Thanksgiving 2020: A Day of Light and Hope in Our Darkness
To Heal the Wounds of the Nation
Perhaps, as in that dark time of the Civil War, Lincoln’s hopes for that first official Thanksgiving should be our hope as well for a country that is almost as terribly and bitterly divided as America was then.
Thanksgiving will occur this year at a time when Democrats and Republicans are at one another’s throats, and when both parties show acrimony toward their own members—the radical left versus liberals in the Democrat party, the Trumpists versus the Never-Trumpers in the Republican. If he becomes president, Joe Biden has vowed to bring Americans together again. Given his angry rhetoric, the ongoing investigation into his corruption vis-à-vis his son Hunter, the radicals like Kamala Harris who surround him, and the anger of tens of millions of Americans who believe he stole this election, the odds of Joe Biden unifying the American people are slim.
No—if we are to coexist as a people, we mustn’t depend on politicians to reunite us. Instead, individuals must bridge that chasm: America’s sons and daughters who can think with their hearts, who can reach out to friends and family members who hold opposing viewpoints, and who are grateful to be citizens of the United States.
Let’s Make This Thanksgiving Special
On this feast day, let’s take a few moments to appreciate the blessings bestowed on us. We flip a switch, and a room lights up. We turn on a tap, and hot water cascades from the spigot. We pull a small device from our pocket and check out the latest news, laugh at a joke Aunt Rosemary sent us, and send a message via social media to our cousin in France. We drive to Grandma’s house for our meal in 30 minutes, a journey that would have taken half a day or more just a century earlier.
In addition, we still possess the rights and liberties that are as natural to most Americans as breathing. Some of those liberties are under attack, but when in our history was this not the case? Like our ancestors, we must defend and fight for those rights; otherwise they will vanish. But on Thanksgiving, we can pause to appreciate and treasure them.
Finally, we can use Thanksgiving Day as a teaching moment for our children. Near the end of “1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project,” a rebuttal of the radical revisionist history of our past published by The New York Times, professor and author Peter W. Wood writes: “A citizen should grow up knowing we are a free people under the rule of law. A citizen should know that it is not some happy accident but the result of an immense effort over many generations. It was the work of courageous men and women who pursued principle even when the situation seemed hopeless.”
Let’s bear those thoughts in mind in the next few weeks and hope we possess the same valor and virtues of our predecessors.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!