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Reason for Hope: “The populist uprising is real”!

Although I am an optimistic person, I often struggle to keep hope alive when I think about the future of our country and the world.

Having set myself the goal of blogging every week day, I found myself struggling this morning to say something positive. Seeing a “Carson for President” bumper sticker on a van at the Sussex County Y didn’t help.

bob reichThen I read Robert Reich’s blog post  about talking to people in Red State America about his new book Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few. It blew me away. If you are feeling down about polarization, like I was this morning, you have to read this:

I’ve just returned from three weeks in “red” America. It was ostensibly a book tour but I wanted to talk with conservative Republicans and Tea Partiers.

I intended to put into practice what I tell my students – that the best way to learn is to talk with people who disagree you. I wanted to learn from red America, and hoped they’d also learn a bit from me (and perhaps also buy my book).

But something odd happened. It turned out that many of the conservative Republicans and Tea Partiers I met agreed with much of what I had to say, and I agreed with them.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea that we already have everything we need, if only we could see it. I was focusing on the negative, but indeed there is reason to be hopeful: “The populist upsurge is real” (Reich).

We the People are not as polarized as the media and the political parties want us to think we are. Huge swaths of common ground already exist. We just need to see it.

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