Friday, December 30, 2016

Ambiguity of America - Obama and Trump

British historian Paul Johnson wrote "A History of the American People", and one of his first observations was that there are two strands that run through American history consistently - idealism and opportunism.  We have no better example of that than our current president, Obama the idealist, and our president elect, Trump the opportunist.

Somehow, America has managed to find a very powerful path forward between these two boundaries and still be a beacon of freedom and opportunity, as well as a beacon of justice and equality, to the world.

Right now I am very disturbed by the opportunistic nature of Trump, but I understand that my conservative friends probably were equally disturbed by what they saw as the "naivete and "weakness" of the idealistic Obama.  

The new year of 2017 awaits to reveal to us Trump's impact.  I choose hope over pessimism, and fully expect America to be a force for good in the world, not so much because of Trump or his administration (most of whom appall me) but because of what and who Americans are - overall we are forces of good.

And, I am willing to be pleasantly surprised by the actual policies and decisions of Trump and his administration. I have a bias toward hope in the future, and I am not letting a government rob me of that.