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Reasons for Gratitude By: Paul M. Weyrich
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, November 28, 2008

The stock market has been wiped out; all of its gains made since 2003 are lost. Conservatives lost ground in the Congress. We are watching anxiously as President-elect Barak Obama fills out his cabinet. Meanwhile the Department of Labor Statistics tells us that ten million folks are unemployed and we are beginning to know some of the unemployed. There is the danger that we will suffer a global recession. After twenty eight years of protecting the unborn we are facing the prospect of seeing all or most of those restrictions being wiped away. I could go on and on.

Thanksgiving is upon us. Despite any of these and other problems, we should approach this uniquely American holiday with a sense of profound gratitude. In fact, I would say in general Americans tend to lack gratitude. Many of us have developed an entitlement mentality.

We expect that everything is supposed to get better and better. Our parents and grandparents know what it was like to live through a depression. They cautioned us that this never ending prosperity had to end some time but we disregarded their warning.

Economists with whom I have spoken, and in whom I have confidence, all predict a very deep recession. Thank God not a depression. In October our unemployment rate was at 6.5 percent and is likely to go still higher. I remind you during the Great Depression unemployment reached 25 percent in 1933.

So let us show gratitude that we live in the most decent nation ever founded by mankind. Whatever you think about President Bush, let’s be grateful that he kept us safe from the terrorists who want to kill us and destroy our country. Let us be grateful that Congress helps the unemployed with continued funds. Let us be thankful for the all of our fellow citizens who volunteer for the military. They are an outstanding group. Let us have gratitude that despite all of the problems we still can worship as we please. Let’s be grateful that we still have alternative media. True, there is a plan to do away with the alternative media. But let us be grateful that we have the ability to fight this rash effort.

Yes, more gratitude is truly needed. It is true that our freedoms have been curtailed. Yet we still have more freedom than almost everywhere in the world. When we assemble for any purpose, we need not fear that the government is watching us unless we belong to some terrorist group. And let us be grateful that we are seeing an orderly transition of administrations from the president of one party to the president of another party. No tanks in the streets. No one should be fearful of being killed. Let us be grateful too that for the most part we have honest elections. Yes, there were efforts to pollute the election system but for the most part they were thwarted. The opposition party can plan a comeback and for the most part can be assured they will be able to do so without dramatic repercussions. The truth is we have so many things to be grateful for it is hard to enumerate.

As Thanksgiving approaches, whatever else we do, let us thank God for our families. And for having an abundance of food to eat while so much of the world is starving. And for gratitude for the United States of America - still the home of the brave and the land of the free.

Paul M. Weyrich is Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation.

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