You are holding the last issue of the Review before Thanksgiving break.
Or you are reading the Review on our WordPress account, but since WordPress is terribly passé and I’m emotionally invested in print media, let’s just pretend you are holding the physical newspaper.
Thanksgiving is the most relaxing holiday. I usually stay at school during the first fall break to catch up on homework. Christmas break is stressful, because it is just long enough to get boring but not long enough for most employers to actually give you a temporary job.
“You want to work for two weeks?” asks the dreadlocked Starbucks manager. “But you’re only available on Tuesdays and Sundays? We’ll keep your résumé on file…”
Spring break, Easter break, anything that happens in the spring semester isn’t really a break, because you have to use that time to plan for summer jobs and internships.
Thanksgiving is the break I use to go home and truly relax. My dad will brine a turkey, my younger sisters will don costumes based on highly inaccurate stereotypes of Native Americans and the family dog will pee prolifically, because dogs are unable to simultaneously process thoughts.
“I can either be excited or not pee on the carpet,” thinks the dog. “I’m so excited! So very excited!”
Before we are allowed to eat the Thanksgiving meal, my mother makes each member of my family state the things for which they are thankful. I’ve only taken this exercise seriously since coming to college, because each year I am truly thankful for the opportunity to share a meal with my family.
I’m sure many people around the country will participate in similar rituals, and I’m sure many of those people will be thankful that Barack Obama was reelected. Obama represents many things: a leader in the African-American community, a visionary among political progressives, the man who is still cleaning up George W. Bush’s messes, etc.
Whether you think Obama has done a great job or whether, like me, you think Obama’s policies erode liberty and expand government unnecessarily, I hope you will take a moment before giving thanks.
Every year, I give thanks for the things God has given me: a stable, loving family, physical health and the privilege of being born in the richest country in the world.
Every year, I give thanks for the things I have been given by those who love me: the hard-working example of my father, the time and energy of my mother and the scribbled illustrations from my sisters that I receive on a semi-weekly basis.
I do not give thanks for the things the government gives me.
The United States government is in many ways a wonderful set of institutions, but it is not God, and it certainly does not love me.
As we give thanks this year, let us remember why we are thankful. I give thanks for those gifts that are rooted in knowledge and love.
Barack Obama seeks to expand the power of the federal government. He has successfully laid the foundation for socialized medicine. Despite his lambasting of the Bush administration, Obama has followed in Bush’s foreign policy footsteps, meddling incessantly in the Muslim world (though Obama prefers drone strikes to boots on the ground).
Barack Obama is the first black president, and he’s also the first black Robin Hood, as he uses the power of the federal government to take from the rich and give to the poor in the name of “fairness.”
God knows and loves me. My family knows and loves me. The federal government cannot know me, and it cannot love me.
This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to take stock of your blessings and give thanks where thanks is due. But I also encourage you to critically analyze the sources of your blessings.
Gifts from God come at no one’s expense. God made me a skinny redhead with a big brain and a bigger ego, and no one else had to sacrifice to bring me into existence (well, my mother had to birth me, but she volunteered for that duty).
Gifts from loved ones are voluntary. My family has given me so much because they love me and consider me one of their own, not because anyone forced them to.
Gifts from the government come at the direct, involuntary expense of someone else. There is no love or sincerity in a government handout. Men with guns told a rich guy that he had to give them money, and then the men with guns gave that money to someone else.
This Thanksgiving, I will give thanks for the voluntary, loving blessings bestowed on me by those who love me. I will not give thanks for those blessings I receive at the involuntary expense of others.