Thank You GOP

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day, is the holiday that reminds each of us to recognize all the things in our lives for which we should be thankful. — Thanksgiving also kicks off the holiday season, a time when everybody’s schedule gets a bit more hectic. For that reason, I considered excusing myself from writing this week’s commentary.

Also, given the endless barrage of lousy news we’ve had to endure over the past year, I wondered if any discussion in a political blog about feeling thankful would make me sound like a Pollyanna.

Then I looked at things from another angle and decided that I could list just a few suggestions for thankful thoughts. (I’ll be brief) – Yes for us liberals, the year had plenty of political setbacks, policy reversals and embarrassing national moments. And yes, we’ve had to watch the nativism, anger and hate encouraged by Trump and sanctioned by Republican leaders, slowly diminish our nation.

But from a different perspective, here are three positives coming out of the past political year :

— The shock of this past year’s outrages has resulted in an encouraging awakening across the country. A lot of previously uninvolved Americans have awakened to the need for their involvement in the political process. For this we should all be thankful.

— The push back from so many newly attentive American voters is having an effect. It no doubt played a role in the defeat of Republican attempts to destroy the Affordable Care Act. For this we should all be thankful.

— Ironically, we should also be thankful for the highhanded approach by the GOP in presenting their hastily prepared tax reform legislation. It has earned Republicans the increasing distrust of voters as a bright light has stayed focused on its many flaws and inequities. This bodes well for the 2018 mid-term elections and the chance to start repairing things.  

And looking past political events (although not completely), in just the past few weeks we’ve been given a brand new reason for thanks: We are now witnessing a momentous shift in attitudes toward sexual harassment across our society. In the coming months and years this is going to make a permanent and positive difference in the lives of every American woman, and man too. In fact, this could be the biggest thing to happen so far in the 21st century. For this we should all be thankful.

Now here’s one last thought for a Thanksgiving Day. Throughout the past year, just like all the years before, the North Shore’s Democrats and independents have regularly bonded together to actively engage in grassroots political actions. Our bond is our belief in progressive values and the right of every American to be treated with fairness and dignity. We know this about each other and it has resulted in lasting friendships and feelings of mutual respect. This is a valuable thing. Something definitely worth grateful thoughts this Thanksgiving Day. — Enjoy!

Nels Howard
NTDO member since 1973