Never underestimate the possible
Whether in Ukraine, or at home, don't assume you've lost, simply because the odds aren't in your favor.
Ukraine had me fooled. I didn’t think they’d last a week. I was convinced Russia would take over in days, and we’d soon be financing yet another guerrilla war against Russia, in a clear sign that the Cold War was back.
Yeah, not so much.
In politics, while I may share a lot of pessimistic news (it’s an incredible motivator), I tend to be an optimist in terms of what’s possible. I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in advocacy campaigns over the years that influenced big companies like Microsoft, and big politicos like Barack Obama and Dick Cheney. I know that little people can accomplish big things in politics, and that often success springs from the jaws of defeat (or vice versa). Meaning, the winds can change quickly in politics — and who’s ahead and who’s behind can flip on a dime, and you have to be ready for it.
I’m reminded of 1994, when Republicans swept control of both houses of Congress. All year, we’d been told the Democrats would win. It wasn’t even in doubt. Then, maybe a few months before the November election, the polls started softening. But surely, Dems figured, control over the OTHER house of Congress was not in dispute. Then a few weeks before the election, it was. Dems lost both houses on election day Had you been a Republican listening to the conventional wisdom, you wouldn’t have wasted your time or money trying to win back the congressional majority in 1994. And you’d have been wrong.
Which takes us back to the present. Ukraine was supposed to lose this war. There was no point in sending weapons in advance, because it wouldn’t have mattered. And then, the brave Ukrainians won a battle, and then another. And the Russians were forced out of northern Ukraine, and many are now predicting that Russia can no longer win this war at all.
This is why, in politics at least, you shouldn’t believe the naysayers. Yes, at the moment, all may look doom and gloom, but that doesn’t mean you’ve lost. Even I fell for the naysayers on Ukraine. I’m not trying to suggest that the impossible is always possible. I am saying, however, that things aren’t always as impossible as they seem. Polls can change. Circumstances can change. And sometimes the experts simply get it wrong.