The Audacity of Misunderstanding Hope

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, and in an attempt to deride the reality of President-elect Donald Trump’s victory, soon-to-be former First Lady Michelle Obama chided “Now we’re feelin’ what not havin’ hope feels like.”

 As Oprah donned a pair of pseudo-intellectual black-framed glasses and hung on Michelle’s every word as if she were speaking with the utmost profundity, Michelle continued: “Hope is necessary. It’s a necessary concept and Barack didn’t just talk about hope because he thought it was just a nice slogan to get votes. I mean, he and I and so many believe that if you, what else do you have if you don’t have hope?  What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?”

There’s a lot that can be said in response to that very misguided diatribe. First off, the claim that hope is necessary is debatable. What is it necessary for? Is it necessary to get a job, for instance? That is, is it enough to just hope for a job? Shouldn’t a person prepare and have certain skills in order to get a job? Hope really means nothing in that regard.

Secondly, Mrs. Obama claims that her husband didn’t just use the term hope as a campaign slogan in order to get votes. Well, the evidence speaks differently. Once in office, hope didn’t pan out too well. Not once in the Obama administration that I can remember did he offer assurance to those who live in inner city communities that hope was alive. Not too great for a community organizer, Obama’s former job before entering into politics.

Finally, the First Lady posed the question “What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?” Well, I can think of a lot of things. You can give them a stable home life. You can give them support and encouragement. You can prepare them for adulthood by not telling them that hope is all that matters.

What is it with hope that it consumed a huge part of the Obama presidency and why did they rely so heavily on it? Can hope improve the economy? Can it create jobs? How about opportunities? Can it create a climate of success, personal, business or otherwise? Does it do anything to help small business owners operate their businesses in a less-intrusive and less-regulated manner? Isn’t hard work and determination supposed to achieve that?

Let’s be clear, man cannot live on hope alone. More to the point, a country can’t operate, survive and thrive by relying on hope. It’s a false doctrine that fooled a lot of Americans. Yes, Obama used it as a slogan to gain votes. No question about it.

There is a general misunderstanding with the concept of hope. Obama used this misunderstanding to his advantage and gained the presidency. He offered hope, but hope doesn’t work for people. A person must do the work to earn the reward.

The implication was that people would have hope and that alone would make them realize their dreams. Apparently, to many people their dreams are to be able to live off the government with little responsibility. Furthermore, they also believe that someone else is supposed to foot the bill for their laziness. Obama encouraged this thinking by his support for wealth redistribution, a socialistic concept.

The last eight years have been a waste of America’s time and money. What did hope have to do with that?


Tom Folden is a political strategist, conservative thinker, and Editor of, a website for conservative viewpoints. An original Tea Party activist, he takes part in pro-America rallies when his time permits. He is also a singer/songwriter and recording artist. For interviews and/or appearances, please contact him at

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