BETWEEN THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS

During Thanksgiving and Christmas our collective mood becomes festive. Americans in general tend to become generous at this time. Organizations and institutions committed to doing good send out their appeal so that recipients can respond and they do. Unfortunately many of the appeals turn out to be coming from con artists. They make victims out of generous people. Yet, ordinary folks continue to show their generosity and try to help others. An organization like Salvation Army serves tens of thousands of people down and out on their luck. It depends on people's goodwill and the Red Kettle. In order to cheer up children from needy families at Christmastime its Angel trees pop up at stores, churches and many other public places. Those who are able to help participate in the charity

Every society has its haves and have-nots. American society is no exception. Interestingly, compared to the rest of the world, it has a lot more haves than have-nots. There has been no country in history with so many people with so much wealth. Even those who are completely down and out in America live much better than many in other countries. Of course this argument becomes meaningless for someone who is struggling at the bottom of the society. In spite of this, there is one particular thing that keeps America separate from others. Here, given an opportunity a person has a real chance to move upward. It is the "can do" attitude of the American spirit that makes this happen.

We inherited such spirit from all those who settled in this country against all odds. They came from different lands with a simple goal to find opportunity for themselves and their offspring. They also carved a path for generations to follow. Their spirit today continues to inspire all Americans. They also brought different cultures and ways of life, influenced each other and transformed America.

Today, some people look at new immigrants as a burden. In every generation, feeling like this has persisted. Yet, at the beginning the new arrivals got a helping hand from those who had been here longer. These immigrants eventually became a part of the nation's fabric and contributed to its growth. Although many newcomers found acceptance difficult at the beginning, by their continuous presence they became a part of the community around them. Through education, ingenuity and hard work they bettered their own lives as well as their environment. Many of the same people who had come with only clothes on their backs now have charitable foundations through which they contribute to non-profits.

Unfortunately, the Trump administration is doing its best to keep the immigrants away. Building a wall seems to be its solution. However, it will take more than a wall to keep others away from America as it is not a geographic area only. America connects to millions around the world emotionally. Its educational system, the sense of equality, the rule of Law and the wide-open space attracts them from all directions. They hunger to be a part of the Promised Land. Instead of taking pride in its openness, hospitality and all around progress Trump has taken a bleak look and portrays the country as a victim which it is not. Its image around the world and the values it upholds are the most valuable assets. However, they are being depleted by the mindless portrayal of a nonexistent victimhood.

Chinese clothes and toys, Mexico's shipment of finished refrigerators and washing machines, champagnes bottled in France and olive oil from Italy make American household comfortable. They make American companies and their shareholders richer. Americans' wealth also depends on the purchasing power of other countries who must be wealthy enough to buy its helicopters, turbines, earth movers, missiles and cars along with many other big ticket items. By squeezing them financially, the administration is hurting Americans - farmers and l workers.



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