Our nation's greatest achievements did not come without failures along the way. When I think of such achievements, winning World War II and landing a man on the moon come quickly to mind.
What the United States accomplished between the bombing of Pearl Harbor and V-J Day is astonishing. But the early months of that war were a string of defeats and set-backs. The Japanese rolled across the Philippines, taking numerous American soldiers prisoner. In North Africa, the inexperienced American troops were no match for Rommel's forces. Those days were dark indeed.
By the end of the 1960s, the United States had landed men on the moon --"one small step for a man, one giant step for mankind"-- and won the admiration of the world. However, a decade before that, I recall, the pictures from Cape Canaveral were anything but inspiring. Missiles would go through a countdown only to topple and explode when ignition time came, or lift off but fail to go into orbit.
America worked its way through those failures, however, and went on to do great things.
Of course, in those times, we did not have a major political party that was not just hoping for failure, but actively working for failure.
Against that, too, we must persevere.