Rights americans should be more thankful for

Jon Wilcoxson, Opinion Assistant

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Thanksgiving. The classic all-American holiday celebrated since before the Revolutionary War. Many people celebrate by eating turkey, ham, and cranberry sauce. However, many people take for granted many of the rights that allow Americans to celebrate this holiday — access to a bountiful agricultural sector, a peaceful political state and a socially harmonious society.

Famine is a major issue that has affected the world for generations. Scholars have recorded major famines since the dawn of time. According to ABC News, several major famines occurred as recently as the 20th century, including in the Soviet Union and Communist China. Both of these famines were caused by government mismanagement, poor crop performance and brutal wars. America, however, has been blessed with relative food security throughout the 20th century. America did suffer from a major drought in its heartland in the 1930s, but was able to eventually recover. Many individuals in America have access to great amounts of food, thanks to advancements such as modern pesticides, combines and improved packaging that helps food last for significant lengths of time.

Another right many Americans take for granted is a peaceful political state. Turning on the TV to any of the major stations could lead a person to believe that the United States is on the cusp of a new civil war. Tensions are high between the left and the right, but look at the facts: the positions of power have transferred peacefully, no major violent conflict has taken place as a result of President Trump taking office and no mass migrations out of the United States have occurred. Other countries are not as fortunate as the United States. Look at the Soviet Union, which saw mass political purges and the “disappearances” of leaders from the opposition elements.

Some might argue that America is constantly gripped by paranoia and marred by violence, but many in America still believe in the same values that the United States was founded on: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. More Americans might see a world of harmony and equality if they worked to ensure that these values were open to all in their own lives, and if they ceased to listen to the ravings of a media system that breeds contempt, anger and distrust. In realizing this world of harmony and equality, more Americans might see that these differences make the country great. And despite these differences, pretty much all Americans eat turkey, cranberry sauce and apple pie this week. Except for those who eat ham, but that is a whole different argument for another day.

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