Okay, first the bad news. The Obama years have been pretty lousy for the folks. The economy is moribund, wages in many sectors have actually declined, and record numbers of Americans depend on the government for their daily bread.
And this malaise runs far deeper than economic issues. A recent Reuters poll revealed that 58% of Americans 'don't identify with what America has become.' In other words, they feel like strangers in their own country.
That alienation is understandable, given the growing chasm between our ruling elites and ordinary citizens. The swells in the media, the entertainment world, and the academy now tell us this:
* If you oppose taking in refugees from Syria, you are clearly an Islamophobe.
* If you believe that trigger-happy cops like Chicago's Jason Van Dyke are the exception and not the rule, you are evidently a racist.
* If you question same-sex marriage, or even the notion that a baker must cater a gay wedding, you're obviously homophobic.
The list goes on and on. We have now reached the point where our cultural arbiters demand that a high school boy be allowed to shower with the girls because he self-identifies as female.
Our mainstream media routinely mock conservatives, Republicans, and traditional Americans, while our colleges, usually run by simpering cowards, kowtow to radical students and silence others.
Race relations are tense at home, while overseas Islamic terrorists run wild. Meanwhile, merely using that 'Islamic' descriptor is taboo to many in our chattering classes. The national debt is stratospheric, crime in many of our big cities is on the rise, and we have a Congress that can't even pass a law that would protect Americans from predatory illegal aliens. What a mess!
But with all that out of the way, this is Thanksgiving and Americans still have much for which to be extremely grateful. This is not the oppressive and xenophobic country portrayed by radical leftists; in fact, there has never been a more welcoming and pluralistic nation in the history of this planet.
At our southern border, Mexicans are desperately trying to get into the USA. Have you ever heard of an American eager to cross the Rio Grande in the other direction? The poorest people around the world, who obviously don't read the left-wing blogs, still see this land as a shining beacon.
So while things may seem bleak at the moment, remember that timeless saying: 'This, too, shall pass.' America has survived wars, financial panics, recessions, depressions, and the tumult of the 1960s and 1970s. Our 'one nation indivisible' was even split in two for a few years and emerged stronger than ever.
More than 7 in 10 Americans now believe the USA is in decline, and a most believe their children face an America of limited opportunities. But Americans have been gloomy before, and gloom does not necessarily presage decline.
One final aside involves an R&B singer name William DeVaughn, now 67 years old. More than 40 years ago, while working at a government desk job, he spent his own money to record a song called 'Be Thankful for What You Got.' The record, with its inspirational message of gratitude and optimism, sold 2-million copies. DeVaughn quit his civil service job and was presumably more thankful than ever.
If you are an American reading this, you are presumably aware that you live in the greatest country that has ever existed. Never has there been a place more free, more generous, offering more opportunity to people from around the world. That extends to people of every nationality, every hue, and every faith.
So despite the daily chaos and the current lack of leadership, we can all be very, very thankful. Take William DeVaughn's advice, and not only on Thanksgiving.