Why I’m Optimistic about America

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Tomorrow’s election will bring gloomy punditry about America. Whatever the results, some will deem Donald Trump the winner.

I just returned from visits to Oslo and the Venice Biennale International, a contemporary art exhibition. The art was great – but the repeated questions about America were not. In Norway and Italy, I was often asked, ”What’s wrong with America?”

Trump and “mass shootings” topped concerns among those I met. President Biden was a distant third. The backdrop: Will America and a Republican House be a reliable NATO ally if Putin raises the stakes?

Concerns from Europe mirror concerns here. At the far left, an MSNBC writer claimed, “The results of next month’s voting will determine if there are any more real elections in the future.” (The far right is no better, with claims that Paul Pelosi and his attacker were gay lovers.)

Presidential historian Michael Beschloss raised the rhetoric still again. He wondered if in 2072 an historian will say that November 8 was about whether there will be a democracy and “whether our children will be arrested and conceivably killed.”

Like headlines will be amplified Tuesday night if either side wins big; if it is the Republicans, Trump will be front and center.