wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost2

Most Read: Opinions

direct signup

Today’s Opinions poll

Should Congress deal with the immigration crisis -- tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors at the border -- before its August recess?

Submit
Next
Review your answers and share
Tom Toles
Posted at 07:15 AM ET, 11/21/2012

Thanks

Let me burden you now with a Facebook-style festival of bragging about how terrific my personal life is, in the guise of how “thankful” I am for it. Kidding! Does anybody besides me get tired of that particular gambit?

But I AM thankful for things that might actually intersect with things going on in YOUR life, which I think ought to be the standard for widely disseminated public utterances. Let’s start with that ELECTION. And let’s not start with gloating. Yes, I’ve done some here, but I was forced into it, goaded by an election-long onslaught of vitriol about the president and the impossibility of his being re-elected, from the conservative cohort in my comments section. Should I perhaps have risen above the urge to retaliate in schoolyard fashion? Perhaps. But that would have covered up my true feelings, imperfect feelings. And imperfect feelings are required for interesting writing.

But let me take some wasted moments to try to persuade Romney voters that they should be thankful for Obama’s re-election too. First of all, he’s not Romney. Even Romney voters can take some pleasure there, since Romney voters didn’t like Romney either. Second of all, Obama is NOT A SOCIALIST, despite what you heard. He has a pretty distinct sense of government’s strengths and limitations, and he didn’t NEED A TELEPROMPTER to explain it to him. Yes, Obama is ACTUALLY SMART. We can all be thankful for that. Maybe Obama does not embody a return to the America you wish we could return to, but fact is, we were never really there. And even to the extent we were, the economy is changing. Fundamentally. And minority rights in this country have historically been REALLY NOT GOOD. We had to face some facts, and move forward into a more complicated future. Except it turns out to be LESS complicated: a country that works for everybody. You don’t disagree with that, do you? Not out loud, anyway.

Americans, at heart, want America to work. We want our presidents to succeed, in our intermittent moments of sanity. The Health Care thing will bump along in a forward direction, and not destroy personal initiative, and deliver some better health outcomes for lots of people. Maybe even you. Don’t be so sure. The old system was BROKEN, don’t forget, and getting more broken by the minute as costs were skyrocketing. Government will still be limited to a manageable fraction of the economy, HONEST. Everybody, and I mean everybody understands how market forces are beneficial in a thousand ways. Just not every single way.

And stop hoping for Obama to be brought down by a scandal. He’s a human being, but look at the record. If the “scandals” he’s been charged with are as bad as it gets, this guy is Mr. Clean himself. Don’t resent that. Be thankful for it. And his desire to tax the rich a bit more? To help fix that DEFICIT you were so frantic about a while back? Let me put that in some context. We’re Americans, right? That means, on some level, we take actual pride in and responsibility for the nation as a whole. right? It’s not we’re Americans only if we can be immeasurably rich. What do we ask of our soldiers? Life and limb. Let me repeat that. Life and limb. For the nation. For other Americans. For us. Some higher taxes on the wealthy when they are richer than any generation in the planet’s history? For their country? They should be grateful for the opportunity. And we’ll all say thanks.

By  |  07:15 AM ET, 11/21/2012

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company