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We’ve arrived once again at my favorite holiday of the year, Thanksgiving. In general, I just enjoy the laid back nature of this holiday and the ability, once the food is ready, to sit back and reflect on life in general and just how good we have it in our country overall.

We live in a country that gives us so many rights and privileges, and too often too many people take them for granted. We have freedom of speech, a tremendous luxury that many nations don’t allow. You can go on Facebook or Twitter or whatever your social media platform of choice is and basically defame people, including the leader of the United States, without repercussion. How many memes were created in the last year bashing President Obama and the two candidates contending for his office, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?

 Sometimes we take freedom of speech too far. Those sorts of examples might be amusing at times, but they also show a lack of respect for people who have put themselves out there, trying to do what they see as best for our country. You might not agree with their actions, but the anger I see displayed so often is unsettling. It’s easy to hide behind your Facebook profile or Twitter handle, but I wonder how many would have the gall to say those things to the face of the person they’re criticizing.

We have freedoms guaranteed us because of the constant defense of our land by the members of our military. We stand up and recognize our veterans and our deceased when Veterans Day and Memorial Day roll around, as well as the Fourth of July. But then you turn around and see people burning the American flag and it should make you sick to your stomach. Everyone has a right to express his or her opinion, but that’s taking it too far. The flag is a symbol of our great nation and should be treated with respect.

You don’t like what’s going on? Great, write a letter to the editor, send an e-mail to your congressmen, organize a rally to gain attention for your cause. Try the proper routes instead of just using the blanket of your freedoms to do what you want and show disrespect to the people who fought for that flag.

And then I have to turn on the television and see people using the right to assemble as an excuse to sow chaos and discontent because they don’t like the way the Presidential election turned out. They don’t like Donald Trump, a man who clearly won the electoral vote that is granted us by our freedoms in this country.

97 million people didn’t vote in our election this year. That’s about 42% of the population of the United States. What do you suppose was the percentage of protestors who didn’t vote? It’s an oft-used phrase that if you don’t vote, you can’t complain. I’m sure many of those people marching around voted, but you and I know that there were some in there who were just looking for an excuse to cause distress.

And what was going to be accomplished by these protests exactly? You can’t change the results of a democratic election. Protests in our past to strive for civil rights or to get out of Vietnam had a chance to effect change. Did these protestors think that someone somewhere would say, “Oh wait, we should change the election results”? Were they mad at the people who voted for Donald Trump? They should have been more upset with people who didn’t vote at all and might have voted for Clinton. There were many states that were awfully close.

Somehow I have a feeling that we would have seen the same happenings if Hillary had won. It seems like these days there are too many people who are looking for any excuse to walk around and shout that life is unfair. Wouldn’t it be nice to take the next month and a half, as we celebrate our holiday season, and just give our new President time to get things in place? I’m unsure what he’ll do, just like many other people, but let’s give him a chance to do something before we say he’s a bum.

In the meantime, I plan to sit back and think about how privileged I am to live in the United States, a land that gives me the freedom to type my thoughts each week and you the freedom to either read them or not, to agree with me or think I’m a loon.

I’ll also sit back and watch the Vikings and be thankful they finally got a new kicker. I’ll be even more thankful if they can turn things around and make the playoffs! Have a great Thanksgiving!

Word of the Week: This week’s word is opprobrious, which means expressing strong criticism, as in, “The crowds of protestors were quite opprobrious about the Electoral College system in place for Presidential elections.” Impress your friends and confuse your enemies!

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