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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. 24, 2009 / 7 Kislev 5770

A Troubled Thanksgiving 2009

By Dennis Prager





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I have always loved Thanksgiving. It is my favorite national holiday. It reminds Americans how fortunate we are to be Americans. And it unites Americans around gratitude, the greatest human trait. Gratitude is the mother of both goodness and happiness. The ungrateful cannot be either happy or good.

So, it is with a heavy heart that I write that my mood on this Thanksgiving will not be the same as on any other I have ever experienced.

My gratitude will be marred by a dark cloud.

Not the cloud of economic crisis; Americans have lived through worse economic crises.

Not the cloud of war. America is at war in Afghanistan, and troops remain in Iraq in the war against Islamic terror; but Americans have fought far more bloody wars.

Not the cloud of politics; whatever an American's political persuasion, every American has lived through political battles and political losses.

No, this is a new cloud. This is the cloud of "transformation." This is what candidate Barack Obama promised; this is what President Barack Obama seeks to achieve — nothing less than the transformation of America.

But those of us who love America and its unique value system don't want either America or its value system transformed. The former can always be improved , but should never be transformed . And the latter should always remain what it has been for centuries: the American Trinity — E Pluribus Unum, In God We Trust and Liberty — as well as limited government and individualism. It also includes an abiding belief in American exceptionalism, meaning that America has usually known better what is good for the world than any world body, that America's moral compass is generally more accurate than that of other nations, let alone the United Nations. This is not because Americans are born better or any such nonsense, but because American values have produced a particularly uncynical, idealistic nation, more willing to die for others than any nation in recorded history.

Every element of this is being transformed, perhaps permanently. The American economy and/or its health system may be fatally damaged if either the House or Senate health care bill is passed. America will descend under a mountain of debt that may permanently undermine the power of the dollar. If this happens, America will no longer be the preeminent economic power of the world. The terrible political and human consequences of this will be felt around the globe.

The abandonment of American exceptionalism — President Obama said recently that he believes in American exceptionalism just as Brits believe in British exceptionalism and Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism — will lead to America becoming just another nation. When you no longer consider yourself special, you cease doing much that is special.

Here is the bottom line: I take nothing good for granted. That includes the future of the blessed country in which I live. A country as good as America is an aberration. There is no reason to believe that it will always remain an aberration; and those in power on Thanksgiving 2009 loathe the idea of America being different from all other nations.

Every great civilization has declined. There is nothing that guarantees America will be any different. And those in power on Thanksgiving 2009 see America more as a pompous civilization than a great one. So its decline from its self-perceived greatness is not only not a tragedy, but it's a welcome respite from arrogance.

The idea that people should first take care of themselves, then their family, then their neighbors and then other nations is also an American aberration. The norm, advocated by those in power on Thanksgiving 2009, is to want to be taken care of by the state, have the state take care of everyone else and abandon other countries (such as Afghanistan) to their fate, just as other nations are willing to do.

As it happens, I am in Africa this Thanksgiving, volunteering with my son to distribute mosquito nets and other lifesaving necessities to the poorest of the poor in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Not coincidentally, it is an American charity (Rock of Africa) that has organized this trip. While half a world away, my heart is in America this Thanksgiving. But for the first time, it is a worried and unsettled American heart.

Nevertheless, though my mood is dark, it is not pessimistic. The very narrow victories in the House and Senate on health care reform, despite Democrats' overwhelming majorities in both Houses, tell me that Americans are not ready to abandon the values that make our country unique. And that is something to be thankful for on this troubled Thanksgiving 2009.

JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. Click here to comment on this column.


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