Is There … Hope?

Yes, there is always hope. Hope is not a binary, yes/no condition. Hope is not absolute.

When we ask whether or not there is hope, what we’re really asking is “how much hope is there?”

When it comes to our new president-elect, many people seem to be reacting in binary fashion – all or nothing, joy or despair, parties or riots.

It’s not that clear. Not at all.

Even I have seen some glimmers of, dare I say it – hope – in recent days.

First, he’s appointed his vice-president-elect as head of the transition team. This is a very rational decision. Being a political outsider means that the president-elect has no real idea how “the system” works, while his vice-president-elect almost certainly does. This bodes well for a less chaotic transition.

Second, there are indications that he’s softened his stance – or at least the public depiction of his stance – on several issues. Rather than getting rid of the ACA, now there’s talk of simply modifying it. Rather than immediate calls for a criminal investigation into his former advesary, there’s… well, there’s very little. And he’s seemed to have had at least respectful interactions and meetings with the man he is to replace – something else that was in no way a given after seeing how the campaign played out.

Finally, there’s a rumor that he’s fundamentally unhappy that he’s won. The bluster and energy appears to have deflated. Granted, pre- and post-election times call for different behaviour, but the rumor is that this is something different. The pre-existing rumor is that he never wanted to actually be president. He wanted to win, of course, but then…. what? The hope is that he’ll hand off many of the traditional roles of president to those more qualified, much like a manager or corporate president would delegate to staff.

While political agendas are most certainly at play, the items above are to a large degree independent of accomplishing those agendas, and seem more about the mechanics of having won and moving forward.

Given that the seem like rational approaches to the situation at hand, the actually give me a glimmer of hope.

Time will tell.