Last night, a new narrative appeared in the Trump rally. It’s the war on Thanksgiving. President Trump, supposedly offended by people who reject one of our oldest national holidays, launched into people who want to change the name of Thanksgiving.
It immediately triggered a wave of mockery on Twitter using the name #WhatLiberalsCallThanksgiving . (Spoiler Alert: it’s “Thanksgiving”.)
There have been occasional people and groups who have attacked Thanksgiving, as detailed in places like The Atlantic. The fact that a left-leaning magazine was dismissive toward them should be a firm example of the truth: the “liberals”, in this case meant to mean the Democrats, aren’t against Thanksgiving, not as a group nor even among significant minorities of their subgroups.
Certainly, there are people, many of whom are Democrats, who avoid certain traditions of the holiday. While vegetarianism and veganism are not exclusive to liberalism, they are often associated, and those groups are likely to produce something akin to the indignity of a tofurkey. (I know whereof I speak on this one, due to a vegan sibling.) Those who decry violent sports – again, a view not exclusive to Democrats but historically embraced by some notable political figures in that group – are unlikely to relax with the decades-old airing of afternoon football.
The notion of giving thanks to God has, naturally, rung hollow to hardcore secularists and the idea of celebrating our prosperity has offended some populists, both in the Democrat and the Republican party, as presented in the Atlantic article above.
Overall, though, there has been no war on Thanksgiving. This is because Thanksgiving can be seen alternatively as a day of devotion to God or as a day of celebration of unity. For those who reject one aspect of the holiday, there is another they can embrace. It’s a day of national appreciation for each other, for the blessings of our lives, for family, for our heritage… for anything that the celebrant wishes it to be.
That is what drives millions of people to travel and reunite with family members, even when they know that arguments may be in store for them. It’s what gets people of every political and social stripe together to drag a giant balloon down the streets of New York City. It’s what has children throughout the nation drawing outlines of their splayed hands to decorate and bring home to parents.
This is Thanksgiving. The only true attack on it comes from those who would use it as a method of increasing division instead of unity. Historically, those people were relegated to the furthest fringes of our social fabric. Today, it’s our President. His efforts in this regard should be rejected as being, at their core, fundamentally un-American.