Normally, I wouldn’t have much to say about a Presidential turkey pardon. I mean…. Who really cares?
But this morning, I happened to see a video of President George W. Bush pardoning the Thanksgiving turkeys during his final year in the White House. Then, a counterpoint: I heard President Obama’s turkey pardon on the car radio.
The difference in these two pardons was a metaphor for the stark difference in their presidencies. One is self-absorbed, clownish, mocking of faith, jokes about “luck” but forgets to mention “thanks.” The other—well, see for yourself. I’m including the video, which makes me really yearn for bygone days.
ONE WAY TO GRANT A PRESIDENTIAL PARDON TO THANKSGIVING TURKEYS:
- Talk about the spared turkey as “lucky.” Note that your family, in a photo op, will deliver “unlucky” turkeys to a food bank.
- Make a mocking, “funny” Sign of the Cross over the pardoned bird—an obvious disregard for the importance of this sacred symbol for Catholics and people of faith.
- Disregard your daughters, standing beside you in bored complacency. Instead, focus your attention on the cameras.
- Use the opportunity to obliquely criticize the United States Congress. Say things like “Some of you know that recently I’ve been taking a series of executive actions that don’t require congressional approval. Well, here’s another one.”
- Use the opportunity to criticize the media. Say things like “They received the most important part of media training, which involves learning to gobble without saying anything.”
- Never mention God, or thanks, or grace, or the American people. Never mention anything noble. Keep the attention on yourself.
- Thank the men and women in uniform and talk about how proud you are of them.
- Thank the armies of compassion—volunteers who feed the hungry and shelter the poor, teachers and nurses and pastors and firefighters, and others who serve their neighbors and better their communities.
- Thank your wonderful and supportive family, and talk about the blessing they have been in your life.
- Thank your wife for her love.
- Thank your two daughters, “Thanksgiving blessings” some 27 years ago.
- Express your thanks that your mother is doing well.
- Express your thanks for a new son-in-law at the dinner table this year.
- Thank the American people for the tremendous privilege of serving as President.
- Wish all Americans a Happy Thanksgiving, and ask God to bless them.