I don't typically do an obligatory Thanksgiving Day-themed column, but it seemed appropriate this year, particularly at this juncture in America's history. As we know, Thanksgiving is when Americans celebrate the anniversary of bloodthirsty Christian zealots emigrating to the region of the North American continent that came to be known as New England to begin their rape and pillaging of said region, their scamming and subsequent slaughter of indigenous peoples.
But enough facetious digression; 'tis the season to wax spiritual.
Gratitude is what Thanksgiving Day is essentially about, and gratitude is an integral component of many spiritual and religious schools of thought; in fact, some of these hold that gratitude for one's blessings has the ability to manifest even greater blessings. Now, this reflects a dynamic that takes place on the metaphysical plane, so I wouldn't expect many progressive Pilgrim-bashers to identify with that, since it tends to presuppose the existence of a deity.
Advertisement - story continues below
In any case, the deliverance from hardship and scarcity, then bounty actualized through faith and hard work are deeply rooted in Judeo-Christian history. The Thanksgiving story is one that really speaks to this, even when both the embellishments and revisionist spin are stripped away. The truth is that the interactions between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag lie somewhere in between the embellishments and revisionist spin, but I believe that the overall sentiment was one of hope, based on the overall historical accounts from that period.
Gratitude, however, is quite antithetical to the worldview to which the liberal (progressive, socialist) adheres, and which its leaders have cultivated across American society. In their boundless capacity for projection, liberals charge advocates of free-market capitalism with greed, but it is they who are truly greedy, since they invariably covet and appropriate that which is not theirs. In nurturing the resentment that comes with a fixation upon perceived conditions of lack (not having), gratitude itself is necessarily (and effectively) neutralized.
Thus, one can easily grasp the pretext upon which Thanksgiving Day is denigrated by progressives. Turning a triumph of man against nature and the cultivation of allies into an obscene, predatory excursion of conquest is but a cover for progressives' need to subvert societal norms. In other words, in order to succeed in implementing their twisted cultural paradigm, it was necessary to expunge from Americans' worldview the concept that being grateful for what one has is a good thing.
We can see this in action, as well as its results, among the special interests to whom liberal politicians pander. For example, at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, black Americans were morally grounded and aspired to equality with dignity. After decades of entitlements and propaganda, even the poorest among black Americans don't know what real poverty is, and if they aren't driving a Lexus SUV, it's because America is an institutionally racist nation.
Advertisement - story continues below
Similar sentiments have been cultivated in the Latino community (the delivery varying contingent upon the sub-group), wherein somehow they have been "exploited" to the aggrandizement of faceless, wealthy white people who now owe them restitution in the form of everything from public assistance to citizenship and entirely free subsistence from cradle to grave. Planting the notion among a variety of groups that they lack, are entitled to that which they lack and that their neighbors are somehow impeding their upward mobility is one of the left's staple ploys.
And it has worked brilliantly.
Inasmuch as vice has become virtue in the model of liberal America, envy is good. This isn't to say that greed hasn't played a part as well, but when you strip the moral fiber out of a society, you naturally wind up with people who exhibit more of every human character defect imaginable. It becomes acceptable for marketers to sell that which is self-destructive to the individual and the society as a whole. It becomes acceptable to promote the material as a surrogate for substance. As it happens, this phenomenon conveniently provides ammunition for the left's indictment that capitalism begets greed and is inherently harmful.
This Thanksgiving season, I think it is important not only that those Americans inclined to do so take stock of their blessings, but that we do so in the context that we are at a pivotal time in our history. Anyone who is not able to see this is going to be in for a rough ride. The likelihood that our comfort and conveniences will be dramatically diminished over the next few years is very high, at least as things stand right now. While circumstances can change on a dime, this is the direction in which we are trending. Those who are able to weather the approaching storm will be the ones who are not only mentally and physically prepared for hardship, but those who have a proper perspective regarding what their real blessings actually are.
Liberty springs to mind, as well as the question of how many Americans will count liberty as one of their blessings this year.