Those Without Disability Parking in Handicapped Parking

Those Without Disability Parking in Handicapped Parking

     Witnessing a man butt in line at a retail store checkout, and then seeing the same able bodied man get into his shiny new black truck with chromed rotating wheel covers parked in a handicapped parking space incensed a desire to uphold justice. Too far away to intervene, the violator drove off without confrontation. Knowing that the politically correct are more concerned about the use of the word “handicapped” than they are about justice, emphasizes what is terribly wrong in America today.

      Just as a child who has violated some minor rule and gets away with it moves on to bigger and greater transgressions unless they are held accountable, so liberals and progressives obviate truth and justice in our society substituting what they choose to believe. For example, they impart a demeaning and derogatory meaning to a word – handicapped, that was used to show empathy and concern. Regardless of how the word came into use, its meaning was perverted making its use politically incorrect just as those attempting to destroy all that made America great ridicule the commitment to service and sacrifice made by those whose cause is not acceptable them. Those who ignore history, destroy monuments, reject the Holocaust, subvert memories, fail to stand for the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance, and on and on; unjustly feel they are the authorized to determine what is right or wrong, good or evil, true or untrue, fact or fiction, etc. Integrity has become self satisfaction, avarice, greed, and the quest for unjust political power.

      Whether, “domestic tranquility” is shattered by the anarchy of arson and looting caused by politicians not enforcing the 1st Amendment civil right to “peaceably . . . assemble”; respect for authority and the rule of law is rejected by children raised without the socialization benefits of a father; illegal drugs continuing to flow across our unprotected borders feed the addicted;  trust in government is lost by politicians not holding to campaign promises and their oath of office; national security is compromised by a president selling missile guidance secrets to the Chinese; foreign policy becomes distrusted by a president and secretary of state allowing terrorists to assassinate our ambassador and three U.S. citizens in Benghazi; intelligence agents are lost because a political candidate uses internet communication forbidden by law; our foundation of the order of law is eroded by a president not being held accountable for perjury; the fundamental doctrine of justice demanding a presumption of innocence until proven guilty under an equally applied order of law is obliterated by those holding themselves above the law; all the seemingly never ending assaults on the original intention of the Constitution by the various unjust political agendas, “special interests” of unbridled capitalism, the unjust discrimination of socialism, etc., continually mounted are tolerated; freedom and equal justice for all are sacrificed to a Congress and government not protecting and defending the Constitution from its “enemies, foreign and domestic”.

     Contrary to the movement of liberals and progressives to destroy the original intention of the Constitution in their move beyond reason, the Framers studied history in secret for 500 years before Christ before framing it. The Founders, enlightened by the Great Awakening of the 1730s, understood a reality and Truth defined, not by the constant error of human intention and invention, but by the Creator of immutable Law. As the ideologic preamble to the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence defines the foundation of unchanging indelible Law upon which the Constitution is based.

      Incorporated into the document that serves as the model for freedom and justice for all governments withstanding the tests in the unyielding crucible of time, our enemies seek to corrupt even the truths of science and history, that it contains. More, simply relying on reason and common sense, the inescapable reality is that any law must be held to the original intention of the maker of that law. Otherwise, situation or statistical ethics, judicial activism, prejudice, desire, public opinion, etc. – all of the constant human failures, would be able to amend the original intention of any law.

      Specifically, the Framers and Founders were expressly fearful of the public majority, and the power of government. The Constitution provides checks and balances, structures and mechanisms to address the unchanging failed erroneous patterns of human behavior revealed by valid history attached to our species as inseparable parasites of freedom and justice for all.

      Looking no further than our enemies desire to eliminate the Electoral College, lower the three fourths requirement to amend the “supreme law of the land”, the cancer of the administrative state, or the attempt to prevent the confirmation of Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, the attack on America is hot, here, and now!

      The following article by Dr. Kesler repeats the foregoing, but lacks the immediacy of the call to “protect and defend this Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic”.

CftC

Subscribers: You have until 4 December, 2018 to download a discussion by Professor Amy L. Wax, M.D., J.D. at the Heritage Foundation on the attack on the original intention of the Constitution by the Left. Though a large 256MB file, it downloads quickly, and is absolutely relevant to the public and higher education brainwashing of those in their educational charge.

 

America’s Cold Civil War

Imprimis, October 2018 • Volume 47, Number 10

Charles R. Kesler
Editor, Claremont Review of Books

    Six years ago I wrote a book about Barack Obama in which I predicted that modern American liberalism, under pressures both fiscal and philosophical, would either go out of business or be forced to radicalize. If it chose the latter, I predicted, it could radicalize along two lines: towards socialism or towards an increasingly post-modern form of leadership. Today it is doing both. As we saw in Bernie Sanders’ campaign, the youngest generation of liberals is embracing socialism openly—something that would have been unheard of during the Cold War. At the same time, identity politics is on the ascendant, with its quasi-Nietzschean faith in race, sex, and power as the keys to being and meaning. In the #MeToo movement, for example—as we saw recently in Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation battle—the credo is, “Believe the woman.” In other words, truth will emerge not from an adversarial process weighing evidence and testimony before the bar of reason, but from yielding to the will of the more politically correct. “Her truth” is stronger than any objective or disinterested truth.

    In the Claremont Review of Books, we have described our current political scene as a cold civil war. A cold civil war is better than a hot civil war, but it is not a good situation for a country to be in. Underlying our cold civil war is the fact that America is torn increasingly between two rival constitutions, two cultures, two ways of life.

    Political scientists sometimes distinguish between normal politics and regime politics. Normal politics takes place within a political and constitutional order and concerns means, not ends. In other words, the ends or principles are agreed upon; debate is simply over means. By contrast, regime politics is about who rules and for what ends or principles. It questions the nature of the political system itself. Who has rights? Who gets to vote? What do we honor or revere together as a people? I fear America may be leaving the world of normal politics and entering the dangerous world of regime politics—a politics in which our political loyalties diverge more and more, as they did in the 1850s, between two contrary visions of the country.

    One vision is based on the original Constitution as amended. This is the Constitution grounded in the natural rights of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution written in 1787 and ratified in 1788. It has been transmitted to us with significant Amendments—some improvements and some not—but it is recognizable still as the original Constitution. To simplify matters we may call this “the conservative Constitution”—with the caveat that conservatives have never agreed perfectly on its meaning and that many non-conservatives remain loyal to it.

    The other vision is based on what Progressives and liberals, for 100 years now, have called “the living Constitution.” This term implies that the original Constitution is dead—or at least on life support—and that in order to remain relevant to our national life, the original Constitution must be infused with new meaning and new ends and therefore with new duties, rights, and powers. To cite an important example, new administrative agencies must be created to circumvent the structural limitations that the original Constitution imposed on government.

    As a doctrine, the living Constitution originated in America’s new departments of political and social science in the late nineteenth century—but it was soon at the very forefront of Progressive politics. One of the doctrine’s prime formulators, Woodrow Wilson, had contemplated as a young scholar a series of constitutional amendments to reform America’s national government into a kind of parliamentary system—a system able to facilitate faster political change. But he quickly realized that his plan to amend the Constitution was going nowhere. Plan B was the living Constitution. While keeping the outward forms of the old Constitution, the idea of a living Constitution would change utterly the spirit in which the Constitution was understood.

    The resulting Constitution—let us call it “the liberal Constitution”—is not a constitution of natural rights or individual human rights, but of historical or evolutionary right. Wilson called the spirit of the old Constitution Newtonian, after Isaac Newton, and that of the new Constitution Darwinian, after Charles Darwin. By Darwinian, Wilson meant that instead of being difficult to amend, the liberal Constitution would be easily amenable to experimentation and adjustment. To paraphrase the late Walter Berns, the point of the old Constitution was to keep the times in tune with the Constitution; the purpose of the new is to keep the Constitution in tune with the times.

    Until the 1960s, most liberals believed it was inevitable that their living Constitution would replace the conservative Constitution through a kind of slow-motion evolution. But during the sixties, the so-called New Left abandoned evolution for revolution, and partly in reaction to that, defenders of the old Constitution began not merely to fight back, but to call for a return to America’s first principles. By seeking to revolve back to the starting point, conservatives proved to be Newtonians after all—and also, in a way, revolutionaries, since the original meaning of revolution is to return to where you began, as a celestial body revolves in the heavens.

    The conservative campaign against the inevitable victory of the living Constitution gained steam as a campaign against the gradual or sudden disappearance of limited government and of republican virtue in our political life. And when it became clear, by the late 1970s and 1980s, that the conservatives weren’t going away, the cold civil war was on.

    Confronted by sharper, deeper, and more compelling accounts of the conservative Constitution, the liberals had to sharpen—that is, radicalize—their own alternative, following the paths paved by the New Left. As a result, the gap between the liberal and conservative Constitutions became a gulf, to the extent that today we are two countries—or we are fast on the road to becoming two countries—each constituted differently.

    Consider a few of the contrasts. The prevailing liberal doctrine of rights traces individual rights to membership in various groups—racial, ethnic, gender, class-based, etc.—which are undergoing a continual process of consciousness-raising and empowerment. This was already a prominent feature of Progressivism well over a century ago, though the groups have changed since then. Before Woodrow Wilson became a politician, he wrote a political science textbook, and the book opened by asking which races should be studied. Wilson answered: we’ll study the Aryan race, because the Aryan race is the one that has mastered the world. The countries of Europe and the Anglophone countries are the conquerors and colonizers of the other continents. They are the countries with the most advanced armaments, arts, and sciences.

    Wilson was perhaps not a racist in the full sense of the term, because he expected the less advanced races over time to catch up with the Aryan race. But his emphasis was on group identity—an emphasis that liberals today retain, the only difference being that the winning and losing sides have been scrambled. Today the white race and European civilization are the enemy—“dead white males” is a favored pejorative on American campuses—and the races and groups that were oppressed in the past are the ones that today need compensation, privileges, and power.

    Conservatives, by contrast, regard the individual as the quintessential endangered minority. They trace individual rights to human nature, which lacks a race. Human nature also lacks ethnicity, gender, and class. Conservatives trace the idea of rights to the essence of an individual as a human being. We have rights because we’re human beings with souls, with reason, distinct from other animals and from God. We’re not beasts, but we’re not God—we’re the in-between being. Conservatives seek to vindicate human equality and liberty—the basis for majority rule in politics—against the liberal Constitution’s alternative, in which everything is increasingly based on group identity.

    There is also today a vast divergence between the liberal and conservative understandings of the First Amendment. Liberals are interested in transforming free speech into what they call equal speech, ensuring that no one gets more than his fair share. They favor a redistribution of speech rights via limits on campaign contributions, repealing the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, and narrowing the First Amendment for the sake of redistribution of speech rights from the rich to the poor. Not surprisingly, the Democratic Party’s 2016 platform called for amending the First Amendment!

    There is, of course, also a big difference between the liberal Constitution’s freedom from religion and the conservative Constitution’s freedom of religion. And needless to say, the liberal Constitution has no Second Amendment.

    In terms of government structure, the liberal Constitution is designed to overcome the separation of powers and most other checks and balances. Liberals consistently support the increased ability to coordinate, concentrate, and enhance government power—as opposed to dividing, restricting, or checking it. This is to the detriment of popular control of government. In recent decades, government power has flowed mainly through the hands of unelected administrators and judges—to the point that elected members of Congress find themselves increasingly dispirited and unable to legislate. As the Financial Times put it recently, “Congress is a sausage factory that has forgotten how to make sausages.”

    If one thinks about how America’s cold civil war could be resolved, there seem to be only five possibilities. One would be to change the political subject. Ronald Reagan used to say that when the little green men arrive from outer space, all of our political differences will be transcended and humanity will unite for the first time in human history. Similarly, if some jarring event intervenes—a major war or a huge natural calamity—it might reset our politics.

    A second possibility, if we can’t change the subject, is that we could change our minds. Persuasion, or some combination of persuasion and moderation, might allow us to end or endure our great political division. Perhaps one party or side will persuade a significant majority of the electorate to embrace its Constitution, and thus win at the polling booth and in the legislature. For generations, Republicans have longed for a realigning election that would turn the GOP into America’s majority party. This remains possible, but seems unlikely. Only two presidents in the twentieth century were able to effect enduring changes in American public opinion and voting patterns—Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. FDR inspired a political realignment that lasted for a generation or so and lifted the Democratic Party to majority status. Ronald Reagan inspired a realignment of public policy, but wasn’t able to make the GOP the majority party.

    Since 1968, the norm in America has been divided government: the people have more often preferred to split control of the national government between the Democrats and the Republicans rather than entrust it to one party. This had not previously been the pattern in American politics. Prior to 1968, Americans would almost always (the exceptions proved the rule) entrust the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Presidency to the same party in each election. They would occasionally change the party, but still they would vote for a party to run the government. Not so for the last 50 years. And neither President Obama nor President Trump, so far, has persuaded the American electorate to embrace his party as their national representative, worthy of long-term patriotic allegiance.

    Trump, of course, is new to this, and his party in Congress is basically pre-Trumpian. He did not win the 2016 election by a very large margin, and he was not able to bring many new Republicans into the House or the Senate. Nonetheless, he has the opportunity now to put his mark on the party. In trying to do so, his populism—which is not a word he uses—will not be enough. He will have to reach out to the existing Republican Party as he has done, adopt some of its agenda, adopt its electoral supporters, and gradually bring them around to his “America first” conservatism if he is to have any chance of achieving a political realignment. And the odds remain against him at this point.

    As for moderating our disagreements and learning to live with them more or less permanently, that too seems unlikely given their fundamental nature and the embittered trajectory of our politics over the last two decades.

    So if we won’t change our minds, and if we can’t change the subject, we are left with only three other ways out of the cold civil war. The happiest of the three would be a vastly reinvigorated federalism. One of the original reasons for constitutional federalism was that the states had a variety of interests and views that clashed with one another and could not be pursued in common. If we had a re-flowering of federalism, some of the differences between blue states and red states could be handled discreetly by the states themselves. The most disruptive issues could be denationalized. The problem is, having abandoned so much of traditional federalism, it is hard to see how federalism could be revived at this late juncture.

    That leaves two possibilities. One, alas, is secession, which is a danger to any federal system—something about which James Madison wrote at great length in The Federalist Papers. With any federal system, there is the possibility that some states will try to leave it. The Czech Republic and Slovakia have gone their separate ways peacefully, just within the last generation. But America is much better at expansion than contraction. And George Washington’s admonitions to preserve the Union, I think, still miraculously somehow linger in our ears. So secession would be extremely difficult for many reasons, not the least of which is that it could lead, as we Americans know from experience, to the fifth and worst possibility: hot civil war.

    Under present circumstances, the American constitutional future seems to be approaching some kind of crisis—a crisis of the two Constitutions. Let us pray that we and our countrymen will find a way to reason together and to compromise, allowing us to avoid the worst of these dire scenarios—that we will find, that is, the better angels of our nature.

Charles R. Kesler

    Charles R. Kesler is the Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College and editor of the Claremont Review of Books. He earned his bachelor’s degree in social studies and his A.M. and Ph.D. in government from Harvard University. A senior fellow at the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy and a recipient of the 2018 Bradley Prize, he is the editor of several books, including Keeping the Tablets: Modern American Conservative Thought (with William F. Buckley Jr.), and the author of I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Future of Liberalism.

    The above article is adapted from a lecture delivered at Hillsdale College on September 27, 2018, by Dr. Kesler during a two-week teaching residency as a Eugene C. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Journalism.

 

The First Amendment Lost To the Tolerance of Injustice

The First Amendment Lost To the Tolerance of Injustice

    “Liberty and justice for all” are inviolate standards imposed by the Framers and Founders in “the supreme law of the land” – the Constitution of the United States of America. Our enemies, foreign and domestic, reject those foundational tenets required of all successful governments and human interactions. Always manifest when the order of law is corrupted by discrimination and inequality, anarchy presents when injustice is tolerated in any degree or form.

      The innocent law-abiding citizens of Ferguson had every basic fundamental civil right violated by the anarchists tolerated by politicians soliciting the vote of the undeserving. The policeman attacked by a drug dealing thug became vilified for protecting his life by a liberal media guided by prejudice and injustice. Like the vast majority of crimes perpetrated on the innocent and the rejection of authority impacting law enforcement, the root cause of single parent homes lacking the righteous discipline of a father is never addressed. Sanctuary cities infecting their neighbors with criminals are tolerated by a government shackled by politicians not held accountable to their oath of office by voters ignoring platforms and voting records. A president attempting to fulfill all of his campaign promises is under constant attack by those seeking to sustain their injustice. Whether the administrative state or the judicial activists robbing us of our freedom, our enemies seek to enable their continued contamination of government, because they depend on that very injustice for their own existence.

      Christians are attacked on every front by those espousing their own false religions. Whether humanists, atheists, or other congregants of the the multitude of isms lacking any credential of science or valid history, those rejecting truth and holding to untruth are threatened by reality and truth. Choosing what they want to believe beyond reason, those attacking America seek to deny the First Amendment rights of all citizens and sequester justice into an order of law founded on untruths, lies, and deceptions. 

CftC

Subscribers: You have until 4 December, 2018 to download a discussion by Professor Amy L. Wax, M.D., J.D. at the Heritage Foundation on the attack on the original intention of the Constitution by the Left. Though a large 256MB file, it downloads quickly, and is absolutely relevant to the public and higher education brainwashing of those in their educational charge.

 

The Fruits of College Indoctrination

Walter E. Williams / @WE_Williams / November 21, 2018

Fox News personality Tucker Carlson is one of the numerous recent targets of left-wing harassment. (Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters/Newscom)

    Much of today’s incivility and contempt for personal liberty has its roots on college campuses, and most of the uncivil and contemptuous are people with college backgrounds. Let’s look at a few highly publicized recent examples of incivility and attacks on free speech.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his wife, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, were accosted and harassed by a deranged left-wing mob as they were leaving a dinner at Georgetown University. McConnell was harassed by protesters at Reagan National Airport, as well as at several venues in Kentucky.

    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and his wife were harassed at a Washington, D.C., restaurant. Afterward, a group called Smash Racism DC wrote: “No—you can’t eat in peace—your politics are an attack on all of us. You’re [sic] votes are a death wish. Your votes are hate crimes.”

    Other members of Congress—such as Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., and Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Rand Paul, R-Ky.—have been physically attacked or harassed by leftists.

    Most recent is the case of Fox News political commentator Tucker Carlson. A leftist group showed up at his house at night, damaging his front door and chanting, “Tucker Carlson, we will fight! We know where you sleep at night! Racist scumbag, leave town!”

    Mayhem against people with different points of view is excused as just deserts for what is seen as hate speech. American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray discovered this when he was shouted down at Middlebury College; the professor escorting him was sent to the hospital with injuries.

    Students at the University of California, Berkeley, shut down a controversial speaker and caused riot damage estimated at $100,000. Protesters at both UCLA and Claremont McKenna College disrupted scheduled lectures by Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald.

    The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has discovered so-called bias response teams on hundreds of American college campuses. Bias response teams report to campus officials—and sometimes to law enforcement officers—speech that may cause “alarm, anger, or fear” or that might otherwise offend. Drawing pictures or cartoons that belittle people because of their beliefs or political affiliation can be reported as hate speech.

    Universities expressly set their sights on prohibiting constitutionally protected speech. As FIRE reported in 2017, hundreds of universities nationwide now maintain Orwellian systems that ask students to report—often anonymously—their neighbors, friends, and professors for any instances of supposed biased speech and expression.

    A recent Brookings Institution poll found that nearly half of college students believe that hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment. That’s nonsense; it is.

    Fifty-one percent of college students think they have a right to shout down a speaker with whom they disagree. Nineteen percent of students think that it’s acceptable to use violence to prevent a speaker from speaking. Over 50 percent agree that colleges should prohibit speech and viewpoints that might offend certain people.

    One should not be surprised at all if these visions are taught and held by many of their professors. Colleges once taught and promoted an understanding of Western culture. Today many professors and the college bureaucracy teach students that they are victims of Western culture and values.

    Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Whoever would overthrow the Liberty of a Nation, must begin by subduing the Freeness of Speech.”

    Much later, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said, “Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.”

    From the Nazis to Stalinists to Maoists, tyrants have always started out supporting free speech, just as American leftists did during the 1960s. Their support for free speech is easy to understand. Speech is vital for the realization of their goals of command, control, and confiscation. The right to say what they please is their tool for indoctrination, propagandizing, and proselytization.

    Once the leftists gain control, as they have at many universities, free speech becomes a liability and must be suppressed. This is increasingly the case on university campuses.

    Much of the off-campus incivility we see today is the fruit of what a college education has done to our youth.

Portrait of Walter E. Williams

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

Lincoln and Thanksgiving: The Origin of an American Holiday

Lincoln and Thanksgiving: The Origin of an American Holiday
Melanie Kirkpatrick
November 19, 2018

 

    In Plymouth, Massachusetts, in the autumn of 1621, 53 men, women and children celebrated their first harvest in the New World. The great Indian chief, Massasoit, brought 90 of his men to the three-day party. From all reports, a good time was had by all.

    How did this event, which happened almost 400 years ago, become a part of the American story and our oldest national tradition?

    Credit goes to many people, but two stand out. One you know, and one you should know: Abraham Lincoln and Sarah Josepha Hale.

    As a religious people, Americans have always had a keen sense they have been blessed by Providence. The pilgrims certainly felt this, and so did subsequent generations, including George Washington. Washington was the first president to declare a national day of public thanksgiving and praise. But it wasn’t until the Civil War that the idea of a national Day of Thanksgiving fully took hold.

    In the autumn of 1863—at the height of the Civil War, when Americans were bitterly divided—Abraham Lincoln nevertheless called for a day of national thanksgiving.

    Lincoln began his proclamation this way: “The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.” It was an extraordinary way to characterize 1863—the bloodiest year of the war.

    But even “in the midst of a civil war of unequaled severity and magnitude,” Lincoln continued, the nation had much to be thankful for and much to look forward to. The day was coming when America would again be united and experience, as Lincoln put it, “a large increase of freedom.” It was a profoundly hopeful message, reminding Americans of their nation’s capacity for renewal.

    Lincoln’s decision to call for a national Thanksgiving came at the urging of the far-sighted and persistent magazine editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book who believed such a celebration would have a “deep moral influence” on the American character. Her name was Sarah Josepha Hale. More than any single person, she is the reason we celebrate Thanksgiving today.

    By the 1840s, many states had established an annual day of thanksgiving, but the date varied widely from state to state. Hale saw the value of a day in which the entire nation celebrated as one.

    For two decades, she conducted a campaign to consolidate public support for her idea. As the influential editor of one of the most popular periodicals of the 19th century, year after year she wrote columns making the case for the holiday; she published fiction and poems with a Thanksgiving Day theme; and she offered her readers recipes for traditional Thanksgiving dishes such as roast turkey and pumpkin pie. And, by the way, she also wrote the nursery rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

    Presidents Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, and Franklin Pierce, to whom she had written letters, showed little interest in her cause. But Lincoln saw its potential. His proclamation was the first in what became an unbroken string of annual Thanksgiving proclamations by every subsequent president. 

    Congress finally sealed the deal in 1941, when President Franklin Roosevelt signed legislation making Thanksgiving an official national holiday.

    Lincoln and Hale believed the act of expressing gratitude had tremendous healing power. In his Thanksgiving proclamation, Lincoln spoke not as commander-in-chief of the Union forces, but as president of the entire nation—North and South. He made no reference to “rebels” or “enemies.” Rather, the president spoke of “the whole American people.”

    It’s a message that resonates today, when Americans, even within families, are divided over issues of politics and culture. Thanksgiving, our nation’s oldest tradition, brings us together just as it brought the pilgrims and Indians together in 1621. Lincoln said it best when he called on every American to celebrate Thanksgiving “with one heart and one voice.”

    Thanksgiving gives us a moment to focus on the blessings of being Americans, on the prosperity, security and freedom we enjoy. If Lincoln could focus on these blessings in the middle of the Civil War, we should certainly be able to do so today.

    Here’s a suggestion: at this year’s Thanksgiving table, ask everyone to spend a minute to say what they are grateful for. I suspect you’ll find your guests will have a long and eloquent list. And if they don’t, you can help them out: suggest they start with family, friends, and living in the freest country in the world.

    After all, if we don’t give thanks, what’s the point of Thanksgiving?

Melanie Kirkpatrick is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and author of Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience.