I was optimistic when President Trump won the election in 2016.

I was hopeful that, as a nontraditional politician, he could accomplish things that conventional presidents never could.

That was a mistake. There is nothing I’ve posted here in six years of blogging that I regret more than that post. It was naive and mostly wrong.

I’m optimistic today. We have elected a traditional politician at a moment when we badly need government to function properly. This has nothing to do with ideology and everything to do with competence.

I’m looking forward to not being outraged every day.

It will take a while, but I think things will get better.

Good luck to all of us, to President Biden, and to Vice President Harris. We’ll need it.

(This space will return to usual programming tomorrow, but I could not see doing a normal post today. It’s not my day. It’s Joe Biden’s, Kamala Harris’s, and America’s.)

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  1. The courage of admitting being (mostly) wrong – thank you Josh. May the transition be peaceful, may the healing of a nation begin.

  2. Optimism is nearly always naïve and turn out wrong as often as not. Yet, without it, nothing can ever improve. You were right to give Trump a chance when he was elected, and there’s no reason to regret having been hopeful, even if he didn’t live up to those hopes. I’m also glad to hear you’re doing the same for our new president and haven’t given up on optimism.

  3. Josh your original post was a moment in time. I am so glad it still stands. I agree it was over-optimistic, but no-one in 2016 could have possibly imagined where we got to by Jan 20, 2021. I applaud you for having the courage and clarity to make that post then, and this post now. Thanks.

  4. Temper is probably the best word of the day. As Trump was not as bad or good as some (two different types of somes, mostly) predicted, Biden is unlikely to be as bad or as good. We will survive as we did 45-some times before. America has been on its upward trajectory for all of my life; it and we are demonstratively better now than four or ten or thirty or fifty or hundred or any number of years ago. Optimism is in our soul and serves as the source of life.

    I wish the new administration the best, I am optimistic cut with an equal dose of temper. The future is so bright, I’ve gotta wear shades.

  5. We had every reason to want him to succeed and to man up to the task of POTUS. He was not in any way capable of performing the job. The onus is on Trump and the Trump administration for their performance, not on the public for hoping he could pull it off.

  6. Rational and well informed voters know little more about 45 today than they did during his 2016 campaign. I couldn’t support his candidacy then and believed 46 on election eve when he said he would make a best effort to heal the divisions that confront us. It is in that spirit, that we, non-supporters of 45, should acknowledge that 45, while fatally flawed and dangerous, (intentionally or accidentally) achieved some worthwhile objectives during his term.

    Gains in mid-East unity, a more reasoned NAFTA contract, lowest recorded unemployment rate for persons of color, pre-pandemic wealth and wage gains for middle class Americans and calling out China for industrial and intellectual property abuses are worthy of note. 45’s legacy might have been better were it not for his persistent and reckless character flaws. Joe Biden is today America’s best hope for fairness, reconciliation and progress.