It has been a long, strange year since last Thanksgiving. There has been so much we may think we should not or cannot be thankful for. So many things to regret, or wish had not happened, or to fret over. But they happened. The last year happened.

Now we are here, this 23rd of November, and it is our day of thanks. The day when Americans look around and seek out what is good, what our blessings are, how we are lucky. We remind one another of what has made us happy.

I think I see in us all the increasing difficulty in appreciating what is good and the greater awareness of what is bad, instead. But today I am trying, and I hope you are, to remember what is good even about the things that we think are bad. I don’t mean in our own lives, necessarily.

I am, for example, grateful to be alive. There were so many times I almost wasn’t. I’m grateful for my loved ones, for my family, for my wife and my children. It is impossible to look at them any day, much less today, and not be overwhelmed with gratitude for every second. We all have so many blessings just being Americans.

But no, not just our personal lives. That’s pretty easy. I am trying to be grateful for things it is very hard to be thankful for. I’m thankful for our democratic system of government, even when I think, as I have most of my adult life, that we’ve chosen poorly in an election. I’m thankful we renew our chance every few years, that we can try again, that we keep trying and never question that we should.

I’m thankful for our very American traditions of enduring our foes and critics. They are integral to our functioning system, and they aren’t the enemy.

I’m thankful for uninformed voters. Not for being uninformed, but for caring enough to vote. I’m thankful for those who kneel at football games, not for their rejection of the symbols of their own freedom, but for their free exercise and faith in their freedom to do so.

I’m thankful for a lot of things, even things I fight against or criticize. It is life.

But most of all, I’m thankful to be here at RedState, writing and reading about the passionate opinions of Americans, who rarely agree on everything other than this shared premise that we should air our disagreements. That is what we do here and I’m so glad to be a part of it.

Thank you to all our readers and friends, to our critics and our enemies, to those who we wish weren’t elected and those we wish had been, to those who oversee and keep us in line, and those who reach our audience and keep the lights on. To every reader and clicker and hater and tweeter and linker and Facebooker and angry emailer and more.

I hope you’ll all join me today in just taking a minute to be so glad that we are here, together, alive and loved and hated and alive.

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you.