Monday, January 7, 2013

new year's gratitude

After this past grueling political campaign year we need to pause and reflect in gratitude for all we have in this land we call home. We have had harsh words, and endless political ads on radio and TV and billboards. But we had no military hardware involved, no social upheavals, no threat to public safety caused by uncertainty over legitimacy. I know... we do have the birthers still, but they are marginalized ....a laughing stock to most.

It is not the same in the rest of the world. I can illustrate by citing three countries and their current crises:
  •  In Egypt there is contention over a new constitution and new president Morsi.  
  •  In Venezuela there is uncertainty over who will replace Hugo Chavez, should he die, and  what will happen in the power vacuum that most likely will occur. 
  •  And in Syria there is open civil war, with a power vacuum most likely developing as well, since President Assad's days are clearly numbered. The citizens of that country have been repeatedly bombarded by their own government and many thousands are refugees in other countries.

In light of that we should be thankful that we have a system of government that, while it is not perfect, has served us well for over 200 years. We have peaceful transitions from one administration to the next. We have established procedures that all agree on, both for who governs and how they do it. We fight  our political battles with words, not guns. Our conflicts are in Congress, not in the streets. And at the end of the day, the losers swallow their pride, instead of bandaging their wounds or burying their dead.

We have a new year and a renewed government. There are many issues to discuss and debate. We will not agree on everything, and we will not like all the outcomes. But at the end of the day we are all Americans and we are committed to peaceful resolution, not painful revolution. We have been given a great gift. Let us not squander the opportunity we have to participate in the political process, nor neglect to remember how blessed we are to be able to do so in peace.

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