Clark offers his pessimism as an antidote to any excessive optimism experienced at Charlottesville.  I do have to confess I share Clark’s puzzlement about Prof. Deneen’s reference to people being “wildly optimistic” about human nature.  It is not necessarily true that all or even most people at the conference would share my enthusiasm for active pessimism, but as something of an arch-pessimist I would have thought I would be able to detect if anyone was a believer in the unspotted goodness of mankind.  Perhaps I just wasn’t paying attention, or perhaps I simply drank too much vodka and was no longer discerning much of anything.