What is the “audacity of hope?”

Is it something to sustain us through hard times, or some grand scheme to make sure we’re never inconvenienced and all our needs are seen to by the powers in Washington?

Ralph Peters: The Dissent Deceit

We’ve all heard humorless America-haters promote themselves by announcing, As Thomas Jefferson said, “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”  

The first problem with that self-righteous bull is that Jefferson never said it. On the contrary, he warned of the dangers of political dissension carried to extremes.

The earliest traceable provenance of the slogan goes back to an obscure 1960s lefty who just made it up (long before activist-historian Howard Zinn commandeered it).


My fellow Americans, there is nothing audacious about hope. Hope is what makes people buy lottery tickets instead of paying the bills. Hope is for the old gals feeding the slots in Atlantic City. It destroys the inner-city kid who quits school because he hopes he’ll be a world-famous recording artist.  

Yes, hope can work to positive effect, sustaining us in the face of grave misfortunes. But there’s nothing audacious about it. “The audacity of hope” is blubbering gobbledy-gook.

Audacity is for innovators, risk-takers and crusaders – for those willing to stand in the fire of public opinion and tell a million people they’re wrong and here’s why. Audacity’s not for the passive mob hoping government will fix everything (while blaming government for everything).

Hope is the opposite of audacity. It’s passive, an excuse for inaction.




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