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This Thanksgiving ...

November 14, 2016
By Betsy Bethel ( , OVParent

This election season has been one for the record books. In my memory, there has never been a presidential election in which both major party candidates have been attacked relentlessly - not on the basis of policies and platforms, but for their very characters and core values.

My daughter is 10, and her fifth-grade class has been discussing the election a lot, considering their social studies teacher is a major party convention delegate. She has come home from school with the usual political puns and jabs and jokes you might expect from her age group, but she also has asked some questions that lead me to believe she is a little frightened for our country and for herself personally.

As I write this, I don't know the election results, but I will write here what I've told her, which is what my dad told me during another presidential election that had me worried 16 years ago: No matter who is elected, we will be OK. Our government is set up in such a way that a president does not call all the shots. And he or she can't ruin our nearly 300-year history in four years.

This November, I am grateful, no matter who is at the helm, to be an American citizen. The U.S. is not perfect, but "at least I know I'm free." Anyone who cries "abandon ship" because they don't like skipper doesn't understand what this nation was built on or for.

This Thanksgiving, we will count our many blessings over plates of turkey and mashed potatoes, just as we have done for generations. I will make my favorite cranberry chutney. This year, like last year, we will have our special friend from China with us at the table, who has taught us much about life in her country while we have given her a taste of American family life. We have learned, at our core, we all just want to be accepted and loved for who we are.

I am thankful for the privilege to work for a free press, to worship how I choose without fear of being killed or jailed, and to live in a country where you can still realize your potential if you work hard and take advantage of the opportunities you are given.

Let's be thankful. When everything seems like it's falling apart, we must look to the past for reassurance that we will overcome, and we must look to the future - our children - to make sure we do.



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