Giving Thanks, an Act of Subtle Rebellion
In a time of populism, it's almost more radical to be thankful.
The rise of populism in the United States and abroad often correlates with great negativity: about society, about politicians, and about our form of government as a whole. It is easy to get caught up in the worry about the future of the country and its institutions. This is why, this Thanksgiving weekend, it is more important for conservatives to count their blessings rather than focus on the negative aspects of our current situation.
Indeed, we still live in the most prosperous country in the history of the world and have a government that held up under incredible strain over the last decade. After all, the Founders created something to last: a republic, if we can keep it, to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin.
The rise of populism is born out of both legitimate concern and great cynicism. This is where optimism and gratitude for the wisdom and creation of past generations are so important. While most Americans may rate the United States as being on the wrong track, they’re more likely to state that their personal situation is good or improving.
The old joke used to be that a recession is when your neighbor lost his job, and a depression is when you lost yours. For those hooked on pessimism and social media, personal financial standing is separated from national perception.
Thanksgiving is perhaps the most quintessential American holiday, both from its roots and its current use. Our country means something. The ability of castoffs and hardworking grandchildren of serfs infused with personal liberty and responsibility has created our material prosperity and opportunity.
This Thanksgiving, there is much to be thankful for. Despite the difficulties of recent years, our families are strong, our hard work still means something, and traditional conservatism is still the best way forward.
At the end of the day, we must have hope that the inner strength of our nation’s history and values will be stronger and longer-lasting than the temporary rashness of populism.
There is still a lot to be thankful for, if you look.
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