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Outsiders vs. Insiders: On Thanksgiving 2017, a modern mixed bag of things to be grateful for

Like practically every other tradition in today’s culturally challenged day and age, the Thanksgiving holiday seems to have taken a bit of a hit in terms of meaning and prestige in recent years. Instead of serving as an annual time of reflection and gratitude for the bountiful gifts God has bestowed upon us in the previous 52 weeks, for many, Thanksgiving has devolved into a colorless vacation day at the end of November that just happens to fall slightly in advance of Black Friday.

For these folks it’s almost like a precursor to the Christmas season, but only in a secular sense. A host of Donald and Melaniastores no longer shut down on Thanksgiving, likely figuring they can’t afford to miss out on the horde of tradition-apathetic early bargain hunters looking to stock up on knickknacks before Santa is due to arrive next month.

It’s sad; for those who grew up in the days before electronics and smart phones, Thanksgiving used to be a time when families gathered to enjoy a hearty home-cooked meal and reminisce about the bounty of an America shined upon by the almighty.

Writing in The American Spectator, William Murchison wrote, “The God connection with the good things of life is less evident to many contemporary Americans than our leaders expected when they formally (after much foregoing informality) declared Thanksgiving a national holiday. Many of today’s ancients grew up singing — yea, verily, in public school! — ‘God our maker doth provide/All our wants to be supplied.’ That was the spirit of the thing. The Lord had provided; harvests were in; winter loomed. Such satisfactions as we had received were ripe for requiting with prayer and joy...

“By [turning their backs on God] they ignore the divine gift of freedom in which our nation has always basked — human freedom, always ready for enlargement and perfection, yet affording amazing opportunities to experience love, peace, patience, joy, and all the blessings that distinguish free men and women from slugs.”

‘Tis true; secular modern materialistic America does seem to be missing the point of Thanksgiving. When people no longer pause for a few hours, turn off their devices and spend time hashing over higher concepts we’ve abandoned some sacred conventions indeed.

But this isn’t to say everything is horrible in our contemporary times. There are still many, many blessings to be thankful for and God has certainly provided heaps of clues to demonstrate he still looks favorably upon the United States of America. In just the past year alone our countrymen have enjoyed a peaceful transfer of executive power and a new president who loves our nation and its traditions and is accomplishing a number of positive things that we all should be happy about.

Not everyone sees it like this, however. Some are “thankful” for President Trump -- but in ways you wouldn’t necessarily expect or agree with.

#NeverTrumper Erick Erickson wrote (at The Resurgent) the other day about President Trump, “President Trump is not perfect. He was not my choice to be President. But I am thankful for him in many ways.

“I appreciate that President Trump has brought about the great sorting of the conservative movement. Though disappointing to see, it has confirmed for me that the nation is not as conservative as I once thought and also that there are a lot of people who have made a lot of money in the conservative movement who do not really believe in the ideals of conservatism…

“The richest reward in the age of Donald Trump is a clearer vision of the country and a greater appreciation for the necessity of relying on God, not men. This clarifying moment would not have come except for Donald Trump's election and it is clear the turmoil, problems, and opportunism of many were always there festering.”

To his credit Erickson does “thank” Trump for appointing Justice Neil Gorsuch and other conservative judges as well as for many of the president’s policies and personnel choices. But somehow Erickson appears to think Trump’s most valuable contribution to date was exposing the identity of true conservative believers versus those who blindly worship at the altar of Trump.

Erickson’s is a mighty cynical view, one we’ve come to expect from the “cult” of #NeverTrumpers who, like liberals and Democrats, still can’t accept that the people chose Trump and their own visions of what conservatism and constitutional government means does not gel well with a politically viable majority of Americans.

If, as these disgruntled folks maintain, God is in control of everything (and he disapproves of the current state of things) then how is it that the higher power would allow Trump to ascend to the top of the Republican Party and then defeat Crooked Hillary Clinton in the election? If they truly claim, as Erickson does, that Trump’s foibles helped them “renew their faith” and sharpen their own gloomy perspective on democracy, then why is it they remain so dejected?

We wouldn’t be Americans living in a free society if we all agreed with everything Donald Trump says or does, but when we cease acknowledging he (like everyone else) is a flawed human being, that’s when we lose sight of where politics actually fits in our daily lives. No one, not even the most intense of politicos, thinks about Democrats and Republicans all the time.

Trump certainly doesn’t concern himself with it. His tweets alone suggest he’s very much involved in aspects of living apart from the eternal tug-of-war in Congress, the courts and executive agencies. It could be argued one of the most refreshing things about Trump is his interest in “real life” matters like the NFL flag protests and “ungrateful” LaVar Ball (father of one of the Ucla basketball players arrested in China for shoplifting).

Appreciate it or not, Donald Trump is the most “normal guy” president of any in recent memory. Why? Because he wasn’t (and arguably still isn’t) a self-interested politician who seeks adoration through showering taxpayer funded gifts down on the population. Trump is independently wealthy so he doesn’t care about things that most politicians do, such as standard of (his own) living and making sure he doesn’t step on toes lest his approval ratings go down.

Shouldn’t we be thankful for that on Thanksgiving Day?

Time after time in the past year Trump made “tough” decisions fulfilling his campaign promises, choices other politicians likely would have walked-back or shied away from for fear of hurting their own party or poll numbers.

As just a few examples, Trump initiated the wind-down of the DACA program, ended taxpayer subsidies for Obamacare insurance companies and withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate accord (globalist scam). And, as Erickson even highlighted, his judicial picks have been stellar. In most ways there’s been no backtracking on how Trump has governed. His odd personal habits aside, Trump has been a heck of a good chief executive.

Not to mention the fact there are sex scandals swirling all-around the ruling class these days. Thankfully Trump isn’t wrapped up in them. Trump’s former exploits are old news, unlike with Bill and Hillary Clinton who are facing fresh charges chock full of filth and sleaze.

Wes Pruden wrote at the Washington Times, “The London Daily Mail reports ‘explosive new charges of sexual assault’ against Bubba from four new women, and these occurred after he left the White House. Lawsuits have been threatened, and it’s probably a good thing for Bubba and Hillary that they collected all those millions from rich well-wishers who expected to do business with President Hillary. You don’t hire expensive lawyers just to get an apology.

“These new accusation are 10 years old, having barely aged in the wood, like so many ‘explosive new charges.’ The accusers, who have not yet been identified, were comely young women — apparently all legal enough though only in their late teens — employed by an investment banker, Ron Burkle, for whom Bubba was working his old presidential contacts to enable Mr. Burkle’s investment business. Bubba flew everywhere with the four ladies in Mr. Burkle’s big Boeing, which they called ‘Air F — k One.’ Mr. Burkle merely lent his plane, not his presence.”

Once again, contrast these news reports of Bubba Clinton’s bad behavior with what’s going on with Alabama’s Judge Roy Moore. Moore’s accusers have absolutely no evidence and the sensational charges are roughly four decades old. People will believe what they believe, but can you imagine the circus atmosphere if Bill and Hillary were in the White House now?

It would be the 1990’s all over again, only this time the sex shenanigans are eminently provable and the Clintons wouldn’t be able to crawl out from under a rock and pretend like nothing ever happened – or that their troubles are attributable to a “vast right-wing conspiracy.”

We’ve recently heard (and seen) about Senator Al Franken’s groping obsession. He’s not the only Democrat embroiled in a women-abusing scandal. Peter Hasson reported in The Daily Caller, “A leading Democratic congressman settled a wrongful dismissal complaint for more than $27,000 in taxpayer funding after he allegedly fired the staffer because she would not ‘succumb to [his] sexual advances,’ according to a new report.

“The congressman, Michigan Rep. John Conyers, is described as a serial sexual harasser who would prey on his female staffers in sworn affidavits signed by four of his former staffers. BuzzFeed News first reported the bombshell allegations and accompanying settlement after right-wing blogger Mike Cernovich provided the website with the documents.”

Just as a reminder, the 88 year-old (and married) Conyers is the longest-serving member of Congress, having first been elected in 1964, the same year Lyndon Johnson defeated Barry Goldwater. And in case you might wonder whether Conyers’ perversion waned in his later years, there’s video evidence of him viewing pornography on an airplane from seven years ago.

So much for the notion members of Congress should serve as role models.

Like it or not, Thanksgiving just isn’t what it used to be. While there remain plenty of great things to be thankful for this year, the vast majority of the political class isn’t one of them. President Trump may not be a perfect human being but there’s little doubt he’s immensely superior to the alternatives.

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