What are we to think of America today? With an ongoing political three-ring circus between Democrats, Republicans and especially Donald Trump, anyone following the daily political drama has to be approaching the point of exhaustion.

Democrats are grasping at every straw in an attempt to undo the 2016 election, and our president can’t seem to stop providing them with the straws. The progressive media is doing double duty stirring the impeachment pot, sensationalizing and spinning every presidential utterance. They further insist America’s — and the world’s — end is near due to climate change. To them nothing good is happening in America.

Then we have the cultural divide, which is as wide as ever with no end is in sight. Republicans, perhaps because they have political control of the presidency and Senate, seem content with current policy and are comforted by the fact Democrats can do little to implement their liberal agenda.

Hopefully, as individuals, we all can find things in our lives for which to be thankful. But with all the political and cultural “noise” — both real and manufactured — is there anything in our obviously divided country we should collectively be thankful for?

Much of what we see reported today in the media can give a negative impression our country as its focus, at least in the more liberal outlets, seems to be on what they see as America’s systemic biases and “unfairness” toward people of color, women, homosexuals and other minorities.

Decrying social pathologies and inequities doesn’t mean liberals don’t recognize the good in America, but their emphasis on everything they see as wrong can come across as anti-American. It does not, however, follow that progressives don’t love America — here they appear to be victims of their own negativity.

But we might ask, if America is truly the racist, sexist, homophobic and greedy capitalist bully that many liberals promote, why is it that most people — especially those that might be victims of these alleged biases — if they could, would prefer to live in America? We know the answer. Overall, America is not these things. And we should be thankful for that.

It’s easy to get focused on the daily grind and forget there is a world outside of our own. We forget there are people who don’t have their basic needs met at all times. Yes, we still have struggles and life can sometimes be hard for some in America, but it’s a different kind of hard. We are focused on living, while people in other parts of the world are focused on surviving.

Every day we see nations around the world consumed by war, murder, slavery, abject poverty, starvation, religious executions and deadly diseases. There are over 7.5 billion people in the world, and we should be thankful even America’s poorest are better off than at least half of them.

In many nations, one risks their life to level any criticism of government or its leaders. We should be thankful for a nation where people can express their discontent by, for example, disrespecting the flag that represents America — for which so many have given their very lives.

America was never perfect, isn’t perfect today and will never be perfect. But we should reflect on and thank those who gave us our written Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights, those who fought to end the injustice of slavery and those who preserve freedom in the face of tyranny. And we should be eternally thankful to those who entered eternity in its defense.

Giese, a Dubuque native, owns Jim Giese Commercial Roofing. His email address is jimgiese@me.com.

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