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Forum editorial: A measure of thanks is in order

Thanksgiving during a political season can be disconcerting. Incumbent officeholders like to paint rosy pictures: lots for which to be thankful. Challengers are compelled to characterize conditions as bleak, which invariably leads to the conclusi...

Thanksgiving during a political season can be disconcerting. Incumbent officeholders like to paint rosy pictures: lots for which to be thankful. Challengers are compelled to characterize conditions as bleak, which invariably leads to the conclusion new leadership is needed.

Savvy Americans readily see through the rhetoric, assess their own circumstances and give thanks accordingly on this most American of holidays. Those whose perceptions are unencumbered by partisanship (that's most Americans) will have sound, personal, apolitical reasons to give thanks or not.

On balance, however, Thanksgiving observances will find families, individuals, church congregations and others recognizing the astounding plenty that has been created by the U.S. economic system. Americans are chronic complainers, but complaints most often are converted to action in order to make improvements. The ability of individuals, businesses and institutions to constantly evolve and adjust fuels the entrepreneurship that drives the nation's economy. No other nation on the planet has found such a brilliant formula for success. No other nation can absorb millions of newcomers, create new wealth, broaden and diversify its economy, and at the same time improve the living standards over time of nearly everyone.

It's so easy to take it all for granted. Today's holiday is an opportunity to slow down and contemplate the bounty that is uniquely America's. Whether gathered at the family table or in a church basement or because of the generosity of a food bank, some measure of thanks is in order.

No nation is perfect. Not every American is in a Thanksgiving mood today. Not every American will be enjoying a holiday dinner with family or friends. Many are homeless, destitute or ill. It's imperative, therefore, that a generous and wealthy nation do what it can to provide the opportunities for as many Americans as possible to be able to celebrate the kind of Thanksgiving we all want. Be thankful we live in a nation that strives to do exactly that.

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Today's issue:

Americans observe Thanksgiving today.

Our position:

No nation is perfect, but Americans have good reasons to be thankful.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper's Editorial Board.

Forum editorial: A measure of thanks is in order 20071122

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