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Well, they’ve done it again. If you’ve been in any stores or restaurants lately, you’ve noticed that Christmas decorations have sprang up like those weird plants that floated to the Earth in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”
You can hardly find a display of a pilgrim or a turkey what with all the Santas and snowmen that are suddenly everywhere. Thanksgiving has again been dissed in a big way by the Great Commercial God we know as Christmas.
Considering the attention and the energy that Halloween gets these days, and then the way Thanksgiving is ignored, it’s almost like we go from October to December, without November or Thanksgiving in between.
So it’s up to those of us who value the holiday to give it a proper defense.
Scripture says that when you pray, you should first give thanks before you ask for anything. Surely, the great majority of us have much for which to be thankful. While we should always recognize this in our daily lives, it’s great that the nation sets aside a day when the whole country can do just that.
Of course, being Americans, we have to dress it up with such things as mid-week football games and meals big enough to put us to sleep before dark. Nevertheless, the day should be a time for reflection on just how fortunate most of us are.
For me, 2010 has been a positive lesson that could be labeled “what a difference a year makes.” Last year at this very time, I was still recovering from major surgery. I’d gone back to work by now, but I really wasn’t 100 percent yet, and everyone around me could tell.
Time is always the best factor in such a healing, and slowly but surely I put it behind me. The rest of the year has been satisfying professionally, if not so much politically.
Those of us who accept the responsibility to fight conservatism and keep it from making ours a country where only your bank account matters, well, we got a bit of a setback this year from the corporate powers that be and their servants in politics.
From a liberal perspective, there’s only one thing to say about the mid-term election result. As bad as it was, it wasn’t all bad….
About half of Sarah Palin’s endorsed candidates lost. A lot of “Blue Dog” Democrats were sent packing, and some very fine members of the House and the Senate survived.
It was great that we were spared the likes of Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Ken Buck and Joe Miller from walking the hallowed halls of the U.S. Senate. “Tea party” passions are probably about ready to flame out, and let’s hope they take their kooks and their racists with them.
If Mitch McConnell ever learns to smile, and if John Boehner ever stops weeping, we might just find out what Republicans are prepared to do to create more jobs.
If they can’t pull it off - (and they won’t) - then I’m grateful for a democratic political system that will allow us to re-elect this sincere, intelligent president and send the GOP back to the minority status it so richly (no pun intended) deserves.
I’m grateful, too, for family and friends, but let us not forget that the families and friends of many people we know are hurting very much in an economy that continues to punish millions of Americans who just want the chance to earn a decent living.
Things could be better; but things could be worse.
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Rick Howell, a Bedford native, can be reached by e-mail at NewCenHowell@aol.com.