The Audacity of Residual Hope

Dec 17, 2016
By: Jerry A. Goodson
In: Politics

As we are just a little over a month away from Donald Trump's inauguration, First Lady Michelle Obama stirred quite the proverbial pot when, during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, stated, "See... now, we're feeling what 'not having hope' feels like."  

The political right exploded in outrage!  

It took almost no time for right wing political commentators to dig up her infamous quote from 2008 after Barack Obama became the DNC nominee:  "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country..."  

Metaphorically speaking, she strapped on a suicide bomber vest and handed the political right the detonator.

For many people in this country, and we're talking about millions, Mrs. Obama's words ring true.  

Mrs. Obama gave right wing commentators a lot of power and opportunity when she spoke those words.  A popular analogy I have observed circulating social media is the "Red Pill? Blue Pill?" theme from The Matrix.  The application here was this:  Take the blue pill, and the story ends.  We use Mrs. Obama's words as fuel to existing political and ideological divide that is today's United States of America.  Take the red pill, and seize the opportunity to connect with over half of the population who feel disenfranchised... and maybe work towards narrowing the gap between the left and the right.  

Taking the Blue Pill

The likes of Judge Jeanine Pirro (@JudgeJeanine), Rush Limbaugh (@rushlimbaugh), and the anonymous collective known as BMARTIN1776 (@BMartin1776) of SavingTheRepublic.Com ferociously lashed out in response to Mrs. Obama's remarks.  With about seven weeks left before Donald Trump is inaugurated as President of the United States, such inflammatory commentary was not only unnecessary, but counter-productive, as well.  

During Judge Jeanine's rant, she used one of Mrs. Obama's past cliche's against here:  "What happened to 'when they go low, we go high'?"

Judge Jeanine took Mrs. Obama's comments in the most literal sense and her hamartia was her failure to realize Mrs. Obama was connecting with the millions of Americans who are disenfranchised with Trump winning the presidential election.  No, Judge Jeanine.  Mrs. Obama doesn't feel hopeless for her, she feels hopeless for her people.  

We need to learn from Hillary's mistake that cost her the election, not repeat it.  She didn't insult Trump, her opponent, by calling him a "basket of deplorables."  She insulted his voters... millions of people... a large percentage of the voting population.  That was her hamartia.  

Taking the Red Pill

A little over half of the U.S. voters elected Barack Obama... twice.  Depending on who you ask, Obama is either the best president ever, or the worst president ever.  There's not a lot of "middle-of-the-road" opinions on him.  President George W. Bush came in behind President Obama only because of the terrorist attacks during his first term.  Now, enter Donald Trump, and we will probably see the same polarization during his administration.

Barack Obama published his second book, "The Audacity of Hope," before he ran for president.  He outlined his ideals and philosophies towards leading people to progressive change in this country, and many of his ideals were good.  With that, along with his charismatic campaign, he inspired the hope from a multitude of people.  As he gets ready to leave office, the multitudes that followed him are suffering great despair in the incoming administration.

But it doesn't have to be that way.  

I am happy for the millions of black people and other minority groups who felt an exhilarating sense of pride in 2008 when Barack Obama was elected as the first black President of the United States of America.  I am not discounting the racial disparity that still exists in this country, but I believe the electing of a black man as president serves as a testament of the progress that has been made towards the eradication of institutionalized racism.  

In Eduardo Bonilla-Silva's sixth point he posted on facebook the day after Trump won the presidential election, he states:
(See:  Racism is not a Psychological Condition or Mental Disorder)

There is a huge political space for a progressive populist movement. We can expand our appeal and develop a large, new coalition; a Rainbow Coalition 2.0! The Dems and the Reps are bought and paid by Wall Street. Time to dump elephants and donkeys and choose our new animal. Time to work for real with the 99%!

We don't have to wait for the progressive left to fill that void in the huge political space for a progressive populist movement.  Let's find a way to connect with the disenfranchised.  Let's become better than we are.

Sustained Hope

I pray for the realization that hope is not lost, and for the realization that hope doesn't come and go with a man.  

The Triumph of Faith

Romans 5:1-5
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have a peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  3 Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.

It says it right there in black and white.  Hope isn't created by President Obama any more than it it's destroyed by President-elect Trump.  Hope comes from our faith, which perseveres through our suffering.  We develop character while remaining faithful in our suffering.  We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  

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