Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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February 01, 2006
"a hopeful nation"

I learned last night, at least eight or nine times over, that the U.S.A. is a "hopeful" nation/society.

I wanted to learn more about the country's defining characteristic. So I went to the old masters and did some quick research on it.

I am still sorting through the results:

Things which you do not hope happen more frequently than things which you do hope.
Plautus (c. 254–184 B.C.)

The miserable have no other medicine,
But only hope.
Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act iii. Sc. 1

There is abundance of hope, but none for us.
Franz Kafka, quoted by George Steiner

True hope is swift, and flies with swallow’s wings;
Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings.
Shakespeare, King Richard III, Act v. Sc. 2

      who lin’d himself with hope,
Eating the air on promise of supply,
Flattering himself with project of a power
Much smaller than the smallest of his thoughts;
And so, with great imagination
Proper to madmen, led his powers to death,
And winking leap’d into destruction.
Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part II. Act i. Sc. 2

Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away.
Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865

Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world?
Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861.

Hope is not a plan.
General Peter Pace, among others

[update 3/28/06:

But hope is not a policy.

Madeleine Albright]