The Best of All Possible Worlds
America is the land of positive thinking, from Mary Baker Eddy to Donald Trump.
Anyone who has listened to one of Donald Trump’s speeches during the last seven years will be familiar with how he talks about the future. After enumerating the current failures of the liberal program—the southern border, the shamefully managed Afghanistan withdrawal, the cost of a tank of gas—Trump will insist that the forces for good will inevitably prevail. He gives the impression of being incapable of imagining a future in which the open border apologists, woke generals, economic imbeciles, and corrupt Department of Justice officials are not defeated by the MAGA movement.
Although Trump’s words have been described as “strikingly grim” (New York Times), “dystopian” (Vanity Fair), and “apocalyptic” (Washington Post), the former president’s critics seem attuned only to his dire diagnoses and not his bullish long-term forecasts. In fact, Trump displays an unusually optimistic, even Panglossian worldview. What is the source of Trump’s peculiar brand of pie-in-the-sky-ism? Simply put, Trump is the latest and loudest exponent of the grand American philosophy of positive thinking.