In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 19, 2007 / 9 Kislev 5768

A very thankful American

By Tom Purcell

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I have more reason to celebrate Thanksgiving this year than ever before.

I was born in America, after all — I am a winner of life's lottery. And I came into the world in 1962, a grand time to be born.

Sure, there was upheaval in America in the '60s. JFK was assassinated. America entered Vietnam. Martin Luther King was assassinated. America's social fabric appeared to be coming apart at the seams.

But children were insulated from such things then. Though it was a difficult time to be an adult — fathers carried the financial burden while mothers had limited opportunities outside of the home — it was a great time to be a kid.

We were still innocent then. We didn't know or worry about the threats that today seem commonplace. We were free to roam and play and discover. My generation enjoyed the last great American childhood.

It's true, too, that by the mid-'70s America's social fabric really was coming apart at the seams, as David Frum pointed out in his 2000 book "How We Got Here: The '70s: The Decade That Brought You Modern Life — For Better or Worse."

Frum documented how the ideas that took root in the 1960s — free love, broken marriages, drug use and a breakdown in social norms — went mainstream in the '70s.

During the '70s, crime grew at alarming rates. The economy tanked. Interest rates soared. A president resigned. America lost faith in its government, its institutions, itself.

But better times were ahead. I was a freshman in college when President Reagan was shot. But the eternally optimistic fellow persevered. Many of his bold ideas persevered, too — low taxes, deregulation, a strategy to end the Cold War.

Donate to JWR

It was rocky going at first — and there are always those who will dispute the success of his policies — but Reagan reinvigorated American optimism. He helped unleash our creativity and productivity, and our economic vitality has continued, uninterrupted for the most part, ever since.

It's a great irony that, as we head into the next presidential election, some candidates want to turn back the clock to ideas that failed — ever-bigger government, ever-less freedom, high taxes.

It's even more ironic that potential leaders of the most prosperous nation in the history of mankind would propose such policies as much of the world is going the opposite direction.

According to WorldWide-Tax.com, Russia's income-tax rate is a flat 13 percent. Slovakia ditched its top rate of 38 percent for a flat tax of 19 percent. Estonia has a flat tax of 22 percent, Poland's is 19 percent and Serbia's is 14 percent.

But I stray from my central point — that I've got more to celebrate this Thanksgiving than ever before.

Every year, I get a little wiser. I realize a little more how unlikely it was for the founders of any country to attempt an experiment as our Founders did. They risked all so that our government would be accountable to the common man and not the other way around.

They risked all for freedom — my freedom.

It was through simple good luck that I was born in America rather than, say, Soviet Russia. The Russians tried an experiment, too — one in which the government ran everything and the common man was accountable to it.

That experiment resulted in the oppression and massacre of millions. It failed miserably. Its legacy still troubles a proud people.

I'm thankful I was born at a great time and in a blessed place. And though we may slip up now and then, we've shown great capacity to correct ourselves. No sooner do we make a wrong turn than we find a way to set ourselves right.

"Our country is not where it is today on account of any one man," said Will Rogers. "It's here on account of the real common sense of the Big Normal Majority."

I become more aware of this every year — more aware of how incredible our blessings really are.

That's why I have more to celebrate this Thanksgiving than ever before.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR Contributor Tom Purcell's column, by clicking here. To visit his web site, click here.


© 2007, Tom Purcell