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Thankful for the struggle

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Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, 8:57 p.m.
 

Some of you are feeling the emptiness that candidates face after an ego-bruising drubbing. Not being professional politicians, you might find yourselves at loose ends.

Of course, you can hang on to the anger that swelled on election night, wallow in incredulity, bathe in the notion that those poor fools who voted for the winner are forever misguided. That will make for a very long four years, and it is usually a guarantee that you will lose again the next time.

Still, total denial has its place and, if it works for you, you can point to the fact that the House of Representatives remains in Republican control. It will buy some time for your righteousness, at least until the realization that grotesquely gerrymandered districts had more to do with that than your ideology.

But if you are not so entrenched, you might start with a grudging recognition that the country is changing and that a little shift to the left on some of the big issues is in order. A touch of libertarianism would be a start, getting government out of women's health care and allowing Americans to marry whom they choose.

If you want to be all in, a compassionate immigration policy with a clear path to citizenship could use your help. A jobs bill aimed at our crumbling infrastructure is a natural, now that the election is over. And a little higher tax rate for our fabulously wealthy fellow citizens, who have prospered in a nation that all Americans have built, seems to be in order.

If you were finally bitten by the political bug, there are some immediate ways to stay engaged. Signing one of those secession petitions is easier now that you can do it online — but you better hope that no one takes you up on it. Paying for an army and finding replacements for Social Security and Medicare will be pricey.

And there are now counter-secession petitions being circulated, demanding that those who are seeking secession be stripped of their American citizenship. While neither side will get its way, it is a vigorous exercise of the First Amendment.

Whether you are joyous or dismayed by the result of the election, there will be a chance on this Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the cherished right to vote and the opportunity to engage in the political struggle to your heart's content.

Our purely American holiday was first proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln, in the midst of the Civil War, summoning all citizens to recognize the blessings of our nation.

This is a good year for that.

Joseph Sabino Mistick, a lawyer, law professor and political analyst, lives in Squirrel Hill (SabinoMistick@aol.com).

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