Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
Thanksgiving brings with it three things: turkey, family, and guides on how to win political fights with family members. The latest entry in this popular proggie pastime is Lauren Duca of Teen Vogue who not only offers a guide to fighting with your family members, but urges future lonely proggies like her who face a future of hookups followed by cat hoarding, that refusing to fight at the dinner table is racist.
“The crisis of white politeness will persist so long as we ‘keep it nice’ and avoid talking about politics. Breaking the spell requires us to actively unlearn the stories and patterns of the white supremacist patriarchy,” Duca rants.
Not picking fights at the dinner table is a conspiracy by the white supremacist patriarchy which wants you to be nice to people. The woke crowd understands that niceness is racism. Now enjoy your turkey.
When lefties aren’t ruining Thanksgiving by being ‘Ducas’: they’re attacking the existence of the holiday.
The New York Times can’t allow a single Thanksgiving to pass without cursing its existence. The latest entry is “The Vicious Reality Behind the Thanksgiving Myth”. The Smithsonian informs readers that Thanksgiving is really about, “massacres, disease and American Indian tribal politics”.
Both are promoting a book by a George Washington University professor who insists that Thanksgiving should be a “national day of mourning.”
And you thought Duca would be the worst person to share a Thanksgiving table with.
The Zinnian book at the center of all this is another forgettable revisionist history which amplifies what lefties care about, conflicts between English settlers and Indian tribes, while dismissing what Americans care about, the ability of different groups of people to find moments of common ground.
And that’s the point.
History is complicated. The relationship between the settlers who came across the Atlantic Ocean and the much earlier settlers who crossed the Bering Strait was neither all bad nor all good. The complexities of that history have not been forgotten. These revisionist works don’t uncover anything we don’t already know. But we build holidays, not around our history, but around our values. Holidays allow us to celebrate who we are and who we want to be. That’s what canceling Thanksgiving is really about.
Thanksgiving teaches us two values that lefties hate: gratitude to a higher power and coexistence.
The guides to ruining Thanksgiving by fighting with your relatives about Black Lives Matter and a border wall, and the attacks on the existence of Thanksgiving are not separate phenomena. They are one.
Coexistence, to lefties like Lauren Duca and the authors of so many of these guides, is something white supremacists do to cover up the evils of an oppressive society where no one could or should coexist.
The lesson of Thanksgiving, that pilgrims and Indians could coexist, and help each other, is an alien one to an ideology built on simplistic paradigms of oppressors and oppressed where historical conflicts don’t end or even interrupt with moments of tolerance and fellowship, but climax in violent revolutions.
That’s why Thanksgiving offends the Left. Not because it celebrates colonialism, as they insist. But because it sets forth a vision of a world in which we can get along without working out all of our historical conflicts, checking our privileges, and ‘Marxising’ out all of our human relationships.
Days of thanksgiving were not unique in American history. But Thanksgiving as a paradigm of man’s relationship with G-d, and man’s relationship with man, is part of American exceptionalism. It’s how English, Scottish, French, and Dutch settlers were able to come together. And how waves of German, Irish, Jewish, Swedish, and Italian immigrants joined them to make the United States of America.
It’s why, despite the weight of history, African-Americans, Mexicans, and American Indians could all meet around a common national table in thankfulness and fellowship even in a divided nation.
And it’s why lefties who break up family Thanksgiving celebrations are wrecking the country.
The real lesson of Thanksgiving is not that history isn’t complex, or that oppression doesn’t exist, but that oppression is not the most powerful force in human history. Fellowship and gratitude are. Politeness and civility are not a white supremacist conspiracy. They are the ways that we live together.
Assuming that we want to live together.
Thanksgiving doesn’t mean that we don’t have fundamental differences. The pilgrims and the Indians certainly did. They don’t mean that we have never fought and will never fight again. Only that we will not fight in this moment, that we will appreciate our common humanity, and the higher power that blesses us with prosperity and peace. If we can’t do that even for a moment, then we can’t coexist.
And that, not history, is the real crisis of Thanksgiving. The pilgrims and the Indians managed to get along better than the two poles of our political system do. They could sit around the same table all those centuries ago, while today lefties insist that picking fights over politics at the table is their sacred duty.
If we can’t share a common table or a common country without resuming the fight, then what’s left?
That’s the real question of Thanksgiving today.
What happens when you invite people to a Thanksgiving dinner and they won’t stop fighting you? What happens when you share a country with radicals who won’t stop going for your throat even on Thanksgiving? What happens when you try to coexist with people who reject the idea of coexistence?
Then you’re left with a choice of living on their terms, in the government or at the dinner table, or fighting on your terms. That is the fight we’re in, in Washington D.C. and in the living room.
We all deal with it in one way or another.
“As we gather together for Thanksgiving, you know, some people want to change the name Thanksgiving,” President Trump said at a Florida rally.
Columbus Day has become a casualty in many parts of the country. Thanksgiving is next. And then the Fourth of July. Each of those days plays a vital role, not only in the nation’s history, but in its present. They’re part of an ongoing journey, of discovery, coexistence, and independence that has not ended.
Holidays aren’t just our history. They’re our present. They show us the way forward.
Thanksgiving is a weapon that shatters the politics, history, and economic theorems of the Left. That weapon is the transcendence of gratitude. The politics of radicalism are fueled by outrage. Nothing is ever forgotten or forgiven. There is never a moment’s peace. Not even at the dinner table.
But Thanksgiving reminds us that we don’t have to be prisoners of the past. That our conflicts, past and present, personal and national, can be set aside if we choose faith and love, even for a moment.
The Left wants us to be prisoners of the past. In its iron dialectic, there is no escape from history. Their world is a binary prison of oppressors and the oppressed, a cycle of revolutions and tyrannies, outrage and death that no one is ever allowed to leave behind for even a single day, evening, or moment.
They call this justice. We know it to be the worst form of tyranny.
Thanksgiving liberates us from that prison, as it liberated the ancestors of our nation. Americans are not the prisoners of history. We make our own history. We transcend our past and build our future.
That is the power of Thanksgiving. It frightens the Left. And it should.
Thanksgiving, from its earliest days, had the power to unite a nation. The greatest weapon of the radicals is division. They amplify the divisions of family and nation, breaking us apart and driving the wedges deeper. But the true power of Thanksgiving can defeat them and reunite a nation.