The Monday Morning Teaser

Remember the trade war with Mexico? Never mind; that’s over now. Until Trump decides it’s on again.

So what else happened this week? The announcement of a Straight Pride Parade for later this summer in Boston stoked a lot of outrage, which was probably the whole point. Mission accomplished, trolling accomplishment unlocked.

Joe Biden gave in to pressure and reversed his position on the Hyde Amendment that prevents federal funds from paying for abortions. Biden in general had a bad week and the polls are getting closer, as they were bound to eventually. Trump went to Europe and came back with only the usual amount of embarrassment for the United States, so I guess I’m relieved. He didn’t expose himself to the Queen or anything, so we should all be happy with his behavior.

The weekly summary will talk about all that stuff and a bunch more, including closing with a song from the newly anointed Tony-winning musical Hadestown. I expect that to be out between noon and 1 EDT. (I’m back home in the Eastern Time Zone. Once again I can look at clocks without mentally adjusting for what the time is “really”.)

But before then, probably before 9 EDT, I’ll put out the featured post, “We need hope, not optimism”. I keep running into people who want me to tell them how this is all going to come out: impeachment, 2020, climate change, and so on. Are we all doomed? Do we fix it? What happens? In other words, they are looking for somebody who can decide the optimist vs. pessimist argument that’s going on in their heads.

The point of the post isn’t just I can’t do that job, but that it’s the wrong discussion to be having. What we need now isn’t optimism, it’s hope. That’s a subtle but important distinction I picked up during my writing and speaking about religion, where hope is a central topic. We seldom talk about the difference in the secular world, but we should: A person worried about optimism studies the polls and listens to panels of pundits speculate about what’s going to happen. A hopeful person goes out and does stuff to try to make the future, not predict it.

Don’t worry about optimism; the future will come soon enough and then we’ll all see. Try to be hopeful.

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