It's Thanksgiving, the annual summation of our joys.
Yes, we have our personal worries beyond health, family finances, and whether Johnny and Melissa will make the team or cut the Gordian admissions knot. Will our children and grandchildren continue to ring the bell of prosperity -- and find themselves ultimately better off than we are? Or will they encounter such oppressive government and so much pandering, patronizing, feel-good education -- and bear such an unbearable tax burden -- that they will live but the merest glimmer of an American dream that was?
Thanksgiving is supposed to be all about optimism -- about family, friends, and of course, food. Fires glowing in heart and hearth. Small victories -- and simple pleasures. The warm glow of comfortable chatter. Giggly kids. Car doors slamming and the rushing of little feet.
This year, though, too much of Thanksgiving seems oddly to summarize our anxieties about the leviathan -- the accretion of power in the hands of a voracious, insatiable governmental beast. And about the terror and grim demise jihadists have in mind for us and our civilization they hate.
AND SO this year, this day that summarizes our joys contains the sum of our fears as well. Fears such as....
-- A precarious economy that still could go either way.
-- Unemployment over 10 percent and rising. Real estate, both residential and commercial, in free-fall. Gold through the roof. Historic spending in an hour of historic deficits. Stratospheric taxes (proposed regulations would impose new taxes totaling $2 trillion for health care and cap-and-trade alone). Private debt ruining multitudinous lives and public debt mounting into so many trillions that there's no way it ever can be repaid.
-- ObamaCare, PelosiCare, ReidCare health bills -- running to 2,000 pages each -- shoe-horned through the House with the Senate coming on. Bills incomprehensible, bureaucratic, over-reaching, statist, and coercive. Bills variously containing public options, reduced Medicare reimbursements, unionist imperatives, open arms for illegals, and taxpayer dollars for the smiling neighborhood abortionist. Bills that will result in rationing, queues, diminished quality and choice of care, higher-cost care, impersonal care -- and doctors fleeing their profession like scalded cats.
-- Oh, and bills giving the federales who are enacting government coverage for us mere commoners, the option to retain the privileged, exotic, multi-choice private health-care they currently enjoy.
ABROAD, fears about....
-- An administration insistently apologizing for America doing what it has and being what it is.
-- Appeasing -- that's "engaging" -- our enemies largely to snookered result.
-- Dithering on Afghanistan.
-- Hammering an Israel in the crosshairs of jihad.
-- Getting nowhere with North Korea and Iran.
-- Cancelling missile-defense batteries for Europe that outraged a domineering Russia.
-- Failing to enlist China or India regarding reduced carbon emissions.
-- Supporting Chavista goons throughout Latin America -- notably in Honduras.
-- PCing Ft. Hood.
-- Giving Guantanamo-held jihadists civilian-court rights.
AND IF all of that doesn't rattle the cage of one's optimism, hang tight for more coming down the track. Are we to be thankful for any of it?
-- For The Chicago Way extended to Washington and national politics?
-- For an administration waving the legitimacy and anti-corruption flags more vigorously in Afghanistan than in, oh...New Jersey?
-- For meddling in the internal affairs of our friends (e.g., Honduras) but not our foes (e.g., Iran)?
-- For failing (a) to reduce our independence on foreign oil or (b) to increase our dependence on domestic nuclear power?
-- For the swine flu "emergency" botched on a post-Katrina-like scale?
-- For an administration finding Palestinians helpless in the grip of their history, yet finding Israelis somehow less helpless -- indeed overbearing, insensitive, and obstreperous -- in the grip of theirs?
-- For an administration that too often finds America's adversaries victims of injustice imposed on the wretched by the heartless?
-- For a "post-partisan" president who gives every leftist the benefit of the doubt, yet every conservative none?
-- For government becoming the economy's principal -- only? -- growth sector?
-- For a government with effective ownership of Amtrak and the Postal Service, taking for-all-intents ownership positions in banks and General Motors?
And so, in this season of traditional warmth and optimism, for what should we be thankful beyond our private realms? Perhaps things such as:
-- A plunging in Barack Obama's support among independents and moderates, as reflected in the Virginia and New Jersey elections -- and in health-care polls. And...
-- Morning-after election comments on Virginia and New Jersey, such as Madam Pelosi's ("From our standpoint, we won last night") -- confirming these shamelessly arrogant incumbents set in authority over us just don't get it....
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