You need a way to maintain your morale—to counter the effects of dispiriting circumstances. In short you need a solid basis to expect a better future.
What can provide it when the news headlines fill you with revulsion?
The virtue of optimism.
The virtue of what? Optimism. But this is a very particular type of optimism. It is not wishful thinking, and it is not mere hopefulness or even assuredness based on favorable circumstances—an assuredness that vanishes with the first real adversity. It is confidence in one's own potency, and it has to be maintained and fought for like any virtue.....
Holding optimism as a virtue begins with understanding what it is and is not. Optimism in its most basic sense is "confidence in the future." And that kind of confidence is only possible to a rational man. As Ayn Rand wrote in "Epitaph for a Culture," the Apollo space program was the supreme demonstration, for it "has shown us the precondition of self-confidence, optimism, and progress, like skywriting left in the wake of those rockets: rationality." That bears repeating: the pre-condition of optimism is not faith, good fortune or wishful thinking. It is rationality.Of course, I can choose to be rational, but will other Americans make the same choice? I can be certain that I will not waver in my own rationality and be confident that if it is up to me, America will not commit to this fascist socialist doom that Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and their many followers are trying to force upon us. But, can I count on my fellow Americans to rally to the cause of the rights of the individual and to name their importance to us all as the central American value? The Tea Party Movement, the many commentators who have realized that this is the central issue, and the 38 states either passing laws to prevent the federal government from forcing their citizens to purchase a government-dictated health insurance product or launching constitutional court challenges, have given me a sound basis for thinking enough Americans are up to the task, or coming up to the task, to turn back the bloodthirsty horde of cutthroats who are presumptuous enough to claim they control our lives, our fortunes, our bodies, and our health or death. This will not happen, not in America!