Kathryn Lopez

It's that time of year, when we give thanks for things we too often take for granted. We should really be grateful all year long. But at least there's November. If you're conservative like me, there are easy reasons to be ungrateful this month -- but, fact is, we live in a great country and the blessings are abundant.

I'm grateful for Nonie Darwish. She's written a book called "Now They Call Me Infidel" (Sentinel, 2006). She says that "Radical Islam has declared war on America and on the West, and the majority of Muslims either support or make excuses for terrorism." She adds, "Of course, not all Muslims are terrorists, but the fear, defensiveness and silence of the majority is 'heard' loud and clear as agreement by the radicals." Egyptian-born, she lives in America now and has become a Christian. But her witness may serve to help moderate Muslims look within and the rest of us to know what we face.

I'm grateful for Mark Steyn. He's written a book "America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It" (Regnery, 2006). He's, in part, Nonie Darwish's welcoming committee. In order to win this war we're in, we have to help reform Islam. We have to do things like support real women's rights in the Muslim world, "End the Iranian regime," and make sure we're not funding mosques, think tanks, and other outfits that teach jihad. Tough stuff, but real life.

I'm grateful, too, for people who don't write books. I've run out of shelves and my piles are capsizing.

I'm grateful for politicians who do what's right because it's the right thing. Some will forever ridicule me for insisting Pennsylvania voters wake up to the clear-thinker who was their senator, Rick Santorum, now on his way out of office. But the rest of us should be encouraging such a thing.

I'm grateful for people willing to serve, despite the sacrifice to their families. A slate of former judicial nominees -- Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Bill Pryor, Miguel Estrada, come to mind.

I'm grateful that it's only 2006. And despite everything happening behind the scenes, the fact of the matter is there is time for someone good to make a case to the American people that he is a leader.

Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.