Thanks-mas — as our new winter holiday deserves to become known, with pumpkins and red-and-green lights merging in anticipatory celebration — only partly occludes the opportunities for national and personal gratitude widespread in Novembers past.
Such opportunities as can be found might, if grasped, afford a few moments of useful reflection on America’s present challenges. Those challenges have many forms and shapes, but a certain political character seems to shove most others aside. This makes a certain kind of sense. The big news stories are about politics: The president proclaims how it’s going to be on immigration policy; the secretary of Defense jumps from a White House window, propelled by supposedly friendly hands; a new Congress prepares for confrontation; the Supreme Court prepares to tell us what we think about everything or what we’d think if we all wore black robes.