A few days ago I asked my father if he shared my growing suspicion that my generation (those of us born after World War II) had really made a mess of things once we got in charge. My father was born in 1923, was 6 years old when the stock market crashed, grew up during the Great Depression and had just started college when the United States declared war on Japan. People of his generation were running the country until around 1992 when Bill Clinton was elected President. My impression was that life had been steadily getting better for most Americans all during the period his generation was in charge and that trend had started to reverse right around the time my generation took over. Was that, I asked him, how he saw it.
No, he said. What really impressed him about the last 20 years was the progress that had been made in regard to race. His generation, he felt, had been an impediment to progress in many ways in racial issues and apparently had to pass from the scene before fundamental progress could be made toward a truly color-blind society.
So that will be my Thanksgiving Day message. I am not sure where our country is going but we are going there more united, at least in terms of race, gender and sexual orientation, than we ever have been before, and for that we should give thanks.