Archive for Monday, October 19, 2015

Incurable optimist’ has high hopes for future

October 19, 2015

There is little doubt that this opinion puts me at odds with many people – the ones who are ringing their hands when it comes to the future of the United States. Contrary to many TV analysts, radio talk shows and some writers, I believe that our best days as a nation are in the future.

I have often thought that this periodic battle with negativity is brought on by the election cycle. Every time we have an election of any kind – local, state or national – negativity sets in. I believe the reason is that it is very simple for candidates who don’t think they can win with positive campaigning to turn to emphasizing the worst. They have to fill the airwaves with what they may perceive is wrong in the United States not what has always been and still remains good.

Of course, it is worse now because the election cycle seems to never end. Two days after an election, candidates start popping up for the next vote. They won’t be optimistic since it is a popular belief that voters want to hear what’s bad. For the most part, modern political campaigning is based on name calling and character assassination. In many cases, these attacks are based on facts that are either inaccurate, exaggerated or made up.

We have far too many media outlets who spew nothing but negativity. It would be nice to hear some accurate and positive comments being broadcast.

First, I believe that this is the best time to be alive and live in the best country in the world. In general, we have prosperity. There are many agencies working to help those less fortunate. Many times this assistance comes from private charities who have hard working volunteers who scramble to raise funds to meet needs. It is sad that there are those in government who can’t or won’t believe there are Americans who only want a helping hand to get back on their feet.

I have said this many times before, but I firmly believe that if we really studied history we’d have a more positive outlook. Our nation has always faced challenges, and we always have solved them. Take, for example, the 1850s when many Americans believed that the end of slavery would doom our nation. After a brutal Civil War, emancipation became the law of the land and we survived. Oh, yes, we didn’t do a very good job with race relations then, and we are still working to solve the problem. I believe the younger generation will make huge strides in the area of race relations and end the problem in the next few decades.

At the turn of the 20th century, the United States had an immigration crises. There were many naysayers who believe the influx of European immigrants would ruin the nation. That didn’t happen, and the United States became a stronger nation because of the newcomers.

It is laughable that there was a time when many felt the United States would flounder if women were given the right to vote. We struggled through a “noble experiment” of prohibition. Yes, we face international challenges but that’s nothing new. ISIS and its ilk will go the way of the Nazis.

Really the culprit may be change. We seem to struggle with changing social norms that seem radical, only to see them become the norm in a few years. Change tends to cause folks to become apprehensive and fearful.

Yes, I am an incurable optimist. I believe in tomorrow because we can defeat challenges. Looking back over my 78 years, I see dozens of improvements in life, and I believe there are more to come. I’m proud to be an optimistic American!


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