On Thanksgiving

Like many of my readers I have become somewhat swept up in the feeling that the re-election of the current president of the United States signals the end of our historic nation. It is an arbitrary point in a way – we could as easily say that the initial election of someone with such a problematic association with anti-Americanism, leftism, and Islam, was just as strong a signal of the end. But that he would be re-elected after manifestly failing to improve the economy and after numerous acts and statements which in times past would have certainly led to his public castigation and probably impeachment – it does show that we’ve reached a new stage.

There is plenty of evidence that we can no longer continue as a politically unified nation. Look at how cartoonist Mike Thompson views Republicans and conservatives. I would imagine that a Chinese or Arab cartoonist would possibly be more fair and accurate than this “heritage American” is in his assessment. See the November 18 cartoon, for instance.

I do believe that for traditionalist conservatives, the idea of separating ourselves from the United States – first, in our imagination, and ultimately, in reality – is the correct approach, and probably the only approach. However, I have difficulty imagining a liberal America and a traditionalist America co-existing. Not because the former will necessarily destroy the latter, but because I think Westerners ultimately move in a kind of unity at the largest civilizational level. All white nations became Christian, and all are now mainly liberal (Russia and some parts of eastern Europe may be partial exceptions); if there is a true reversal of course, I believe it will involve everybody. Which is not to say that a separated-out traditionalist nation or community might not be the catalyst for the larger transformation.

I’ll be enjoying the usual dinner with family and relatives, which remains a favorite ritual. Thankfully, it will also be mostly TV-free. I have always felt that the idea of Thanksgiving is very American (and in the larger sense, Western and Christian) – that you ought to be thankful for the blessings you enjoy. Not that, say, Buddhists or Hindus don’t have the same sentiments, but it’s expressed in a uniquely Christian way here. It takes an effort and discipline to remember and appreciate one’s blessings, even while aspiring and hoping for even better things.

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