Like two extremely lucky turkeys pardoned by President Donald Trump yesterday, Americans have a great deal to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Record low unemployment, record high Wall Street closings, substantial middle-class income gains, wage growth even for the lowest income earners.
U.S. manufacturing, long thought lost permanently to cheaper labor markets overseas, is even making a comeback.
Louis Vuitton handbags are being made by craftspeople in Texas, or as native Texans call it “The Great State of Texas.” Even an Apple factory opened recently in the U.S.
Everywhere people look, businesses and companies are hiring.
Women executives attending a female-focused career event in Washington D.C.- to hear from an all-female panel on negotiating higher salaries- are told that if they aren’t asking for a raise or looking for a better job with unemployment under 3%, they risk missing out.
Most U.S. industries are benefitting mightily from the economic upswing of the last two years.
Of course, it isn’t all good news from Washington this Thanksgiving.
Russia, Iran and China are conducting war games, ostensibly as a message to the world. Anyone opposed to bloodshed, suffering, or mutually assured nuclear destruction can agree, this is not good news.
Meanwhile, in North Korea, Kim Jong Un betokened the U.S. holiday with a display of military force, firing rockets and threatening its neighbors.
And in the U.S., conservatives and liberals are gathering nervously in mixed family units all across the country, treading very lightly on topics like impeachment and President Donald Trump.
Very few of us enjoy a family fight, after all.
But if Winona Judd- who graced the White House annual tree lighting ceremony two-years ago with a performance- and her sister Ashley Judd, a liberal activist and outspoken critic of the President- can manage to get along, the rest of us can do likewise.
As 2019 winds down, and America heads into the Holiday season, perhaps we will remember to be thankful for one another.
As different as we all are, in as diverse a nation as the one we’ve built together, Democracy is still the tie that binds us. We share a love of freedom, of independence; a fierce belief in self-governance.
It is only when the two competing but complimentary forces of conservatism and liberalism- two forces which have been shaping human civilizations and destinies since the dawn of time- work together that Democracy can truly reach its full potential.
Regardless of our differences and disagreements, whatever our personal beliefs, we are in this together; Republican, Democrat, Independent and everyone in between.
And it is together, in gratitude for each other and for this great nation we share, that we are the strongest.