Trump's New Personal Vietnam Is His Made-Up War On Thanksgiving
Donald Trump congratulated himself last night for his daring rescue of Thanksgiving. I know the holiday came a little later this year, but I didn't think it was in any serious peril. The president kicked off his Florida rally with the bizarre claim that liberals hate Thanksgiving so much they don't even want to call it "Thanksgiving."
TRUMP: As we gather together for Thanksgiving, you know, some people want to change the name Thanksgiving. They don't want to use the term Thanksgiving. And that was true also with Christmas. But now everybody's using Christmas again. Remember this?
I recall the entirely made-up "War on Christmas," but it's hard to notice the ending of something that never existed in the first place. Trump is probably one of those people who freak out over the concept of "Friendsgiving," which is a separate event all together.
Fox News had a meltdown recently over a Huffington Post article by Alexandra Emanuelli about the "environmental impact of your Thanksgiving dinner." No one at the network bothered to read beyond the headline and just assumed Emanuelli demanded we abolish Thanksgiving so baby seals could live. This nonsense somehow found its way into Trump's head because Fox is the president's primary source of information about the world. But no one said anything about changing the name of Thanksgiving to "Day Before Black Friday."
TRUMP: Now we're going to have to do a little work on Thanksgiving. People have different ideas. Why it shouldn't be called Thanksgiving. But everybody in this room, I know, loves the name Thanksgiving. And we're not changing.
Even the president's loyal acolytes on "Fox & Friends" had trouble this morning wrapping their heads about his gibberish.
BRIAN KILMEADE: I don't think there's a huge push to change the name of Thanksgiving, is there?
STEVE DOOCY: Well, you know, I think it was in 2015, there was a rumor that Barack Obama wanted to change the name of Thanksgiving, but that was debunked.
Conservative blogs "reported" in 2015 that Obama planned to issue an executive order changing Thanksgiving to "Celebrate Immigrants Day." It's amazing to see someone on Fox News actually acknowledge that this was just a right-wing myth. It's a Transgender Tofurky Day miracle! Doocy gamely tried to connect Trump's mental collapse to the HuffPost article. The Fake Ainsley Earhardt said it was important to maintain the "tradition" of traveling great distances to see family members you barely tolerate, just like the pilgrims. She went on to suggest that the "issue people have with potentially changing that name" (NO ONE'S TALKING ABOUT CHANGING THE NAME) is that through the name "Thanksgiving," Americans express gratitude for what we have. Unfortunately, Trump believes Thanksgiving is a time when we should feel grateful he's president. During an interview with Bill O'Reilly this week, the president brought a wilted word salad to the table.
TRUMP: This is a great country and I hear all sorts of things that people want to get away, change the name of Thanksgiving. … you hear things that are just so incredible. Thanksgiving is a very special time and it's really giving thanks, to me.
Tomorrow, while you're appreciating all Trump has done for us, don't forget to also set aside time for petty grievances. Trump couldn't even pardon a turkey like a normal president without roasting Adam Schiff and whining about his many legal problems. Bill Clinton managed to behave like a mammal during Thanksgiving of 1998, and his life was a steaming pile. Republicans were actively impeaching him. His marriage wasn't in great shape, either. He probably just had a cold turkey sandwich and a beer alone in the White House basement. No matter how annoying your conservative relatives are, try to follow 1998 Bubba's example. And when carving the turkey, don't forget to flip Trump the bird.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.