From the Right: Giving Thanks Despite the Negatives


Giving Thanks Despite the Negatives

From the Right:

By Don Schmitz

America’s Thanksgiving, celebrating the harvest and other blessings, is modeled on a 1621 feast by the Pilgrims of Plymouth. Starvation and disease killed half their numbers the first year, so their hearts were filled with gratitude for a bountiful fall harvest. They went “fowling” in the woods for geese, ducks, and turkeys. Records show the next day 90 Wampanoag, the local indigenous tribe, showed up and impromptu joined the celebration, adding venison to the menu. The feast was picnic style on the ground as there were few buildings. Races were run, liquor was passed around, firearms were discharged, and the two groups parted as friends, signing a peace treaty that lasted 50 years. President Washington proclaimed Nov. 26 as Thanksgiving Day in 1789, to observe “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer.” Thanking God with prayer and celebration varied amongst states but became a national holiday when proclaimed by President Lincoln in 1863.

Thanksgiving football started with Yale vs. Princeton in 1876. This uniquely American and Canadian holiday is truly about nothing more than community, family, and deeply heartfelt gratitude for our health, homes, and the food from this bountiful earth. It is deeply spiritual, grounding, loving, and a testament to the American spirit. That is the historical fact, and it is beautiful.

The radical left just can’t abide anything about America and her history that is positive, so they must tear it down and rewrite it. Sophie Hirsh wrote in 2021: “From Columbus Day to Independence Day to Thanksgiving, the U.S. pretty much specializes in taking dates that celebrate genocide and discrimination and repackaging them as family-friendly holidays.” Incredibly she asserts Thanksgiving is a celebration of slavery and epidemics, while she laments the needless deaths of millions of turkeys. Oh brother. Never has anyone raised their glass at the Thanksgiving feast toasting genocide, slavery, or a plague, and the assertion is inane. None of us mainstream American folk who actually celebrate Thanksgiving espouse such vile evils.

Why do the bitter unhappy folks on the radical left hate this beautiful love-filled holiday? Because they despise this country and its traditions, especially anything that celebrates the founding of America. The logic is simple: America has bad things in its history (e.g. slavery or the oppression of indigenous people). Therefore, celebrating its history and holidays is commensurate to celebrating the bad as well. That’s ridiculous.

Take slavery. The first formal federal Thanksgiving was declared by Lincoln while the country tore itself apart in a devastating civil war, to abolish slavery. There’s no nexus between Thanksgiving and slavery, quite the opposite. One should note, however, that the American spirit burns so bright that even during a civil war when 1 in 10 of us would die in agony, with entire regions laid to waste, we set aside a day to gather our families and thank God for our blessings.

The great Shawnee Chief Tecumseh was a fierce leader against the American expansion to the West. He’s quoted, “When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself”. This personifies Thanksgiving.

Today’s leftists hate Thanksgiving because it is so uniquely American, and therefore bad to them. The fact that it praises God for our blessings, involves copious meat consumption, football, and the first one included firearms is probably off putting for many of them as well. They are offended by Christmas and Easter because they’re religious, and they dislike Independence Day and Thanksgiving because they are cornerstones of America. If America never was, then her sins would’ve never happened (nor her many incredible good deeds). So, they twist and distort the true meaning of this beautiful holiday. How dare you celebrate America’s history and culture!? Honestly, I think they would replace it all with days of tears and self-flagellation with braided ropes reminiscent of medieval repentance.

I’m an intensely proud American, one who humbly bows his head every Thanksgiving and thanks God for family, our safe home, ancestors who gave us our freedom, and our servicemen protecting us on that very night. 276 million Americans annually celebrate this love-filled family tradition, 55 million driving and flying to be together in Thanksgiving. I truly pity the bitter amongst us with their cold hearts who don’t share our joy.

Democrat President John F. Kennedy stated in 1962: “Thanksgiving Day has ever since been part of the fabric which has united Americans with their past, with each other and with the future of all mankind.” Republican President Ronald Reagan stated: “Perhaps no custom reveals our character as a nation so clearly as our celebration of Thanksgiving Day”. Great men, great country, and Happy Thanksgiving!