The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, November 23, 2017


It's Thanksgiving Day. Hipsters and the sophisticated members of the so-called intelligensia would smile condescendingly as more traditional types note that its worth giving thanks. Then again, their condescension is a clear indication of the vacuousness of their world view, so who really cares what they think.

It's Thanksgiving Day. It's well-worth stepping back and thinking about what we should each be thankful for. In my case, the list is very long: a wonderful, loving family, the best life-partner one could possibly have, great children and grandchildren, a living environment that is nothing less than beautiful, little financial stress, a fun job in an emerging industry made even better by working with my two sons, a second job as a writer that continues even as I age, and lots of little things that will go unmentioned.

Far too many of my acquaintances and even some friends complain about little stuff—what I call "first world problems." They can't seem to process the simple notion that there are many among us, and even more throughout the world who would do anything for the life that America has given to the vast, vast majority of its citizens and most of its non-citizens. Despite what we hear in the media and from the elites, we live in a wonderland country where opportunity is within the grasp of almost anyone who wants to work to achieve it.

Abraham Lincoln is generally revered by both the Left and the Right and is correctly identified as one of our greatest presidents. In 1863, he gave a Thanksgiving proclamation in the midst of the Civil War—a conflict so severe, so brutal, and so divisive that it makes the current divisions in our country seem laughably mild by comparison. The first paragraphs of Lincoln's speech follow:
The year [1863] that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things.

They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American People.
I could, I suppose, contrast Lincoln's sentiment to left-wing writer Charles Blow who today penned an op-ed entitled "Thankfully Recommitting to the Resistance" in The New York Times. But that would be like comparing the writing of Dostoyevsky to the immature rantings of a 6-year old.

So give thanks—both personally and for the state of our country. The world is not coming to an end; there is no pervasive "threat to our democracy;" the oceans are not rising to inundate our cities; our enemies recognize our strength and resolve and will think twice before acting against us; our economy is getting stronger and more robust; our people are back to work; our politics, although almost entirely dysfunctional, has not yet done great harm to our everyday lives, and polls indicate that our thoughts about the future have collectively improved.

It's Thanksgiving Day. Give thanks!