Today is an anniversary of sorts; it has been 30 days since I posted Conserving Ink’s first blog. I got less than 20 hits on my first day, but I had nearly 700 in my first week. It was cathartic having an audience for all these thoughts that had been bouncing around in my head. It’s been a learning experience, trying to find ways to drive traffic, looking for analytic tools, making sense of AdSense.
And after 30 days I’ve noticed something interesting, I’ve change a little. I’ve developed a strange ailment I call grim optimism.
With all the political happenings of the last two years it is easy to succumb to pessimism and depression. Our country has experienced a horrific and sustained attack from within by people we should have been able to trust. These same people are publicly accusing those of us who cry foul of being the threat to our own country, being terrorists in the making. Now we are looking at the end of Free Speech on the Internet, the end of sharing food from our own gardens and the usurpation of the very foundations of our capitalist system by the government that has been entrusted with its protection.
We were happy when we couldn’t see all the cracks in the foundations of our Republic. We merrily went about our lives complaining half heartedly about the economy and politics much the same way we complain about the weather. We didn’t care for what we got, but didn’t think we could change it.
Then the mortgage crisis hit followed by the election of Barack Obama. The economy careened out of control while Progressives attacked our Constitution. The government scooped up private sector businesses, one after another, and the media applauded every step.
Slowly we realized the true magnitude of the situation. The politicians, who had pretended to be moderate capitalists, dropped their masks and revealed the socialists underneath. They lied, bribed and threatened to pass laws that were in direct opposition to the will of the American people. With every new law or regulation our rights disappeared one by one. With every new bill our nation was plunged into mind bending debt.
But there is a power that comes with a true knowledge of your situation. To have no illusions removes the uncertainty. Even when the obstacle seems insurmountable, to truly know the adversity you face brings a resolve.
This is where many of us are now. The panic is over, the defeatism is gone. We know our task and even though it is far greater than we imagined and those who would stop us have more power than we thought, we clearly see the goal and we believe it is possible.
It’s going to be messy. We’re not professional politicians. The last election showed us that. Some of the Tea Party candidates were less than polished, but they had the right ideas and the right goals. Some of them won anyway, awkward virtue beating slick and shiny vice. Some of them lost, but learned valuable lessons. We all learned, the next election cycle will be the fruit of that knowledge as our next wave of candidates move through the maze of campaigning with more confidence.
But there is a hope that wasn’t there before. We know who we are now. We know what we face. And even though it’s going to be messy, painful and ask us to put our lives on hold as we fight for our children’s future, we know we can do this. This is not a Pollyanna optimism, it’s a resolved optimism that understands the true sacrifices needed. I called it a grim optimism, but it feels good and it gives me strength. It’s the kind of optimism that quits the whining and rolls up its sleeves and gets to the hard work of rebuilding the greatest nation that ever was.