Can we be thankful on Thanksgiving? Yes, of course.
The current political climate, whirling and careening ever faster toward chaos, will take no holiday, nor should it. The prospect of an authoritarian leader supported by his own judicial system should scare the hell out of us.
But we can still be thankful...of course for family and friends and food on the table, but something more.
In the autumn of 2014, driving through the eastern part of Connecticut, I was shocked to see horrible, vulgar, and racist signs belittling President Obama. I knew he had his detractors, but I was surprised at the vitriol. Two years later these protesters and others like them supported Donald Trump.
In 2016 the same Donald Trump, promoting violence at his rallies and disdain for the press and the Constitution, was elected president.
And there has been trouble: Charlottesville, El Paso, the Southern border—incidents directly related to the rhetoric of the president, but armed revolt with soldiers in the streets has not occurred. We still live in a country divided by ideology but not by barbed wire.
That is not to say we are immune, but if we can be thankful for anything today outside our own familial world, there are basic freedoms we retain. We may have to struggle more to keep them in the weeks and months before the next Thanksgiving, and that relative tranquility may not hold. But for today we have at least the outward veneer of the America to which we have grown accustomed.
And so we can still say with some confidence, Happy Thanksgiving, and mean it. Great men and women have carried this country on their backs through its first 243 years, and people like that remain. It is a fact deserving of our hope, and our gratitude.