Once again, it's been a hard, heart-wrenching, stomach-churning kind of year.
It's been a year of hotheads and blowhards and killing sprees and bloodshed and takedowns.
It's been a year in which tyranny took a few more steps forward and freedom got knocked down a few more notches.
It's been a year with an abundance of bad news and a shortage of good news.
It's been a year of too much hate and too little kindness.
It's been a year in which politics and profit margins took precedence over decency, compassion and human-kindness.
And now we find ourselves at this present moment, understandably overwhelmed by all that is wrong in the world and struggling to reflect and give thanks for what is good.
It's not easy, and it's getting harder by the day.
After all, how do you give thanks for freedoms that are constantly being eroded? How do you express gratitude for one's safety when the perils posed by the American police state grow more treacherous by the day? How do you come together as a nation in thanksgiving when the powers-that-be continue to polarize and divide us into warring factions?
With every passing day, the U.S. government more closely resembles an evil empire, governed by laws that are rash, unjust and unconstitutional; policed by government agents who are corrupt, hypocritical and abusive; a menace to its own people; and the antithesis of everything the founders hoped the government would be--a blessing to all the people.
We're not just dealing with misguided government officials run amok.
This is evil disguised as bureaucracy.
This is what Hannah Arendt referred to as the banality of evil.
Evil has a broad spectrum, but still... evil is evil.
Evil is what happens when government bureaucrats unquestioningly carry out orders that are immoral and inhumane; obey immoral instructions unthinkingly; march in lockstep with tyrants; mindlessly perpetuate acts of terror and inhumanity; and justify it all as just "doing one's job."
To that list, let me add one more: a populace that remains silent in the face of wrongdoing.