Things I’ve Found to be Thankful for in 2017

A Puritan Thanksgiving by Dan Beard, 1894.(Sourced from Wikimedia, public domain)

by Thomas L. Knapp…….

It’s that time of year, and like most of you I’m planning on a big meal and a lazy afternoon as America celebrates yet another Thanksgiving. Naturally, I’m also thinking back over the previous year and looking for things to be thankful for. I’ve found some. Here are a few that aren’t about family, spiral cut ham and so forth:

I’m not thankful that Donald Trump is president of the United States, but I am thankful that he hasn’t blown up the world or any of the other bad things that some were predicting this time last year.

He’s even done some good things, like firing US Attorney Preet Bharara (and all the other US Attorneys), appointing a so far not too terribly shabby Supreme Court Justice (Neil Gorsuch), and throttling back a little on some aspects of the executive branch’s regulatory urges.

He’s also failed to deliver on some of the worst things he promised.

His protectionist disposition on trade hasn’t cratered the American economy — at least not yet.

There’s no wall on the border with Mexico — at least not yet.

He hasn’t pulled the plug on the Iran nuclear deal — at least not yet.

The courts continue to frustrate his attempts to cow sanctuary cities and ban Muslims from visiting and moving to the United States.

While he’s escalated US military adventurism in Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere, he’s so far held off on all-out war with North Korea. Let’s keep our fingers crossed on that, just in case.

For all these things I am thankful.

While I never supported Trump, I was thankful when Hillary Clinton didn’t win last year’s presidential election. A year later, I am thankful that she’s not president. If anything, she’s spent the last year demonstrating her own complete unfitness for the office to anyone who doubted it before. It’s not so much that I think she’d have been worse than Trump. It’s that for all practical purposes she IS Trump, minus the entertainment value.

I’m thankful for Congress, too. Not for anything they’ve done, but for the fact that they’ve been able to do so little. Gridlock is good and we’re long overdue for some. Here’s hoping for three more years of it. Laws are like speech: If you can’t pass anything nice, better to pass nothing at all.

Most of all, I’m thankful for all of you: The editors who choose to publish my columns and the readers who hopefully enjoy — and sometimes respond to — those columns. The Garrison Center’s mission (and mine) is to bring libertarian viewpoints to mainstream newspapers and non-libertarian political publications. That happened nearly 1,000 times in 2016 and I expect it to happen more than 1,000 times in 2017.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism ( He lives and works in north central Florida.

Facebook Comments

12 thoughts on “Things I’ve Found to be Thankful for in 2017

  1. “It’s not so much that I think she’d have been worse than Trump. It’s that for all practical purposes she IS Trump, minus the entertainment value.”

    Comparing President Trump to Hillary Clinton is like comparing a Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jet to a child’s paper airplane.

    1. Strange comparison. While I agree that Trump is similar to an F-35 (an expensive pile of junk that nobody can seem to either get rid of or get to work correctly), Clinton is not an inexpensive toy that works the way it’s supposed to.

  2. Really was no other good choices.Both sides could ran better people. With the choices we went with Trump. If he starts to get the backing required then he will change the country. As to war with North Korea I do think it is a must and surprised Trump hasn’t took that action yet. If or should I say when, then let’s do it fast and wipe them off the map and not help them recover.

    For us we are dam thankful Clinton did not win. Let’s hope she never runs again.

      1. Two-term Ohio governor John Kasich was my choice out of all of the candidates. Now after seeing President Trump in action, I realize that although Gov. Kasich would have been a very good president, he would not have been able to change the world in such a positive way as Trump has and will even more in the future. After decades of emptiness, we finally have a strong President and leader who is instilling pride of country in Americans again.

        As far as Trump’s team goes, something that might seem insignificant to some but stands out is when Sec. of State Rex Tillerson did the obligatory “sword dance” with Saudi royals. A reporter asked him how it was and he replied, “It’s not my first time.” Telling in that he like many others in the Trump team have been dissed as not being politically correct and “political speak” career politicians, but they in fact are extremely experienced in the ways of the world, and are respected worldwide and becoming more so as time goes on.

        1. I found Kasich interesting for a few minutes, until it became apparent that he was willing to pander to anyone and anything. My recollection is that I began to understood him in one of the debates when he started weirdly saying he’d like to punch “Russia” in the nose or some idiotic thing like that.

          Then there’s the matter of his support for the Ohio Secretary of State in the fight to keep Ohioans from being allowed to vote for Libertarian Party candidates. “Fight” being a nice word for “criminal conspiracy.”

          Of all the bad ideas coming out of the Trump administration, its coddling of the Saudis (especially US participation in their war crimes in Yemen) may be the one with the most long-lasting negative consequences.

          1. Gov. Kasich is an extremely hard worker and idea man, but not a captivating speaker. However, he would have hit the ground running if he was elected as he had a bunch of his people to go with him and also had his plans ready to go. He is known for being able to cross the aisle, and did so famously as a U.S. Representative when he greatly led the charge for our last balanced Federal budget. Besides that, he consistently was a good ways ahead of Hillary Clinton in the polls (If you believe in polls).

            The last Liberterian standing, I believe it was Johnson, was someone to look at…until he started actually talking and then it was apparent that he was very lacking in overall knowledge. Consequently, he began to shrink as time went on in the election process.

          2. Gary Johnson wasn’t my ideal candidate, and in fact I worked for and supported one of his opponents at the Libertarian Party’s national convention.

            That said, he was far and away the best of three when compared to Trump (or any other of the likely GOP nominees) and Clinton (or any other likely Democratic nominee. He was a two-term Republican governor, elected both times in a usually Democratic state, as was his running mate. His platform, while not perfect, was the only one even remotely close to being worth a vote for those who wanted a free, peaceful, economically strong America.

      2. My point is your vote should have been Either Trump or Clinton. The smart move would been to vote for the one you think would done the best or simply not voted.
        As to me I will make out great even if Clinton got in. She likely would brought property values back down and then I would buy more. If they raise we sell. I profit from either way . The trick is knowing how to play the game. Yes I know you don’t care for Trump and I respect that as . your choice. But of the 2 would you really wanted Clinton ?

        1. And my point is that since I don’t hate America, I couldn’t in good conscience vote for Trump or Clinton. The only even moderately acceptable ticket on most ballots for pro-freedom, pro-America voters was the Libertarian ticket. I didn’t really have a strong preference between the two major anti-freedom/anti-American candidates.

  3. Just think if there were only 2 party’s to vote for ? That just might have got Clinton in. Thankfully they wasted a vote on a no chance in hell. Trump is far from the end and dam sure only wants to change what has happened since I was a teen. Like it or not he is in office

    1. Well, as I wrote, I’m not thankful that he’s in office. I’m thankful that he’s made progress on some of his few good ideas, that he’s been largely frustrated in attempting to implement his bad ideas, and that he is likely to be a four-year lame duck getting little support in Congress. Unfortunately, he may have enough power as chief executive to crater the economy with his idiotic ideas on trade. I guess we’ll see.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.