As I have done for the past 25 years, I delivered to my family a "Thanksgiving Day Address," which this year focused on "The Content of Americas Character." America's character animates our moral fiber, core convictions, and enduring values, inspiring us to do the right thing.
In my address I identified 10 qualities that define America's character:
Exceptionalism: A sense of our own exceptionalism embodied in Ronald Reagan's image of 'the shining city upon a hill."
Idealistic: Reverence for the lofty ideals enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, notably the inspirational creed, "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Fair and just: Codified in the U.S. Constitution, a love of liberty balanced with a respect for the law, with checks and balances to achieve equilibrium.
Compassionate: Compassion and respect for "the huddled masses yearning to breathe free."
Tolerant: Inclusiveness expressed in the motto E Phiribus Unum, denoting a great melting pot where each wave of new arrivals is melded into unhyphenated Americanism.
Optimistic: Confidence in America's ever-rising greatness in terms of economic strength, military power and moral authority.
Self-reliant: A pioneering spirit, a self-reliant attitude and a can-do outlook, reinforcing America as the land of opportunity where the American Dream is for the taking.
Competitive: An appreciation for competition and an admiration for winners who, through risk-taking and hard work, rise to the top.
Ethical: A set of ethics attained mainly through religious affiliations that underscores "the Golden Rule" and the core values of honesty, decency and integrity.
Charitable: Rather than relying on the government, giving back...