Two pieces arguing that Americans should be more optimistic

Kevin D. Williamson, "America’s Unwarranted Pessimism".

We Americans suffer from a pronounced bias toward pessimism, a very strange intellectual defect for a people as inexplicably blessed as we are. We love our disaster porn. It wasn’t that long ago that all the best people assured us that we were at “peak oil” and that the United States would never be able to compete with energy superpowers such as Saudi Arabia. That view found a large and committed constituency — a constituency it still enjoys, even after the facts have discredited the prediction. 

Bret Stephens, "Can We Still Be Optimistic About America?" (NY Times, possibly gated.)

Even without the daily reminders of Carter-era inflation, this feels like another era of Carter-style malaise, complete with an unpopular president who tends to inspire more sympathy than he does confidence.

So why am I still an optimist when it comes to America? Because while we are bent, our adversaries are brittle. As we find ways to bend, they can only remain static or shatter.

"Lawyers: From Mainstays of the Republic to Progressive Rent-Seekers"

One of my late dad's favorite solutions to the Ills that Beset Us was to demand that fewer lawyers serve in Congress and that Congressfolks have a broader span of occupational backgrounds. (And also, with a very few possible  exceptions, to insist that any law Congress passes apply to Congress as well.)

Related: "The Lawyers’ War on Law".