Editor’s note: This commentary is by Weiland Ross, a resident of Sunderland.
It is somewhat problematic to put together a column that will run on this particular week. This year’s holiday is for many of us, if not most, a truncated affair. The usual mob scene family gatherings are not supposed to happen this year because of the fear of spreading the COVID-19 virus. Some of us are “conscientious acceptors” and will follow the rules. Some of us will follow the rules for fear of catching the virus. Some people will choose to stay home for fear that they might be asymptomatic carriers of the virus and don’t want to risk infecting anyone by accident. In any case, it will be a subdued affair compared to normal times. Norman Rockwell would have trouble coming up with an iconic painting to celebrate the holiday.
Further compounding the malfunctioning of this normally non-controversial holiday is the background music of our political situation. There are significant issues in play that go beyond the simple question of who will become (or remain) the president of the United States. Some of these are made up nonsense, most are really very important.
There are some bright spots to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. One is, if you are reading this, you are alive and well and have not become a sad statistic. Another is that, in spite of the Trump haters’ efforts to wish it to fail, “Operation Warpspeed” has produced multiple anti-virus vaccines that will become available very soon. Distribution mechanisms are in place already, so the vaccines should be administered beginning in December. States were asked to submit their plans to dispense the vaccine to the government over a month ago. This success alone is enough to merit a national “thank you” to the president and the Anti-Virus Task Force.
If there are any readers who think that peace is a good thing, consider that President Trump is the first president since Jimmy Carter not to involve the U.S. in a foreign military adventure. He has changed the paradigm for our relations with North Korea and the rest of the “axis of evil” — China, Iran and Russia. He has made major progress in opening relations between Israel and the Arab states that have been at war with Israel since 1948. Less talk and more action has changed the dynamics of the entire region for the better.
It is a good thing to have a president who believes in putting America first. Is that not the primary duty of our chief leader? After all, if we do not take care of ourselves, no one out there is going to do it for us. It is good to have a president who believes that the American people are strong, hard working, self-reliant and freedom-loving people who can keep America great. Instead of calling us “deplorables” and regarding us as hapless clods, President Trump pays us the respect we deserve. Let us be thankful for what we have and hope that the next Thanksgiving America will still be as great as we are today.