Thanksgiving in spite of it all

Why, in the era of the Worst President Ever, with racism and violence erupting with special virulence for the past three years, should we offer thanks?

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Why, in the era of the Worst President Ever, with racism and violence erupting with special virulence for the past three years, should we offer thanks?

First, we empathize with those who cannot express gratitude. The litany of negative trends is painful to contemplate. The list is so long, and just a couple of lugubrious examples show a deep trend of disaster coming from the very top.

·        Trump is attacking clean water, clean air, wholesome food, and the forests and animals we love–he’s rolled back some 85 protection laws and regulations that will make some dirty profits for some corporations and make everyone less healthy as well as accelerating our climate emergency.

·        Trump has taken corruption in the White House to new lows with his close associates in prison or on trial (38 of them), plus his “charity” shut down by the courts for his utterly immoral theft of , plus many other unindicted venal characters in his grotesquerie, such as Mike Pompeo and Bill Barr–two cabinet members now dedicated to gaslighting America on Trump’s behalf, making the blatantly false claim that poor innocent Russia never interfered with our 2016 election. Do they think Americans are that credulously stupid? Yes they do.

·        Racism is dramatically impacting health outcome disparities as we see from CDC’s own stats even a few years ago, and fueling violence, as we saw so tragically with the shooting of Hispanic victims in Texas by a white nationalist.

·        Another of Trump’s picks for cabinet, Betsy DeVos, is so corrupt she egregiously and illegally ignored a judge’s order to stop trying to collect on student debt for public school teachers who only agreed to borrow money from a for-profit Corinthian College Inc. for their degrees in education because the government promised them debt forgiveness if they satisfied certain public good conditions, which thousands of them did–now she’s been fined $100,000 as a result and the federal magistrate is threatening to jail her.

·        The Trump family collusion and corruption with autocratic and kleptocratic foreign leaders is now legendary in the worst way, from his incredibly transparent support for Putin over his own intelligence services and similar support for a murderous Saudi royal, Mohammed bin Salman and other dictators.

Keeping an attitude of gratitude is easier if we count our blessings.

·        We have not seen a nuclear war on Earth since August 9, 1945, so we still have a chance to stop it.

·        Obama left the economy so much better than when he started that Trump’s economy is not tanking. Since Trump hasn’t gotten us into more foreign wars yet, the economy has recovered even more and unemployment is at all time lows.

·        Once we get Trump out of office the repairs to the environment, to nuclear treaties that make us safer, and to the preservation of a decent public school system can begin.

·        So far our free speech is surviving, as Lt. Col. Vindman testified.

Taking simple actions can give the hope we need in order to step up and step forward. Show your thanks for being able to take these steps.

·        Sign the petition to pressure the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to declare racism a threat to public health (this would trigger helpful federal protocols to address racism, including early childhood education measures). https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/racism-meets-criteria

·        Volunteer for any number of campaigns that are working hard to make racism and violence decrease. They are active and need your help, from Right to Health to the Southern Poverty Law Center to the Extinction Rebellion and so many more.

·        Campaign for, contribute to, and learn more about the 2020 candidates for U.S. Senate who can help flip it from the McConnell legislative graveyard back to a body working for the American people.

Happy Thanksgiving to all peace and justice workers everywhere.

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