Hello Rabbi Lapin and Susan,
I am generally an optimistic person, and the Jewish faith we share teaches us to be optimistic, even in difficult times. However, I am finding it increasingly difficult to feel optimistic about our country’s future, given the vitriolic, hateful language and actions employed on a daily basis against President Trump and conservative values in general.
This, combined with the lightning speed with which the PC forces are seeming to “have their way,” forcing us into either silence or acquiescence with things we are against morally and ethically, has given me the blues.
Do you see hopeful signs, and if so, where? Thank you.
Your friend and student,
We think you are speaking for many when you say that there are times that you find it hard to be optimistic about the future of the United States. As you also say, Judaism fundamentally teaches optimism, but it is not a “sit back and do nothing” optimism. The Torah demands action aimed at propelling things in the right direction.
If we may say, your own story, which you tell so eloquently (and humorously) in you wonderful book, The Skeptic and the Rabbi, is a large part of our answer. Could you ever have imagined writing the letter you just wrote us back when you were a devotedly liberal woman? People and their ideas are capable of change.
Much of the reason you were liberal was because of a caring nature and because of your belief in core values, among them independent thinking, intellectual exploration and compassion. Back then you thought that those values belonged to the Left. Today, however, it is clear that genuine liberalism is scorned by leaders of the Democrat Party, colleges and media.