Summary: In Liberal America these days, one encounters a good deal of hopelessness about the future of our country. Why the hopelessness? The difficult circumstances certainly play a part. But they are not answer enough. Hopelessness is also a sign of disconnection from the realm of the spirit. In that realm, there is no sense of "impossible." And this disconnection from the spirit is also at the root of Liberal America's weakness. This points to a cure for our hopelessness that also can strengthen us to fight and win this battle, however challenging it may be.
In response to my piece, "Liberal America, You Don't See What We're Up Against," where it appeared on Huffington Post, one reader posted a comment suggesting that perhaps a reason people don't see it is that seeing it only compounds feelings of despair and hopelessness. He quoted from a new book by Bob Herbert, reporting that in his travels across America he'd discerned "a sense of powerlessness and resignation among ordinary people that I hadn't been used to seeing."
I thought it an excellent comment, and I followed up by raising the question, why is it that people feel this hopelessness. That our situation is quite difficult is part of it, of course, but it is not a sufficient explanation. In those heroic times discussed in "Not Our Finest Hour," there were dark times in which those American heroes might have given into despair, but did not.
So the question arises: why on some occasions do those facing great adversity give in to despair, while in others they maintain their resilience and a sense of possibility?
The following, published in the newspapers of my conservative area in Virginia offers what I believe is an important piece of an another.
Dispirited Liberal America
Some of my liberal friends say they have lost all hope for American democracy, and a great many others act as if they had.
They see that Big Money is wresting power from the people and, with the help of the Supreme Court, making it ever harder for the people to retrieve what has been taken from them.