What, exactly, are we thankful for?

It's ironic that Thanksgiving began as a celebration of establishing a nation on land that our ancestors presumed were theirs for the taking from the real natives of this place.

The National Weather Service office in Blacksburg predicts a mostly sunny Thanksgiving in these parts with a high temperature around 50 with a low in the high 30s.

That’s something to be thankful for in this turbulent year with a corrupt president backed by a complacently-corrupt political party and a cult following that puts personal ambitions above the needs of our country.

I’ve spent more than half a century either covering American politics as a reporter and/or photographer or working — for seven years — inside the system as a Capitol Hill Staffer or political operative and another five as an overpaid vice president of the National Association of Realtors.

Although those dozen years gave me an inside look at a disturbingly corrupt way to run and/or control our government, it is also a period that I regret and have apologized for many times. On this Thanksgiving week, I cannot be thankful for that period of my life.

I can be thankful for the bulk of my time spent as a newspaperman. That, at least, is a noble profession when practiced objectively without partisanship. Although I worked for mostly Republican Congressmen during my time on Capitol Hill, I did not join any political party and express any political ideology. I voted for the persons seeking an office, not for a member of any party. I’ve voted to Democrats, Republicans and independents.

I consider myself a recovering political agnostic. In 2016, I did not vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president.

On this Thanksgiving, Amy and I will be thankful that we are individuals, not a member of any political party. The only organization I belong to is the National Press Photographers Association and the Society of Professional Journalists (formerly known as Sigma Delta Chi, the oldest organization of journalists in America).

I also belong to HOG (the Harley Owners Group) because I ride a Harley motorcycle.

On Thanksgiving Day, Amy and I will have a holiday dinner at an Oriental restaurant of our choosing in either the New River or Roanoke Valley, but we will stay home on Friday, far away from any place that engages in the day after Thanksgiving gluttony known as Black Friday.

We’re thankful that participation in the retail madness that has nothing to do with the real reasons for either Thanksgiving or Christmas is not part of our current lifestyle.

The last time we took part of that madness was a Thanksgiving weekend trip to New York City for the Macy’s parade. Like the Kentucky Derby, Indianapolis 500 and a New Year celebration in Manhattan, it was one of those things one should only do once in a lifetime, if at all.

It’s ironic that Thanksgiving began as a celebration of establishing a nation on land that our ancestors presumed were theirs for the taking from the real natives of this place. I’m about 20 percent Seminole and am proud that my tribe was the one who never, ever, signed a “peace treaty” with America.

Enjoy the holiday later this week in whatever manner you wish. We will celebrate with sushi, Kung Pao chicken Thai pad noodles or perhaps Peking Duck, if we can find some.

And we will ignore Twitter. Thanksgiving should be observed without any tweaks from a corrupt president.

 

 

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