Thanksgiving is a reflection of the politics of perception
By Derek Joy
Not yet time to “Deck the halls with. . .” It is, however, a time for Thanksgiving.
Think of it for but one fleeting moment in time. Yes, Thanksgiving Day can be traced back to 1621 when the “Harvest Festival” was linked to Christianity. A time of prayer in giving thanks for the various blessings.
Believe it or not, George Washington is credited with invoking political recognition of Thanksgiving in 1789.
Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in Gettysburg Address on Oct. 3, 1863. It was a thanksgiving in recognition of the Union Army’s victory over the Confederate Army at Gettysburg during the Civil War.
And the tradition has evolved into the national holiday of today, giving thanks in the spirit of acknowledging the many gifts we have been blessed with. A recognition of the Creator.
Families. Friends. All gather and share meals in the spirit of thanksgiving, Same in religious, professional and social settings. Even politicians get in on Thanksgiving Day celebrations, some for the obvious political value.
Ah, yes. That political perception has its thanksgiving, too.
For instance, Republicans flat out whipped Democrats in the Mid-Term Elections. Spanked ‘em good all across America. Increased their House majority, took control of the Senate and claimed more gubernatorial seats.
No doubt Republicans have plenty for which to give thanks. That bountiful cornucopia providing the fruits of their victorious political labors. Not as much for Democrats, who suffered brutal defeat at the polls.
So, will there be a real spirit of thanksgiving among Republicans, or will there be some serious rat killing?
What’s more is a question for people of color, as well as other minorities, the poor and disenfranchised among the American citizenry. That question is simple: Will the Republican majority provide tangible reason to give thanks, or will that remain solely the privilege of the wealthy, powerful and well connected?
Consequently, with those sweeping political victories come the challenges and pitfalls of power. That which leads to victory, makes one good, is the same as that which leads to defeat and failure.
Sure, there is always the deception such as the tap dancing Congress has perpetuated when it comes dealing with immigration reform.
Both Democrats and Republicans are to blame for the misfeasance and malfeasance associated with the inept legacy Congress has fashioned on immigration reform.
So, here’s a point to ponder in order to lend political perception on this Thanksgiving Day.
America is a country of immigrants. Europeans basically invaded this land and, over time, perpetrated what amounts to conquering the Native Americans, while enslaving Africans.
Yes. Slavery was legislated in the Constitution, and abolished the same way. Still, slavery persists because of capitalism, which, by the way, is designed to limit, if not exclude, people of color and other minorities.
And, while giving thanks on this Thanksgiving, all people should demand that politicians – both Democrats and Republicans – shed their religious hypocrisy and govern to benefit all the people.