Sunday, August 25th, 2019

Giving thanks


Publication: Waukesha Freeman (Conley); Date: Nov 24, 2010; Section: Opinion; Page: 13A

Giving thanks
Much to be grateful for if we look around

For the lovely Doreen from Waukesha and I, Thanksgiving is often a trial of endurance. Both of our families live close by. The challenge is to make it through two Thanksgiving dinners in a single day without ending up in the hospital in a turkey coma.

This year, we hit upon the idea of Thanksgiving breakfast. This will allow us to stretch out the Thanksgiving festivities with plenty of time between Thanksgiving meals. It is genius like this that allows me to avoid popcorn, toast and jellybeans for dinner.

As the Wigderson tribe of Wisconsin gathers again for our lessthan-traditional Thanksgiving meal, once again we will recount our blessings from the previous year.

Some years this has not been easy, such as two years ago, when the voters gave complete control of the state to the Democratic Party. I think most of us can recognize that was a mistake that caused much indigestion.

This year, we rectified the error and put the Republicans in charge of everything. While I’m grateful for the change, I sincerely hope the Republicans do not continue to add to the state’s problems of out-ofcontrol spending and high taxes. If they do, then I’ll be grateful when they are tossed out of office, too.

I’m very grateful to see Scott Walker, Milwaukee’s county executive, elected governor. Aside from the likely conservative approach he will take to state government, I was not made to look like a complete idiot with my election predictions.

We are very blessed in this state to see some real rising stars emerging in Wisconsin politics.

In addition to Congressman Paul Ryan, we now have Congressman Sean Duffy. Of the 84 new Republican members of the House of Representatives, Duffy was chosen to make the motion in caucus to ban earmarks. Before Duffy’s career is done, expect everyone to be able to find Ashland County on a map.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin could soon be the home state of the next chairman of the Republican National Committee. Republican Party of Wisconsin Chairman Reince Priebus is getting national attention for the big change in Wisconsin politics this election cycle, and how the tea party movement and the Republican Party avoided fighting under Priebus’ leadership.

I’m also grateful Oshkosh businessman Ron Johnson defeated Sen. Russ Feingold. I like having a senator who believes we should be able to mention his name within 60 days of an election.

Any senator who complains about outside money influencing an election while taking money from is not a candidate for sainthood, and Feingold’s supporters should not be making him into a martyr.

Feingold’s sudden departure from the Senate finally ends the myth of the maverick. Feingold was a maverick on little issues or when his vote didn’t matter. Orthodox progressive ideology is not the mark of the maverick.

By the way, what was with the raised fist at the end of Feingold’s concession speech? Did he think he was at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics?

Meanwhile, we got federal stimulus spending and the new federal health care law. I’ll be grateful when the health care law is eventually repealed.

I’m grateful for the colorful figures running our city. Mayor Jeff Scrima gives me plenty of column material while our city administrator actually does a decent job running the city. Good thing for the mayor’s stated goal of no increase in the tax levy the city administrator’s budget was 99.85 percent of the way there. Good thing a couple of aldermen figured out the other 0.15 percent.

I’m grateful I can do math.

I’m grateful for the many readers who have sent me comments on my columns, both in praise and in criticism.

I’m grateful for the many men and women in our armed forces. They do the hard work of preserving our freedom while the rest of us reap the benefits.

Most of all, I’m grateful for my wife, the lovely Doreen from Waukesha, and our children. Their love supports and sustains me every day.

In the immortal words of the Godfather, “A man who does not spend time with his family is not a real man.” Spend some time with your family this Thanksgiving away from the football games and the Macy’s parade.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

(James Wigderson is a blogger publishing at and a Waukesha resident. His column typically runs Thursdays in The Freeman.)


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