Be thankful despite election
It is Thanksgiving, but you’re wondering how you can be thankful when you’re so invested in agonizing over the election of Donald Trump.
Well, let’s look at it this way:
We are going to have a peaceful transition of power between two parties and, really, two men, who are polar opposites, who stand for vastly different things, who view certain people in vastly different ways (one with respect, the other with disdain), and the nation will go on.
Imagine such a sea change in some other nations. Then be thankful that we can switch from Johnson to Nixon to Carter to Reagan to Bush to Clinton to Bush to Obama to Trump without the economy failing, without real pitched battles.
Yes, there are protests, and some of the protesters are ignorant enough to believe that violence is a means to an end, but within a few months – perhaps even weeks – they’ll get bored or realize the futility of their actions or, one can only hope, wake up and understand that the democratic process might not have worked as they wished, but it worked, and perhaps they’ll get it and be thankful for that.
But to bring it home to Milford:
There are many places on this planet where Suzanne Fournier, who speaks for a group called Brox Environmental Citizens, would either not be permitted to speak or, if given an inch, would be hustled away before she could take a foot, forget about a mile. But Fournier was been bedeviling Milford officials for months over plans to develop the Brox property, speaking on behalf of the Blanding’s turtle and the hognosed snake, neither of which species would give Vladimir Putin a moment of thought before he hustled away Fournier and friends, and not to a charming dacha in the Moscow countryside.
And many of you in Milford and elsewhere know Steve Borostyan, who, in 1956, escaped from Hungary as Soviet tanks rolled into the streets, showing Hungarians the polar opposite of peaceful transition. In 1956, Imre Nagy was in his second term as chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Hungarian People’s Republic, a governing body that certainly sounds as if it should have been hand in iron fist with the Soviets. But his government had been approved by Kruschev, so in rolled the tanks, out raced thousands of Hungarians who couldn’t stand against machine guns with their Molotov cocktails, and two years later, Imre Nagy was, in the finest Soviet tradition, executed.
Ask Steve Borostyan if he is thankful now, 50 years after he was forced to flee his homeland.
Millions of Americans supported Donald Trump, some for what we would consider good reasons, some for terrible: When the KKK is out celebrating an election, it’s clear that the KKK wasn’t voting against NAFTA.
You want to know why so many millions voted for Trump? Bob Dylan explained it in 1963 in "North Country Blues," to which we give you the final verse:
"The summer is gone, the ground’s turning cold
"The stores one by one they’re all folding
"My children will go as soon as they grow
"Well, there ain’t nothing here now to hold them."
It’s about a midwest mining town that, finally, couldn’t make it because:
"They complained in the East, they are paying too high
"They say that your ore ain’t worth digging
"That it’s much cheaper down in the South American towns
"Where the miners work almost for nothing."
We here in the Souhegan Valley might ask ourselves if much has changed for the folks out in those old mining towns, and as we ponder that, we can try to remember that most of us out this way are doing all right. And many people believe that under a President Trump, they’ll be doing better.
We don’t know.
But we’ll say this: After the inauguration in January, Suzanne Fournier will still have no worries about bedeviling the folks in power and Steve Borostyan won’t have to worry about tanks in the streets.
So sit down for dinner with your family, forget about who voted for whom, and just think about this and be glad:
The Detroit Lions are relevant on Thanksgiving Day.