Optimism When All Else Fails

Abraham Lincoln once said, “I am an optimist because I don’t see the point in being anything else.” Winston Churchill agreed, “I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.” This past week, I attended the American Political History Conference, and I had the privilege of appearing on the final panel with some truly astounding scholars. The theme of the closing plenary was The Past, The Promise, and the Future of American Democracy. As a bunch of journalists and scholars, we naturally talked about the crumbling, slow, and sometimes sudden death of democracy.

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