Over the course of the political season, it's easy to fall into a spirit of complaint. From even a cursory glance at the running field, one could easily assume that the United States is deluged by fools and knaves beyond any reasonable expectation. Why must we suffer thus?
But it's simply not true. In fact, no nation in the entire history of earth has ever been so blessed as we.
Our government allows a mass invasion of foreign maids and gardeners, but other governments have failed to repel armed invasions which want to turn the citizenry into their own maids and gardeners.
We must jump through ridiculous paperwork hoops to add a shed to our house on our own private property, but in many countries, our house would be a shed, and it wouldn't be on our own property at all.
The taxes we pay are outrageously high, but our tax bill alone is an amount ten times larger than most people throughout history have ever seen. Not even King Solomon could afford air conditioning.
The depth of government dependence grows every day, but there are many countries where the government is feared. Our country has borne the weight of dozens of incompetent programs and processes that should never have been started, yet we still remain healthy and wealthy. Not wise, perhaps, but 2 out of 3 ain't bad at all.
The left rejects and demeans the war we're fighting, but forty years ago, it was our common soldiers whom the left spat upon and derided.
Except for 9-11, we haven't suffered any deaths due to enemy action on our home soil since the war of 1812. Complain about the military as you will, but remember, their term "force projection" means we fight in some other guy's back yard; not in mine. They have a world-class track record; they can fight my wars any time.
The choices presented to us for the presidency are not all we might hope for, but it's our right to choose as a people, and choose we shall. In America, we count the votes. In much of the world, the count votes.
We complain about health care and about the environment, but our average life span keeps increasing. Our bodies aren't evolving to have longer lives, but it's clear that from a public health and safety standpoint, we're doing more things right than we're doing wrong. Be grateful.
Be really grateful, life spans are increasing in spite of people doing life-shortening things like smoking and eating too much. Gotta hand it to our public health people - they're helping us live longer in spite of all the dumb things we do. How much longer would we live if we took care of ourselves?
Be really grateful, our medical research is so advanced that we can afford to try to solve medical problems in poorer parts of the world.
We're so wealthy that we can afford to be concerned about animals. In most parts of the world, people have so little to eat that they'd rather kill an elephant or gorilla than look at it.
We gripe about not having enough money and we gripe about people who're wealthier than we are, but by world standards, there are no poor people in America. The people whom our government calls "poor" so they can throw money at them have more air conditioners, cars, VCRs, microwave ovens, and other toys per capita than the entire population of Europe.
We gripe about the excesses of capitalism and about increasing income inequality, but the number of poor people in the US keeps going down no matter how hard the bureaucracy tries to up the count so they can justify a bigger budget. On poverty, we're doing more things right than wrong.
Wal-bangers gripe about successful enterprises like Wal Mart, but, starting with mass marketers like Sears Roebuck, our merchants have delivered an immense flow of consumer goods which keep getting better. Prices go up because all governments always debase the currency as a form of hidden tax increase, but the number of hours we have to work to pay for, say, a car, or a watch, or a TV keeps going down. Pocket calculators once cost $150; now they give them away.
We gripe about China, but the Chinese are joining the middle class which gives them hope. When the masses have hope for the future, it's a lot harder for the leadership to get them to go to war. By encouraging Chinese to get rich, Wal Mart is a force for world peace.
We gripe about the excesses of materialism, but in most of the world, the idea of having your own iPod or Wii is unimaginable. Hopefully, the One Laptop Per Child program will address this, but for now, if you're an American, be thankful.
We gripe about the mortgage crisis and forget that in most parts of the world, very few people own their own homes. In the US, many blue-collar workers own second homes.
Last of all, and perhaps most important, although we have many complaints, the volume of those complaints itself speaks to the greatness of America. There are many, many countries where we would not dare to air them, much less to hope of a chance for improvement. Free speech allows to be optimistic about the future; to dream of a "more perfect Union."
From everyone at Scragged.com, Happy Thanksgiving!