Giving Thanks

So, I am going to put up my Thanksgiving post early because tomorrow I’ll be too busy running a Turkey Trot and cooking (and drinking) to get online.

I know it is easy to be cynical about things. We live in weird times. American politics are genuinely screwed up in a lot of important ways, and it is painful to see how income inequality hurting the American dream. And yet…

In recent years, we elected a black man to be President of the United States. And we re-elected him despite difficult economic times.

We expanded access to health care dramatically.

Three of our last four Secretaries of State have been women, as will likely be our next one, and not just a woman but another woman of color.

In my lifetime, the number of women Supreme Court justices went from zero over the first 194 years of our republic to a situation where three women now serve on the Court.

There is a lot of work to do on women’s rights. But man, that is some progress.

Gay rights. I don’t think it is an over-statement to note that there has been a veritable revolution on this front. Gays and lesbians can now serve openly in the military, can be credible (and successful) candidate for public office, and can marry in increasingly many states.

For all the lunacy on the American right, I have to say that I believe in America. We’ve made tremendous progress over the past few decades. I am genuinely thankful that I can look forward to my kids (8 and 10) living in an increasingly open, tolerant, and decent country.

We have a long way to go on big issues like race, gender, and sexual orientation. On things like income inequality and voting rights. On access to education, health care, and opportunity.

And yet, I feel positive about the future and I’m thankful to be living in a time where progress seems real and tangible.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

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53 replies
  1. 1

    Happy thanksgiving Nard Dog.
    If we can keep taking two steps forward with the occasional step back, things will work out fine.

  2. 2
    Jef says:

    Beautiful, thank you.

  3. 3
    Ken Pidcock says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

  4. 4
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    I too am thankful for these things. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    And that goes for all you cray-cray Juicer lugs.

  5. 5
    redshirt says:

    I give thanks for Life, and all its forms and presentations. Both to its beginnings and ends, and all the stuff in between.

    Remember: You don’t usually appreciate something until you lose it. So appreciate it while you can. Also too – back up your data today.

  6. 6
    Anne Laurie says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Bernard.

    In recent years, we elected a black man to be President of the United States. And we re-elected him despite difficult economic times…
    __
    Three of our last four Secretaries of State have been women, as will likely be our next one, and not just a woman but another woman of color…

    Back in 2007/08, I wasn’t the only one pointing out that it was very traditional for a woman or a person of color to be called upon to handle the clean-up after the rich white boys trashed the the place partying…

  7. 7
    RoonieRoo says:

    Thank you. Some days I have to dig for the positive. This post was helpful for me tonight.

  8. 8
    Old Dan and Little Ann says:

    Nicely said. I am thankful for the Laphroaig my wife splurged on today. Cheers all.

  9. 9
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Old Dan and Little Ann: Nectar of the gods.

  10. 10
    poco says:

    I am so thankful for the ceasefire between Israel and Gaza. Happy thanksgiving all!

  11. 11
    Cain says:

    We also have a our first Hindu in congress! Swore her oath on the The Gita. Kick ass! Of course, she’s Samoan (and an attractive one at that) and not Indian. Glad to see some diversity from the great state of Hawaii!

  12. 12
    mai naem says:

    Happy Thinksgiving. I think we get too hung up with our first world problems in this country to appreciate how much we have. Also, a lot of good stuff has happened in the last four years that we need to savor. I’m very liberal, especially on social issues but, man, even I am shocked at how well the LGBT props did so well. It’s the first time, for me, that stuff has actually progressed faster than I thought it would.

  13. 13
    amk says:

    Well said.

  14. 14
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Bernard Finel @ Top:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

    __
    And a Merry Fox News Christmas to everyone: Fox News Brings You The Scariest Christmas Ever!

    .

  15. 15
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    You know, I woke up today and thought, we have a black president, and we re-elected him. How awesome is that?

  16. 16
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Happy Turkey Day to you and yours!

    Funniest thing I read today:

    Over at Redstate they are discussing the importance of the youth vote and some are giving suggestions on how to turn them towards Republicans. Here is one suggestion:

    All we need is Fox to put up a late night channel with some conservative comedians, that should get the vote to swing a few million.

    Is there such a thing as a conservative comedian that is funny? I mean, other than us laughing at how fucking stupid their jokes are.

  17. 17
    eemom says:

    In my lifetime, the number of women Supreme Court justices went from zero over the first 194 years of our republic to a situation where three women now serve on the Court.

    Fer realz? I would honestly have said you don’t look a day over 193.

  18. 18
    divF says:

    A blessing on you Bernard. Let us all recall Dr. King’s words.

    “I have not lost faith. I’m not in despair, because I know that there is a moral order. I haven’t lost faith, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

  19. 19
    feebog says:

    Thank you Bernard for reminding us that although we have a long way to go, we are on the road and moving. I’m thankful tonight that I was able to talk to my Mom and Dad, 89 and 91 respectively, who spent the day cooking for Thanksgiving at my sisters house tomorrow. I’m also thankful that my wife is finally on the mend after a very serious relapse following sinus surgery. And I’m grateful for medicare, which means that the two surgeries I face in the next couple months will cost me little or nothing, instead of taking out a second mortgage on the house.

    Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving BJers, you all earned it.

  20. 20
    Kyle says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Is there such a thing as a conservative comedian that is funny?

    The only stuff rightards seem to find funny is laughing at other people’s pain and misfortune.

  21. 21
    rikyrah says:

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

    Thankful that there were enough sane people in this country to re-elect the President.

    still stunned, actually.

  22. 22
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Oh, yes. I feel good about this every day. Thanks for this beautiful prayer of gratitude, Bernard.

  23. 23
    Silver says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: They have a show called Redeye you need to watch. Given Fox’s slant, I’m a little surprised they air that abortion…

  24. 24
    Dee Loralei says:

    @Old Dan and Little Ann: I don’t drink Scotch, but Laphroig warms me in places I didn’t know needed warmth and fires me up in places I didn’t think a fire could be lit. I love the smokey, peatiness of it.

    And Cain and Suzanne, if you read this, I replied in the thread bellow @51

  25. 25
    rikyrah says:

    @Cain:

    We also have a our first Hindu in congress! Swore her oath on the The Gita. Kick ass! Of course, she’s Samoan (and an attractive one at that) and not Indian. Glad to see some diversity from the great state of Hawaii!

    is that Ms. Gabbard?

    She’s also an Iraq War veteran.

  26. 26
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Is there such a thing as a conservative comedian that is funny? I mean, other than us laughing at how fucking stupid their jokes are.

    I believe that empathy is crucial to good comedy. Absent that, all you have is mocking and insults.

  27. 27
    S. Holland says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to all! And thank you Bernard for a hopeful, beautiful read!

  28. 28
    ThresherK says:

    @Kyle: Didja hear PJ O’Rourke on the Florida voting lines? Something about voters trying to order the early bird special inside the booths, because the voters are that slow and confused. Nothing to do with BatBoy’s strenuous Keep out the Vote program.

    But in all fairness I’m sure PJ got a much better response when he tested that joke over cigars & brandy at the gentlemans’ club.

  29. 29
    amk says:

    Meanwhile, the thanksgiving dinner for the rombots and the rest of the rethugs.

  30. 30
    Carolina Dave says:

    Thanks Bernard,

    With your permission, I’d like to share this tomorrow on facebook as my Thanksgiving greeting. A liberal, progressive, American, or universal list of things to be thankful for. Thanks for your thanks.

    Yes, probably PJ did get a better response around the right people who also found it funny. He is a nice, funny guy in person, and also a very good writer, as well.

    Cheers to all and a merry Thanksgiving!

  31. 31
    Felonius Monk says:

    Back at ya’, Bernard. Nice post. Have a good trot, a good turkey, and a good drink.

  32. 32
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @rikyrah:

    I’m really happy that she and Duckworth got elected!

  33. 33
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    I believe that empathy is crucial to good comedy. Absent that, all you have is mocking and insults.

    __
    Hey, don’t belittle mocking and insults. Mocking and insulting Republican politicians and rich conservatives makes up a full 50% of my commenting repertoire!

    .

  34. 34
    Soonergrunt says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Bernard. I hope you and yours enjoy the weekend.

  35. 35
    freelancer says:

    @JGabriel:

    Thank for for that. I just shared that on facebook below the following message:

    Baaaaahahaha! Would anybody care for some geriatric, pants-wetting, ginned up bullshit with their Sweet potatoes, punkin pie, and cranberry sauce?

  36. 36
    Old Dan and Little Ann says:

    @Gin and Tonic @Dee Lorale Agreed on all accounts. It is tasty.

  37. 37
    Radio One says:

    Thanksgiving has to be the favorite holiday for adults nation-wide. I’ve always been nostalgic about it because it’s the only holiday that I’ve spent time with my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grand parents every year as a kid, and then as an adult. It’s a holiday that tends to bring people together, and for that, it’s the best holiday.

  38. 38
    Hattie says:

    Same to you and to everyone. Peace!

  39. 39
    Sarah T says:

    And yet, I feel positive about the future and I’m thankful to be living in a time where progress seems real and tangible.
    I may be drunk &/or delusional, but FUCK YEAH. Happy Thanksgiving to all @ BJ – onwards & upwards !

  40. 40
    Karmus says:

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  41. 41
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Gin & Tonic: that’s redundant. Nectar is by definition the food of the gods.

    This nitpick brought to you courtesy of the late Robert B. Parker.

  42. 42
    Joel says:

    I am thankful too, Bernard. However, we also have our biggest work ahead of us in stopping, delaying, mitigating the assuredly devastating impact of global warming.

  43. 43
    Linda says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:
    Yeah. Because the 1/2 Hour News Hour worked so well. It’s the reason the Romney transition team is up and at em today.

  44. 44
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    Ambrosia is the food of the gods, nectar is the drink.

  45. 45
    Schlemizel says:

    @amk:

    Thats a great cartoon, thanks for the link.

    Here is another one with the Rockwell theme

  46. 46
    Maude says:

    They have a Turkey Trot here. This year, there is a shorter and a longer one. I shouldn’t be amused at it, but I am. They stretch their leg muscles using the bumpers of their cars.
    The sad note is JFK was murdered on this day in 1963.
    This country is not like it was then. We have made great strides.
    With Obama’s re election, the hatred of Reagan has been rejected. Good on us.

  47. 47
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Beautiful Thanksgiving tribute, Bernard. Happy T’giving to all.

    I’ll be spending the day (as always on this holiday) with the elderly cousins whose son died suddenly a couple of weeks ago. I thought they might cancel, or decide to eat at a restaurant or something very different, but they are determined to keep things “normal.” I’m not sure that’s even possible, and I expect the day may be difficult, but I will honor their wishes.

    For those who are traveling today, stay safe.

  48. 48
    mcmullje says:

    Great way to start my day and beautifully said – Thank you and all good blessings to you and your family today and every day!

  49. 49
    mcmullje says:

    Actually – good blessings to all Balloon Juicers. I mostly lurk, but in some strange way I feel like and know and like each one of you!

  50. 50
    MMM says:

    Excellent post – Happy Thanksgiving

  51. 51
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Wonderful post.

    We (first worlders) do take a lot for granted. I’m very grateful to live in a country where we can disagree vehemently with each other over politics without bloodshed.

    Enjoy your turkeys (veggie or real) y’all.

  52. 52
    Peregrinus says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    What one of my cousins likes to do is liquor me up and then start arguing politics with me. He figures it might loosen my tongue, which it does, but then what spills out is all the shit I don’t say because I’m afraid of offending him with my different beliefs.

  53. 53
    PanurgeATL says:

    Per Rachel Maddow’s recent article, this is what I’d call a “firewall election”. It doesn’t make much happen, but it’s likely to keep things from slipping back past a certain point. That’s not something we got in 1976, 1992, or 1996, so I’m certainly thankful for that, as overdue as it is.

    (One caveat, though: I can imagine some bright Reagan Kid–someone born in the ’80s or late ’70s who has no memory of a time before Reagan, or someone born earlier whose political sense was awakened by the 1980 “crisis”, and don’t be fooled, there are LOTS of them–getting nominated for the Supreme Court 20 years from now, but if things go right, even that Reagan Kid will have, um, “developed” somewhat.)

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