Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Look at the city


Thanksgiving feels different this year.

There will be the requisite number of heartwarming stories about good people getting up early on Thanksgiving to prepare meals for families who otherwise would not participate in this truly American feast day. Yet, we wonder how many parents are on the verge of not eating themselves so that their children have something. We wonder how many who look just like us are losing their homes.

Lincoln said no nation can survive half slave and half free. This year the Occupy Wall Street movement more than ever is pushing us to question whether we want to survive 1 percent with plenty and the rest with plenty of nothing. For their trouble, these activists have become the punching bag of the right-wing politicos.

How did we come to this strange Thanksgiving?

We thank the Almighty for the immense bounty under which our tables will groan while pundits in the background scream about how someone is coming to take away what little we have.

The Pilgrims courageously lost a full half of their numbers while following what they believed was a divine call to establish a new life in the New World. Yet, we are too anxious and suspicious to pay another dollar in taxes to help the 40 million people who need food stamps if it means one lottery winner might scam the system.

Gov. John Winthrop of Massachusetts in 1630 wrote, "For we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us."

If what they see is a society where the middle class is in decline and the numbers of the poor and nearly poor are increasing, they might turn and look somewhere else for inspiration.




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