Americans Have a Lot to Be Thankful For

Monday, 22 Nov 2010 08:52 AM

By Jon Friedman

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We Americans have a lot to be thankful for, this and every week.

For all of the criticism of the media, political system, culture and society, we should always remember that we have the right to bitch about these institutions in the first place.

Imagine what would happen if you dared to complain in North Korea or Iran or anywhere else where there is no freedom of speech or press.

It wouldn't be pretty.

Yes, we have a lot of excess and problems in this country. The economy is a mess. The political system is broken. The media make too much noise but don't give us much news. But somehow we seem to get through every crisis as a nation. Somehow, America makes it to the next day (and crisis, of course).

Hopefully, we will remember our nation's ideals during the holiday season (at the very least). For five weeks, maybe liberals and conservatives can set aside their bitter (and often foolish) ideological disputes and celebrate being Americans.

Wouldn't it be nice to live in a country where tea party backers aren't screaming about President Obama's shortcomings?

Likewise, it would be delightful if the left wing remained mute. There is so much to celebrate in the place of political beliefs, when the "leaders" are content to preach to the choir.

We can feel good about living in a democracy and in a world of capitalism, when the best and brightest among us, from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Ore., can get ahead, rise to the top of any field and triumph over class.

That's pretty good.

Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here to read his latest column.

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