What Gives You Hope?

When I launched America, America a little over three months ago, I intended to focus on a combination of alarm and hope in these posts. It’s no surprise that recent months have led me to give more attention to the alarming realities that have put our democracy and justice system at risk. That won’t change, not as long as we are facing a population of elected officials and their supporters continuing to perpetuate the Big Lie of election fraud, seeking new ways to deny voting rights and refusing to confront the deadly January 6 insurrection.

But what sustains me is the belief in a better America and the underlying ideals and values that give light and fuel to this promise. I have the good fortune to work at a university, where I’m not just surrounded by smart people, but also by motivated and collaborative students and teachers who are driven by the challenge to create better futures—and who see the necessity of it. Despite the dark pressure from the worst among us, I still believe in the capacity of humans to work together in common purpose to achieve great things.

Many of you shared examples in last week’s discussion thread of people and organizations that you admire. That told me that you also carry hope about our potential to redirect the nation’s trajectory and to take action that can help fulfill this desire. So let’s expand on this today: What Gives You Hope? Maybe it’s an idea. Maybe it’s a person. (Maybe it’s a spirited child or a resilient elderly person.) Maybe it’s an organization. Maybe it’s an experience or personal relationship that inspires your belief that we can get beyond the darkest days and pursue progress.

I’m excited to hear what you’re thinking—and for the chance for us to learn from each other.


Will you consider becoming a paid subscriber so we can expand this work? As noted in my last post, I will be sending paid subscribers both the written posts and audio versions read aloud by me.

Photo by Jack Hill/Pool/AFP via Getty Images.