differing from mine of “Optimism” is fine with me. But I smile and am optimistic that Rep. Peter T. King (Republican) said he’d jump off that bridge if Cruz was the nominee of the party. I not promoting anyone, other than Mickey Mouse over any Democrat.
    But as for jumping off bridge…I sing a song…
    ♫Mama said Peter Thomas King jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.
    ♫Daddy said Peter Thomas never had a lick of sense; pass the biscuits, please. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cruz sure got out of the gate first didn’t he, now if he could get some of the Coke brother money, eh! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        We’ll be optimistic that they’ll share the wealth and the best candidate will have a chance to win. Yep 🙂


      • My little brother is here, and he said he might dive off the bridge if a Southern Baptist won the White House? lol

        Liked by 2 people

        • My younger brother is a John MacArthur Baptist! I guess that’s an independent?


        • the unit says:

          🙂 I gonna have to look that up. I didn’t know John the Baptist’s middle name.


        • the unit says:

          I not making fun of the good rule NEO. But Fr. and I may have detoured from the thread a bit.
          I cinch it up and try best to adhere. Optimism…belt cinched up tight now, don’t ban, please. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • Yes around these parts John MacArthur is pretty popular! Of course about 55 miles from here? MacArthur has his Church Building and College…. Grace! A friend of mine has had two of his children who graduated from Grace College. But there are also satellite churches of his doctrine, right near me. I met and had lunch with MacArthur, with another friend of mine, who is one of his close friends. Both older than I! (A few years back now) He was friendly but indeed a very serious pastor and student of Scripture! He is 75, born in 1939, and has ten years on me. He is also the fifth cousin of U.S. General Douglas MacArthur! Quite a driven man actually! I like him, though I don’t always agree with some places of his theology.


        • Btw, yes I have a MacArthur Study Bible myself, a Black, Genuine Leather, (NASB). I would recommend it highly, though again not agreeing with every note of course! Of course he is my younger brothers Pastor! He drives up there at least once a month, he is a bit closer. I have been there only a few times, including the day I went with my friend for lunch. He is a profound speaker for the most part! He is hell to pay with the charismatics that’s for sure!


        • Sorry to stray a bit, but John MacArthur is an Independent Baptist for sure! And we were sort of talking about Southern Baptists. And can I ask who likes Cruz? I know I do! But do ya think that he is electable? Fair question I think.


        • the unit says:

          Optimistic… that I am. Electable? Maybe Mickey Mouse will run this time. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • Well I guess Cruz is a negative from both of you, Unit, and NEO? Myself, course I don’t really matter being a Brit, but I kinda like old Cruz, he sure can speak impromptu! I know my brother likes him, who is now an American and will vote!


        • the unit says:

          Optimism though.
          Fr. Robert, not negative, just what difference, at this point, does it make?
          And now a precedent has been set. Eligibility? Period. Electability? Period. O said words have meanings. And transparent means what? Huh?
          I have basic definition of “natural born.” Dad was born in 1909 in Kilmichael, Ms; no hospital there, thus natural born. Not much room for semantics on that. 🙂


        • For me sadly, my optimism is only tempered by those I know and trust! But, I would trust the military effectiveness of both my RMC’s and the USMC! Again sadly today ya cannot even trust your airline pilot! What a world we live in this day!


      • NEO says:

        Not sure he needs it, i hear he raised $1 million the fist day.


        • NEO says:

          As long as we stay in small arms range, I’m good with it. Yesterday, we needed an ICBM to find the topic. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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