Jul
08
2020

Courage to Hope

Image credit: “Hope” by Jan Tik on Flickr via Creative Commons.

By Katie Kieffer

“A light from the shadows shall spring,” J. R. R. Tolkien wrote in The Fellowship of the Ring. Hope is a dominant theme in Tolkien’s famous fantasy. Despair threatens to grip each of us in these turbulent times. Thankfully, there are many reasons to avert despair—and run into the arms of Hope:

  1. Experts say—and data shows—the economy is recovering
  2. The Silent Majority can—and will—defeat Joe Biden
  3. With concrete action steps, you will be part of America’s revival

Before expounding on these reasons for optimism, it’s important to know that if you’re feeling down—you’re not alone. Social isolation is proven to exacerbate despair, and most of us have experienced heightened levels of isolation since March.

50 percent more Americans report feeling symptoms of depression than prior to COVID-19, according to the latest CDC data. Depression, in its darkest forms, leads to death. Americans who died in the highest numbers due to COVID-19, or social isolation, were the elderly. 

Blue states like Minnesota and New York knowingly sent COVID-19 patients to nursing homes instead of properly-equipped hospitals with ICUs. Predictably, the contagion spread like wildfire through the facilities. In Minnesota, 81 percent of COVID-19 patients died in assisted living facilities or nursing homes. 

Many older Americans died alone—without family, friend or pastor at their bedside. Adult children who prematurely lost aging parents are dealing with the wrenching pain of knowing that many COVID-19 elderly deaths could have easily been avoided. 

“I am confident that Mom would have made it to 100 [years] had it not been for the lockdown,” Minnesotan Garry Fadden told the Star Tribune about his mother, Stella Fadden, a vigorous and outgoing 99-year-old who died in a facility. “My mom was a social person, and not having visitors was really hard on her.” 

Mercifully, on July 3, the CDC revealed that the U.S. death rate for COVID-19 has dropped for 10 sequential weeks.

We all need a healthy release from desolation. Here are reasons to maintain hope. Share this message of optimism with your likeminded friends—because it’s very important to maintain hope—and never succumb to the shadows.

Roaring Economic Recovery

Morgan Stanley strategists announced in late June that investors will go from “doubting to believing” in a V-shaped economic recovery over the next six months. 

“Both the Dow and S&P 500 were on pace for their best quarterly performance since 1998, surging more than 16% each,” reported CNBC on June 29. 

By July 6, the S&P 500 had five consecutive days of gains; the Nasdaq Composite rose to a record close of 10,433; and the Nasdaq hit a new intraday high. 

Government data also revealed 4.8 million new jobs for June—along with a “crisis low” drop in unemployment. (Economists had predicted only 2.9 million jobs.) Retail sales are up 17.7 percent, according to the latest figures – a strong indicator of consumer confidence.

SunTrust Advisory chief market strategist Keith Lerner predicts that a year from today we will see a repeat of the S&P 500’s performance and a bull market. Lerner puts the U.S. on an overall upward trajectory, even though the U.S. economy may experience “fits and starts” as businesses reopen. 

Biden Doomed as Economy Roars 

“When the S&P 500 has risen in the three months before an election, the incumbent party generally has gone on to win the White House,” according the Charles Schwab’s Michael Townsend. This trend has “an 87% success rate” since 1928, Townsend adds.

Fortunately, Biden’s political doom is a boon for America’s economic freedom—particularly among the poor and middle class. President Trump has a strong track record of revitalizing our economy. A “five year” view of both the Dow and S&P 500 reveals how substantially the markets have recovered since President Obama left the White House in January of 2017.

“You’re going to get a rocket ship coming in the fall. I think the S&P is going to trade out above 4,000,” veteran strategist Jeff Saut told CNBC on July 6. 

President Obama had eight years in office, yet did everything he could to destroy the U.S. economy. (His Vice President was Joe Biden.) Never forget: 

  • During Obama’s first five years in office, poverty rose nearly 31 percent to the highest level on record with the Census Bureau: 49.7 million. Under President Trump, poverty fell to 38.1 million.
  • In Trump’s first three years in office, he eliminated eight and a half regulations for every new rule—cutting some $50 billion in regulatory costs and achieving $220 billion in savings potential. 
  • Racial tensions and economic disparity rose under our first black president. As Obama left office, TIME reported: “For the first time, there are more poor African-American children than white children.”
  • Despite inheriting Obama’s lackluster economy, Trump grew real GDP at a 2.5 percent annual rateduring his first three years. Even with eight years in office, Obama had the worst average annual real GDP growth of any post-war president: 1.5 percent. In the first quarter of 2020, COVID-19 caused real GDP to contract 4.8 percent—yet economists still predict that Trump will fully recover the economy.

The Trump Administration has taken real steps to invigorate our economy—and the results are showing. He’s taken on China; pulled away from WHO; encouraged Federal agencies to hire on the basis of skill rather than degree; eliminated our dependency on Russia for shuttles to the International Space Station for the first time in a decade; and launched the Space Force – a first step at beating China at space warfare

Heed not the negative naysayers. Keep hope in Trump.

Silent Majority Lives—and Votes

12 million people—across the three major cable networks—watched Trump’s campaign-launch rally in Tulsa, Okla. In fact, Fox News broke its Saturday night record for viewership! Scores more Americans watched the rally via livestream and on smaller cable networks.

The Left focused its lens on the smattering of empty seats in the BOK Center where Trump spoke—without reporting on the millions who tuned in from their homes—or the scores of Trump supporters who were forcedto surrender seats to protesters and anti-Trump pranksters who RSVP’d for seats, but never showed up.

“Biden leads the polls!” we hear. In reality, polls are meaningless at this point in time. In late June of 2016, Hillary Clinton had a 12-point lead over President Trump. Clinton lost in 2016. Her 12-point lead in June was meaningless. 

Even pollsters admit that the polls are biased in favor of the Democrat presidential nominee: “So far in 2020, it sure seems like Joe Biden is faring particularly well in the states where the polls were most biased toward Hillary Clinton four years ago,” conceded New York Times data journalist Nate Cohn during a virtual presentation in June.

Today, the Democrats are running an arguably even weaker candidate than Clinton; a man so senile that he’s making blatantly racist remarks in an effort to win the black vote! Biden told black voters in May: “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

President Trump maintains a 96 percent approval rating within the Republican Party—despite so-called “conservatives” coming out against him (think former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton).

98 percent of Americans are about to be controlled by the 2 percent mob, warned retired Army Lt. General Michael Flynn last month in Western Journal: “To the silent and currently indifferent majority: Wake up. America is at risk of being lost in the dustbin of history to socialism. … Now is the time to act.”

Don’t let polls discourage you. Instead, ensure President Trump’s victory and take positive action.

Take Action, Heighten Your Happiness

Harvard researchers reported in June that volunteering boosts happiness

Why not get a boost of happiness—and assure Trump’s re-election—by volunteering to be an election judge, participate in a peaceful prayer rally, knock on doors, or make a few phone calls?

If you live in ColoradoMaineMinnesotaVermontVirginiaNevada or New Hampshire—the stakes are high and your volunteerism will pay large dividends. This is because Trump needs to win these seven states (in addition to the states he carried in 2016) in order to win in 2020—according to Professor Helmut Norpoth—who accurately predicted Trump’s 2016 victory. (I included links to learn more about becoming an election judge over the respective states above.) 

In 2016, the majority of poll workers were over the age of 61. Fast forward to 2020. Poll workers and election judges are in high demand since many of the seasoned workers are sitting out this election due to concerns about COVID-19. If you’re young and healthy, this is an opportunity to get involved. Democrats are actively campaigning for election judges! Republicans must participate, and help ensure election integrity.

Students for Trump: in Minnesota students ages 16 and older can earn $300 by serving as assistant election judges in the August primary (apply by July 10!). Students in Colorado between ages of 16 and 17 also have an assistant poll worker program.

Prayer is also a powerful way to make a difference, even if you’re unable to leave your home. Supporting courageous Christian leaders who are facing persecution will help promote freedom of speech—since freedom of religion is the pillar of open discourse. Christians to consider supporting by prayer:

  • Rev. Theodore Rothrock, an Indiana Catholic Priest, who was suspended after speaking his mind about the organizers of Black Lives Matter—a group that, as I wrote here, is openly attacking the nuclear family and black fathers. (BLM protesters are on-camera beating Christians who held a prayer rally.)
  • Rev. Daniel Patrick Molone, Catholic Chaplain for MIT, who was forced to resign after merely questioning whether racism is indeed a “major problem in [all] police forces”—and whether George Floyd “lived a virtuous life.”
  • Pastor Arthur Hodges, of South Bay Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, Calif., who is courageously taking the case for religious free speech all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Many other Christian churches, highlighted here, that have been burned, desecrated or persecuted.

If you’re looking for a prayer to get started, consider this prayer for government written by the late Archbishop of Baltimore, John Carroll, whose cousin, Charles Carroll, was a  signer of the Declaration of Independence. 

“We will state the truth in full, without apology… We are proud of the fact that our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles… We know that the American family is the bedrock of American life,” President Trump said during his speech at Mount Rushmore over the Fourth of July weekend. Amen!

The Time that is Given Us

Our world feels upended. We can relate to Frodo—the humble hero in Lord of the Rings—when he says: “I wish it need not have happened in my time.” 

Like, Frodo, we can find comfort in the wise response of the wizard Gandalf: “So do I, and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” 

Be the light that springs from the shadows. When you feel the pull of the darkness, recall these reasons for hope, say a prayer, and vow to resist despair.

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Comments...

  1. Paul Schuette says:

    The first time I heard Gandalf say that line when I read the book, I marked that page so I could remember that line. It speaks to the future and what we CAN do, not to the past with regrets.

  2. Rob says:

    Great article, especially the third bullet…so true in my life – personal and career

  3. Bob says:

    Always a boost to read your words and hear your heart through them.

  4. Guy Womack says:

    Katie:

    Its always refreshing to read your posts — your insight is impressive and always on point.

  5. Rick says:

    Kudos on your column Katie!

    In California, conservative evangelist Craig Huey provides election voter guides so people can vote their values, including races for judges and city councils.

    Check out: craighuey dot com

  6. Tim Pritchard says:

    Katie,
    Thanks so much for stepping into culture with much-needed advice. I (we) am tired. These times wear me out. I’m a brawler and yet … I feel finished. I will fight the good fight and continue to remember who actually is in charge and do what I see to do in this time I’m given. We weren’t given a spirit of timidity. Thanks for reminding me. You’re a well thought, strong voice that strengthens me. Thanks
    Tim

    • Katie says:

      Thank you, Tim! Your words bring a smile to my face! Stay strong!

      • Mari Sullivan says:

        Hi Katie, Thank you for up lifting information, call to action!

        I am making calls for President Trump!

        YES, we need election judges.

        I am a 20 year election judge volunteer, most of us are 55 plus.

        We need younger volunteers this year, and bi lingual judges!

        I am concerned many elderly volunteers will stay home due to Covid.

        If in person voting locations cannot be manned, the Dems will have another reason to promote mail in ballots, insuring voter fraud!

        Mari S

      • Katie says:

        Thank you for all you do, Mari! I appreciate your volunteerism, and getting the word out!

  7. Lodzia says:

    Thanks Katie for this post! Came at just the right time in my life. Love it!
    Trust in God. Pray for President Trump!

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