I endorse your call for empathy. However, the suggested story of hope is less hateful but nearly as misleading as Trump’s story of fear.

I can’t think of a case in human history where a country peacefully achieved constructive reform by scrapping the status quo and inviting “outsiders” to build a new system from scratch. Everyone who tried anything like that experienced catastrophic failures: Cromwell, the French Revolution, the tyrannies of Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot, Russia’s post-Soviet “shock therapy,” etc.

Here is a truer and even more hopeful story:

Our system badly needs repair, but is not irretrievably broken. All of our ancestors and most of the rest of the world would gladly trade their situations for ours if they could. Our current crisis is less dire than those Americans faced in 1789, 1861, 1912, 1933, 1941, or 2008. We can conquer today’s the same way we overcame those past crises: through incremental reforms delivered via sensible compromises between elite insiders and new blood (erstwhile outsiders) committed to genuine public service.

History, politics, education, music, culture. Award-winning high school teacher, former principal. College instructor. Seahawks Diehard. Twitter: @brian_mrbmkz

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