A Pause to Reflect on this Thanksgiving Day
I plan to take a holiday tomorrow. For this Thanksgiving Day I am indebted to Robert Hubbell and his Today’s Edition Newsletter on Substack (you should sign up!) for pointing out the opinion piece by Jennifer Rubin that I have copied below. It appeared in the Washington Post on November 30. Pause, read, reflect as we gather for Thanksgiving.
Locally, we are grateful for the apparent (but still not certified—that’s next Tuesday) electoral repudiation (if, in some cases, by only narrow margins) of a number local Republican Matt Shea-style extremists, including Bob McCaslin Jr. (candidate for County Auditor), Rob Chase (State Rep. LD4), Pastor Paul Brian Noble (candidate County Commissioner Dis. 4), and for the apparent victories of skilled and reasonable people including Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton, Chris Jordan and Amber Waldref (two new Spokane County Commissioners) and Marcus Riccelli and Timm Ormsby (State Reps. LD3). Moreover, we owe a debt of gratitude to all those who stepped up, ran, contributed to, and worked for the election of a host of other skilled and reasonable candidates in the recent election, people we hope will stay involved. For democracy to function properly it takes a village.
Keep to the high ground,
From the Washington Post, November 20. (Quoted material in italics; the bold is mine.)
It could have been so much worse. If you feel a spring in your step and a sense of relief, you are not alone. For those determined to protect democracy, the rule of law and a decent, kind America, there is so much to be grateful for as we head into the holiday season:
I’m grateful not to wake up every morning with a sense of impending doom that a cast of election deniers will control key roles in administrating elections in 2024.
I’m grateful many in the media helped identify election deniers for Americans and educated them about the danger of granting them power to discard the will of voters.
I’m grateful to voters, who for the third consecutive election, showed there is a majority — even if a frightfully narrow one — that rejects authoritarianism, crude appeals to racism and xenophobia, and downright nutty and mean candidates.
I’m grateful younger voters are developing a habit of voting in midterms.
I’m grateful to the thousands of election officials, workers and volunteers who pulled off another exceptionally efficient and peaceful exercise in democracy.
I’m grateful to the lawyers who litigated in defense of voting access and impartial election administration.
I’m grateful voters did not ignore their concerns for democracy and women’s rights just because inflation is high.
I’m grateful that nearly all broadcast networks refused to break from regular programming to cover Donald Trump’s presidential campaign announcement.
I’m grateful voters are becoming accustomed to early voting and voting by mail.
I’m grateful President Biden disregarded cynical pundits and reporters to focus on the threat from MAGA extremism.
I’m grateful millions of Americans, especially women, have reacted with one voice in opposition to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision and cruel abortion bans.
I’m grateful former British prime minister Liz Truss’s disastrous supply-side agenda flopped, serving as a reminder that massive tax cuts for the rich are not the key to widespread prosperity and economic stability.
I’m grateful Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) campaigned against some of the worst election deniers (e.g., Republican candidate for Arizona governor Kari Lake) and in support of some moderate Democratic stars (e.g., Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger).
I’m grateful covid-19 is far less of a threat to people’s lives and that it is no longer a barrier to gathering with friends and family for Thanksgiving.
I’m grateful our sober commander in chief has not escalated tensions with Russia, vastly reducing the chances of a hot war between Russia and NATO.
I’m grateful for heroic Ukrainians who remind us of the price of freedom and the need to resist authoritarianism.
I’m grateful juries continue to convict and judges continue to sentence participants in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
I’m grateful the Justice Department is seriously pursuing investigations into Trump’s retention of highly classified documents and his participation in the coup attempt.
I’m grateful federal, district and circuit courts have generally upheld the rule of law, preventing election subversion and rejecting the former president’s ludicrous claims of executive privilege and immunity from Jan. 6-related lawsuits.
I’m grateful a phalanx of lawyers, former prosecutors and legal scholars have helped provide the public with lively and profoundly helpful education in constitutional law.
I’m grateful to all the candidates who challenged election deniers and MAGA extremists in primaries and general election races, whether they won or lost.
I’m grateful for the House Jan. 6 select committee and the witnesses who stepped forward to expose the coup plotters, educating voters about the threat from Trump and his followers.
I’m grateful the former Republicans behind the Lincoln Project and the Republican Accountability Project continue to show Democrats how to fight effectively against the MAGA right wing.
I’m grateful a crop of rising Democratic stars won their races, ranging from Reps.-elect Emilia Sykes (D-Ohio) and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-Wa.) to Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania.
I’m grateful Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is on the Supreme Court and that she has held tutorials on honest originalism and run circles around the arrogant right-wing justices who don’t bother to conceal their partisan hackery.
I’m grateful to the men and women in the armed services and national security agencies, without whom our democracy would not survive.
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