One of the worst aspects of an ever-enlarging government is that it begins to take on an outsized importance in our daily lives.
The political parties and people who control them become more important than they should be. Their policies — especially when they are destructive — become more important and impactful than they should be.
Disagreements over those policies become more frequent and fraught with tension and consequence than they otherwise would be.
And those disagreements spill over into our relationships with colleagues, co-workers, friends and family members, poisoning them — sometimes permanently.
All of the above (not to mention the fact that government does so many things poorly and at exorbitant and wasteful expense) are powerful arguments for reducing the size of government.
But even in the midst of heated exchanges over the direction of our country, there is much to be thankful for.
No. 1: We are still a free people.
No. 2: Americans are — finally — waking up to the reality that they paid insufficient attention to corruption in our government, bias in the press, corrosion in our educational system, rot in the entertainment industry, and the powerful propaganda machinery working throughout all of these institutions.
No. 3: Part and parcel of the American awakening is the demand for truly free speech.
To offer just one example, we have been made aware of the extent to which our federal, state and city governments, public health officials and the pharmaceutical companies lied to us over the past two-plus years about the origins of COVID-19, the relative risks of the disease, the length of prospective lockdowns and their economic impact, the effectiveness of readily available drugs to treat symptoms, the efficacy of the shots ("vaccines") that have been forced on tens of millions of Americans and — most recently — the serious health risks of those shots to young, otherwise healthy people.
The liars were immeasurably aided in their deceit by the social media companies — YouTube, Facebook, Twitter — that censored, shadow-banned and shut down the accounts of physicians, immunologists, nurses, scientists, professors, researchers, coroners and others who were trying, at great personal and professional risk, to bring the truth to the public.
That edifice is crumbling.
Alternatives to social media companies dominated by the left now exist, including Gettr, Telegram, Rumble and Truth Social.
And Tesla/Space X billionaire Elon Musk's purchase and purge of Twitter has the censorious classes' heads exploding at the flow of information now possible on that platform.
Truth is like water; it always finds a way.
No. 4: If there was anything good to come out of the school shutdowns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, it was the revelation of the garbage that is being taught in our schools and the indoctrination that passes for education.
Parents are fighting back against policies that allow boys in girls bathrooms and locker rooms, and on their sports teams; they are fighting to get sexually explicit material out of grade school curricula and libraries; they are fighting teachers who think their personal sexual preferences are appropriate topics in the classroom, and policies that encourage children to question their "gender" and to "transition" without the knowledge or consent of their parents.
Many of these policies have their origins in the school boards, and parents' rights advocates were very successful in this year's elections, tossing out school board members who have promoted or tolerated this abuse.
This is just the beginning.
No. 5: Corporations with "woke" policies are taking a long-overdue hit.
Whistleblower videos recorded and released to the public revealed Disney's "not-so-secret agenda" to promote LGBTQ issues in all its children's programming. In the next quarter, Disney suffered a $1.5 billion loss and the board ousted (now former) CEO Bob Chapek.
This, too, is just the beginning.
No. 6: While 2022 was not the "red wave" conservatives were expecting, it definitely reflects changes that we will see more of in the months and years to come.
Since the fiasco of the 2020 presidential election, many states have tightened up election integrity laws.
Plenty of citizens who have never previously become involved in anything political ran for office: for school boards, mayors, city councils, state legislatures, governorships and Congress.
Even more joined get-out-the-vote efforts and volunteered as poll watchers.
The only way we can ensure the safety and security of our elections is to be active participants in every aspect of them.
No. 7: Conservative messaging is winning over hearts and minds, candidates and voters.
More minorities ran as Republicans in 2022 than in any prior election year, and newly elected U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance in Ohio and reelected Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., appealed to working-class Americans, Hispanics, Blacks and other minorities.
These successes prove yet again that clear messaging, competence and common sense resonate across all demographics.
Slowly but surely, Americans are grasping that cities and states run by Democrats — Portland, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit — are being destroyed by policies that penalize law-abiding citizens, put criminals back on the streets and allow those with mental illness and substance abuse problems to live and die there.
No. 8: This is not just an American phenomenon.
In the Netherlands, Italy, Brazil and Iran, people are fighting back against the corruption and manipulation of what I have called the "savior class" — elites who think themselves entitled to make decisions whereby they are enriched beyond imagination, and everyone else is left impoverished, defenseless and obsequious.
These battles, too, are just beginning.
No. 9: Yes, we are still a free people. We have taken this for granted for too long.
Our gratitude for our incomparable liberty and the prosperity it produces includes fighting to ensure that our children and their children will enjoy those same blessings.
Our Founders fought a war for it. We can do no less.
Happy Thanksgiving, America.
Laura Hollis is a professor of teaching at the Mendoza College of Business, as well as a professor of business law and entrepreneurship at Notre Dame. Her career as an attorney has spanned 35 plus years. Her legal publications have appeared in the Temple Law Review, Cardozo Law Review, and the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy. Dr. Hollis has written for The Detroit News, HOUR Detroit magazine, Townhall.com, and the Christian Post. Read Reports by Prof. Hollis — More Here.