Why Have We Got Thanksgiving All Wrong?

As we hit Thanksgiving week once again, many are reminded of the need to give thanks for the many blessings we all enjoy.

Sadly, we need that reminder, as many of us are too busy complaining about what we don’t have, to remember to give thanks for what we do have. It’s basically impossible to be both thankful and ungrateful at the same time, as the two are polar opposites. But in our negatively focused world, the negative emotion of ungratefulness seems to take charge, overriding any feelings of thanksgiving.

There are many people in our country who are never really thankful. Rather, they are bitter about life in general and our country specifically.

They don’t see this day as an annual celebration of thanksgiving, but rather as an annual reminder of the wrongs that our country has done.

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Yes, our country has done wrongs. We aren’t perfect by a long shot.

But the revisionist history that the progressive-liberal left is pushing these days is far from the truth. For some reason, they have chosen to vilify every action of this great land of ours, and are determined to turn everything we Americans have ever done to bad, applying negative motivations to everything our forefathers did.

These people are essentially projecting their ideology onto the past, trying to show how the things they claim are wrong with this country have existed since the beginning. They ignore the true lessons of history and the true actions of those who came before us, in favor of spewing forth hatred.

Much of this hatred is racially based. As Booker T. Washington once said,

“There is a certain class of ‘race-problem solvers’ who don’t want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.”  

It seems that this class of people is still alive and well in America today.

Buy why should discontentment ever override thanksgiving? What is there in the human soul, which desires to complain rather than to give thanks? What has happened to this country, where we have forgotten about the importance of “happiness” in our pursuit of happiness?

I would have to say that there is more grumbling and complaining in America today, than there is in many other countries, which aren’t as well off. In fact, you rarely hear the people of those countries complain.

Oh, they might complain about their back hurting from hard work, but even that is minimal. Rarely do they complain about their country’s history, about being oppressed, or about how others have it better off than they do.

Actually, if those people talk about how others are better off than they are, it is as a dream; the dream of attaining that place for themselves. Much of the world still looks to America and the American Dream as something to be attained. That’s why hundreds of thousands of them come to America every year, by whatever means possible, including coming here illegally.

Those people come here looking for opportunity; for to them, America is still the land of opportunity. Yet there are those who languish inside our own borders, who don’t see the opportunity all around them. They complain about what they don’t have, rather than doing what they can to get it for themselves, missing opportunities that are right in front of their eyes.

This complaining attitude that we see all around us is actually a symptom of our affluence. As crazy as it may seem, when people don’t have to work hard to survive, they are much more likely to complain. With the ever-expanding welfare state we have in the USA today, there are many who have nothing better to do, than to complain.

So Many Reasons to Be Thankful For

I give thanks that I was born in this great country. No, it isn’t perfect, nor are the American people perfect. But it is way ahead of whatever is in second place.

I know many people in many parts of the world, and none of them live with all the advantages that we have in this country, regardless of our ethnic origins, gender or creed. We are a truly unique country; and for that, we should give thanks.

So, if people from other lands still see the United States of America as the land of opportunity, yet our own citizens don’t, where’s the disconnect? Who is wrong? Is it that those people just don’t see how evil our country really is? Or could it be that those of us why are discontented don’t understand who we are and the blessings they have received?

Are there people who have it better than others? Yes there are. Some are born with the advantage of wealth, but they are truly in the minority.

The true “advantage” that most have, isn’t wealth, but parents. They were born into a home with married parents who were committed to their children and to each other. They were taught a good work ethic. They were taken to church regularly. They were forced to do their homework. They were encouraged to study in college and they were disciplined by those parents, when they did wrong.

This is called “white privilege” by some, but it really isn’t a racial privilege, as it crosses racial lines. Children of every ethnicity, who grow up under the same conditions, have the same results, regardless of the color of their skin, the bathroom they use or the church they go to.

If there is any real privilege in this country, it is the privilege of being born an American. While the American Dream may not be what it once was, this is still the land of opportunity. Every day, people from all walks of life succeed, not because they are privileged, but because of having a dream and are willing to do the hard work necessary to turn that dream into reality.

I give thanks that I grew up in a country where my success isn’t dependent on my parents’ pedigree, but instead is based upon my own hard work. Were it not so, I wouldn’t be as successful as I am today. While some would want to destroy that, so far, it still stands.

Are there those who try and control society, business and the government? Yes there are. But show me a time and place in world history, where there wasn’t a group of “elite” people who were trying to control society, business and government. I don’t care if you refer to them as royalty, the Central Committee of the Communist Party or the oligarchy; there are always those who take control, “ruling” in their time and place.

American oligarchs are no more evil than the kings and princes of the past. Nor are they more selfish than the Politburo of the now-defunct Soviet Union. Whatever group of “elites” take control in whatever age of history, do so for their own benefit. There is no “class” of perfect, unselfish people who can be entrusted to rule, because they will always do what is best for others.

Yes, there have been those in authority, who have used their authority for the benefit of others, but they are in the minority. Even then, you can be assured that they used their positions for their own benefit, the benefit of their families and the benefit of their friends as well. That’s human nature.

But we can give thanks that the oligarchs of today, which some love to complain about, are at least doing so in a culture and under a political system, that allows their actions to give advantage to many others, not just themselves. While they may make millions more than the average middle-class person does, the corporations they are running give jobs to thousands of those middle-class people.

Thankful for What Makes Us Different

If there is one thing that America has given to the world, it is a system which allows the greatest opportunity for the most people to be lifted out of poverty. Our capitalistic, free-market system has generated more wealth and lifted more people out of poverty, than any other political-economic system ever devised my man. It may not be perfect, but it is the best we have.

In fact, it is so good, that it has been exported to the rest of the world. While many think of Coca-Cola and other such products as our biggest exports, they are not. Freedom, liberty, self-determination, and our free-market system are our biggest exports.

And they are exports which are changing the world.

Yet there are those who villainize that very same system, speaking of the “moral superiority” of socialism. How can it be morally superior to make everyone equally poor, while the elite still enjoy their positions of prestige and wealth? The very idea that such a socialist system is superior is beyond me, even without looking at the historic reality of how every socialist country has become communist, repressing individual liberty and stealing from the people. Any “superior system” would have to be one which gives the most opportunity to the most people.

Even with the oligarchy that we have (assuming that you and I accept that it exists), we are still a society which is based upon self-determination. Nobody is telling us what job we have to do or placing a cap on how much money we can earn. That’s something else we can give thanks for.

Our political system, while filled with imperfect people, gives us the right to remove those who fail us, the people, and replace them with those who will look after our rights. That’s what the voting booth is for. We the people are supposed to be in control.

But this takes effort. We must educate ourselves, rather than merely accepting what others say. The chattering class has their own agenda and it is not in our favor. We must look beyond what they tell us and seek the truth. Otherwise, the mainstream media will do our voting for us. They’ve done it before and I can guarantee you, they want to do it again.

Maybe if we quit complaining about our political system and the politicians in it and started educating ourselves about the issues and candidates, we could do better. We could vote for candidates of integrity and solid values. We could once more take control of our government and make it once again, a government by the people and for the people.

The problems our country faces aren’t Washington’s fault; they are ours. We the people have allowed them to exist. So it is up to we the people to do something about them. That’s why we have a vote. That’s why we have a voice. We must learn to use it.

I thank God that I live in a country where I have the right to vote… and I pray that more of us would take that right seriously and use that right in the right way!

Written by

Bill White is the author of Conquering the Coming Collapse, and a former Army officer, manufacturing engineer and business manager. More recently, he left the business world to work as a cross-cultural missionary on the Mexico border. Bill has been a survivalist since the 1970s, when the nation was in the latter days of the Cold War. He had determined to head into the Colorado Rockies, should Washington ever decide to push the button. While those days have passed, the knowledge Bill gained during that time hasn’t. He now works to educate others on the risks that exist in our society and how to prepare to meet them. You can send Bill a message at editor [at] survivopedia.com.

Latest comments
  • Not until the last paragraph did you properly identify who you are thanking.. .

  • I am proud to be an American and very thankful to the God who has so richly blessed us with life and liberty.

  • Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    We are still Free!

    I am one REAL American that is eternally “Thankful” for that, and
    Thankful to all those Brave Souls who have made my Freedom possible, no
    matter what is on the horizon!

    God Bless you & your families my Fellow Americans!!

  • It would be most difficult to choose a politician today as they must hold corruption to a high standard before even being considered to run for office today.

  • I could just about hear the late Paul Harvey reading this.

  • Great article that needs to be read, reflected upon, understood and shared by the 300+ million citizens of this nation. Our strength is in our unity. While we aren’t perfect, thousands from around the world come here daily just hoping for a better life. Trust me, if this better life could be found somewhere else, the thousands would be headed there. Many who are born here have become spoiled and complacent, while ignorance have given us the undisciplined and irresponsible. We have to change this if we are to continue as “one nation under God”. Our Declaration of Independence is our mission and our Constitution is how we achieve it.

  • If men were angels, no government would be necessary.

  • While I am very thankful to have been born in this US of A, I must point out why we really have Thanksgiving wrong. Both the Bible and the far-seeing TV program Star Trek show our ultimate human solution as socialism, wherein everyone (including the leader) is made equally rich, not poor. It is within communism where “the people” are made to live as poor socialists, while the leaders are capitalists — living off of everyone else’s work. (Remember that even here in the US we live in “communities”, communist gatherings.) That is why Christ promised us God’s Kingdom to come — a time when faulty human leadership subject to corruption is eliminated. It is God, the Creator of all, who deserves credit and all of our thanks!

  • I always read your articles, Bill,; I find them well-written and I tend to agree with your viewpoint most of the time. The same with this article … until the last bit. I believe that we are way past being able to make a difference through the voting process. With corruption and sheer indecency running so deep, and with the ‘deep state’, ‘the elite’ or ‘the 1%’, – whatever you wish to call them – so firmly entrenched I think it is going to require a whole lot more than mere elections to fix this country. What it is going to take I shudder to think …

  • The Bible does not advocate communism or socialism. It only seems to do so in Acts of the Apostles in which the early Christians in Jerusalem “had all things in common.” (Acts 2:44-45) They were only providing to those who had need. Jesus gave the parable of the nobleman who gave his ten servants a pound each to trade with. The servant that gained ten pounds was given authority over ten cities. The servant that gained five pounds was given authority over five cities. The servant that hide his lord’s money was called “wicked.” (Luke19: 12-26). God is in favor of capitalism sprinkled with a large amount of generosity.

  • Privilege is usually along racial lines and gender. Yes it can cross those lines, but they are usually a minority when compared to those whom privilege is based on race and gender. It is usually also based upon the idea that a certain group knows what is best for another group. The country since its founding has had this idea. White male landowners were the first group to have privilege. While it has gotten better, it has by no means been abolished. Yes there are those who are of the prominent groups that don’t have much privilege, they still have some privilege. You have to ask yourself to be honest and look at certain marginalized groups and be able to see the difference between them and you. Privilege is mostly about opportunities that a certain group may have that other groups may not have and how others treat the group that is without privilege. Do we see everyone the same regardless of race or gender? Do we trust those who do not look like us? Do we treat those who do not look like us the same as those who look like us? Sometimes it can be as simple as a different accent or how one dresses that can place that trust at a difference between members of the same marginalized group. Yet we still see members of a different race or gender as lesser.