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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving thanks

As we celebrate the kindness shown by Native Americans to the original immigrants, it seems a good time to reflect on what has happened to the generosity of the Pilgrims' descendants.

The nativist instincts of the current Republican presidential candidates is a far cry from the sentiments on which this nation was founded -- and rather hypocritical from a group whose ancestors arrived in the new land on a variety of modes of transportation, including a slave ship.

But it is of a piece with the search for scapegoats that marks the campaigns of the party whose candidates profess divine intervention as a reason for their entry into the race.

I find myself in a strange position of sympathizing with Newt Gingrich over the outrage he has generated among his fellow candidates by using the word "humane" as a goal for immigration policy.

Humanity is at the core of a nation founded on the ideals of liberty and justice for all. It's true our slave-owning founders didn't put those concepts into practice on a regular basis, but they laid down noble goals for those who followed them and helped to build a great nation on the sweat and labor of Africans, Europeans and Asians.

When Gingrich becomes the voice of compassion for the Party of the 1 Percent, it suggests just how far the party founded by Abraham Lincoln has fallen.

So as we enjoy family, friends and a feast today, perhaps we should all reflect on where our families came from, how we have enjoyed freedom on which this nation was founded and give thanks we are not in the sights of the mean-spirited crew whose rhetoric stands in sharp contrast to those ideals.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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