Gun laws and health insurance. Those are the subjects some turkeys in Washington and New York think we should talk about over Thanksgiving dinner. Standby for some better ideas.
Organizing for Action, President Barack Obama's campaign organization, wants parents and grandparents to convince younger people to buy overpriced insurance that will subsidize older and less healthy Americans.
"Tell them: 'There are a variety of plans available in the new health insurance marketplace, so you can pick one that fits your budget. There's also financial assistance available based on how much you make,'" says an Organizing for Action marketing script.
If that's not enough to spoil appetites, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-Second Amendment group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, wants families discussing the need for more gun laws.
"Everyone has friends and relatives with strong opinions and shaky facts. You can help set the table straight - all you need is this simple guide," the group said.
With all due respect to the impassioned politicos, most Americans would prefer a lecture about turkey abuse from PETA. Gun Control and Obamacare aren't exactly what President Abraham Lincoln had in mind when he declared this a national day of thanks.
Even The Gazette's politically oriented editorial board will break from political proselytizing at this juncture and proceed with recommendations for more pleasant conversation. Try discussing the following, as topics for giving thanks.
- Freedom. As much of the world struggles to protect women, children and targeted religious and ethnic groups from torture, abuse and murder, Americans settle differences with court hearings and nonviolent debates.
- Prosperity. Financial disparity in the United States can seem dramatic. But in this country, even most of the poor do not live in famine, suffering from diseases and other health conditions no one will treat. We remain a country of wealth.
- Faith. Our government protects religious liberty to an extent we have the luxury of debating whether authorities should intervene when someone is merely offended by a symbol or words. In some of the world, people are killed or imprisoned for public professions of belief or disbelief.
- Respect. The fact we gather today, breaking bread without regard for religious, philosophical or political convictions, attests to the civilized nature of American culture.
- Charity. Through historically challenging economic circumstances, the United States has remained the most charitable country in the world. American philanthropists struggle with choice anxiety, especially this time of year, because so many nonprofit organizations work to provide for those who need help.
- Hope. Ours remains a society in which children from all walks of life have the option to learn and improve their lives.
- God. Presidents George Washington and Lincoln each made Thanksgiving proclamations, with Lincoln's establishing the day as a federal holiday.
Washington's started out like this: "It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits . " therefore "both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer . "
Lincoln proclaimed Americans were "prone to forget" the source of endless blessings "of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God."
American abundance, Lincoln proclaimed, results from "the gracious gifts of the Most High God."
"It has seemed to me fit and proper that they (God's gifts) should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People," Lincoln said.
We have much for which to give thanks. Today, focus on God - the only source of life, liberty and happiness.