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The Meaning of Thanksgiving Can Save America

Thanksgiving, according to Britannica.com, has come to “has come to symbolize intercultural peace, America’s opportunity for newcomers, and the sanctity of home and family.” This definition captures the ideals, more relevant than ever, of one of America’s favorite holidays. But these ideals are threatened, because America’s mainstream institutions have either rejected them, or have created an environment where they are no longer possible.

This is immediately obvious with the “woke” doctrine of race-based oppressor and oppressed, now promoted by academia, the media, entertainers, politicians, and corporations. Maybe the fellowship of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians is mostly fable, cruelly debunked by history.

Or maybe, fable or not, it is an inspiring message of unity for a nation of settlers and immigrants who have created a place where everyone, including descendants of the Indians, have enjoyed more freedom and opportunity than anywhere else in the history of the world. That’s a debate we have to wage, and one we cannot lose. Like all nations and tribes, America has had dark moments. But the good overwhelms the bad. It’s not even close.

The attempted destruction of America’s self-confidence and unity by its own institutions, however, which must be challenged and overcome, must not distract from an even bigger problem. America’s institutions have also launched a propaganda campaign, growing in intensity every year, that claims we face an existential climate crisis, and massive sacrifices are necessary to cope. This is a lie.

It’s particularly relevant to reflect on this fraud during Thanksgiving, because our nation of settlers and immigrants would not exist if the types of rules and restrictions being imposed on Americans today were in effect 400 years ago. And it gives rise to a fundamental conflict: We continue to invite immigrants from around the world to move here, but thanks to extreme environmentalist restrictions, we are unable to build the necessary infrastructure to support them.

This violates the second essential value of Thanksgiving as defined by Britannica.com, the celebration of how America provides opportunity for newcomers. That opportunity has been hijacked and destroyed by corporate special interests, hiding behind woke ideologues and environmentalists. The woke say let them come, and they’re coming these days by the millions. Then the environmentalists say we have to lower our “footprint,” hence we can’t make room for the newcomers. Environmentalist restrictions have made it nearly impossible to expand existing cities or build new cities.

The consequences of this are a dismal diminishing of quality of life for immigrants as well as for the people already here. Migrants are arriving by the tens of thousands to New York City, where the average apartment rents for over $5,000 per month. On the opposite coast, in sprawling Los Angeles, the average rent is nearly $3,000 per month for an 800 square foot apartment.

This engineered shortage of housing, resulting in demand driven prices rising to unaffordable levels, is unprecedented. It is caused by a perfect storm of public corruption and corporate greed exploiting the primal fear of “global boiling” to silence dissent. This breeds intercultural disharmony, as aspiring low income communities including massive waves of immigrants are denied amenities enjoyed by all who purchased homes before the storm hit the shore.

The climate scam is simple, but it is a betrayal of everything that made America a great and welcoming place. Instead of using public money to build roads and enabling infrastructure to encourage more home construction, increase pay and benefits for public employees, and hire more public employees to dole out welfare to the people who can’t afford homes. Instead of competing to provide homes at affordable prices, developers collect subsidies to build “affordable housing.” It’s all to save the planet, and the scam translates into every industry, and elevates the cost for every one of life’s essentials.

Which brings us to the sanctity of home and family. It’s difficult to imagine how America’s institutions could be more committed to destroying home and family. It is financially impossible for most young couples to afford a home close to their jobs. The average home in New York City is $733,000, in Los Angeles it’s $926,000. Try to pay that monthly mortgage, while also covering property taxes and insurance, along with utilities and maintenance. And if mom works? Expect to pay $20,000 per year, per child, for childcare, at the same time as mom’s income pops you into a higher tax bracket. The cards are stacked.

Economic war against the family is only part of the problem, however, the moral assault on home and family is much worse. American women are trained to reject motherhood. Apart from traditional churches, every cultural influence in America tells women it’s not worth it. From the Atlantic, “having children is terrible for quality of life.” Fortune writes “millennials break from tradition and embrace being child-free.” Time, “Having It All Without Having Children.” And as for Christianity? “It “prevents women from being free from male oppression.”

No children. No Christianity. But if you buck the trend and have children? What does American society teach these children about home and family? These two articles from America’s “newspaper of record,” the New York Times, provides an indication. “Let’s Quit Fetishizing the Single-Family Home,” and “The Nuclear Family Is No Longer the Norm. Good.” No home with a yard and a garden. No mom and dad. Despite overwhelming evidence that people prefer detached homes and children of two parent households do better in life. According to America’s mainstream institutions, those things are bad.

Make a single family home unaffordable, and stigmatize it as an environmental abomination. Cordon off the cities and stack everyone together via infill and densification. And just in case the rising generation still wants to have a traditional family, marinate them in climate terror so they’ll join the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, or neuter them with transgender affirmation.

Such is the betrayal of America by what were once our trusted institutions. Everything that Thanksgiving represents – cultural harmony, opportunity, and family – is under attack. It must be stopped. Not slowed down. Stopped cold, eradicated, and replaced with the traditions and values that built this country.

For Americans who still embrace the Thanksgiving holiday for all of its historic promise, it can remind us that unity is still possible, that opportunities in this nation can still be available to everyone, and that more than anything else, our homes and our families are the cherished foundation of our health and happiness. When we fight the nihilistic Left and their opportunistic corporate enablers, we must never forget what tremendous upside our American traditions provide, or the joy and optimism and sense of possibility that has always defined our people.

This is a fight for the soul of the nation. There is no reason why the spirit of Thanksgiving cannot inform a resurgent America, and endure for another 400 years and beyond.

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About Edward Ring

Edward Ring is a senior fellow of the Center for American Greatness. He is also is a contributing editor and senior fellow with the California Policy Center, which he co-founded in 2013 and served as its first president. Ring is the author of Fixing California: Abundance, Pragmatism, Optimism (2021) and The Abundance Choice: Our Fight for More Water in California (2022).

Photo: Massasoit, the Wampanoag Indian chief who maintained peaceful relations with the English in the area of Plymouth, Massachusetts, visits the Pilgrims. (Photo by Stefano Bianchetti/Corbis via Getty Images)