It’s that time of the year again. That time were Charlie Brown once again attempts to kick the football. That time where every website or newspaper in the country is giving you advice on how to talk to crazy Uncle Larry about politics. The time of year when giant inflatable balloons of Kermit the Frog make their way up 34th Street in New York.
That’s right: we just survived Thanksgiving. President Lincolninstituted the policy of having a national day of thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of each November.
However, Lincoln was merely bringing back an idea that had begun with George Washington in 1789. Washington wanted the people of the newly founded United States to reflect
…by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.
The history of Thanksgiving dates all the way back to the 1620s. The Pilgrims were communists, almost 250 years before Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto. Plymouth Rock was a commune. This communal style of living produced disastrous results as people became lazy, resources were wasted, vegetables rotted, and mass starvation ensued. Eventually, the Pilgrims abandoned their communal experiment for a system based around private property, and the colony thrived. The Pilgrims held a feast of thanksgiving and the rest, they say, is history.
Governor William Bradford wrote:
The failure of this experiment of communal service, which was tried for several years, and by good and honest men proves the emptiness of the theory of Plato and other ancients, applauded by some of later times,- that the taking away of private property, and the possession of it in community, by a commonwealth, would make a state happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.
This Thanksgiving, we have had much to be grateful for. The country and the Constitution that governors it. The men and women who cannot be with their family because they are defending that Constitution in the far-flung corners of the world. The people and things in our personal lives that we are each thankful for.
Just, please do not read any of those “How to talk politics at Thanksgiving dinner” articles–except to mock them. Enjoy the leftover turkey and the football–but don’t try to kick it, or Lucy might yank it away and make you fall flat on your back.
From all of us at TCC, we hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving.