Ever since Dr. Anthony Fauci, the CDC, and a handful of Democratic Governors including California’s Gavin Newson and New York’s Andrew Cuomo, recommended Americans skip Thanksgiving to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been freaking out. The image I used as a thumbnail for this post was posted by Senator Ted Cruz specifically to mock these people. As it stands, millions of Americans plan on ignoring orders this Thanksgiving.
Some people are simply indignant about the idea that Thanksgiving could be cancelled. As Charlie Kirk tweeted on 11/24/2020:
Let me get this straight: Democrats want to send police to break up Thanksgiving dinners but want social workers to respond to criminals on the streets?
Of course, the Democratic governor who has put the most effort in this attempt to cancel Thanksgiving, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, has never supported defunding the police. In fact, he has been criticized by many critics of the police force (myself included) for his Nelson Rockefeller style actions against Black Lives Matter protesters.
The greatest take I’ve seen came from a Twitter user with the handle @lit65539723, who said the following:
If they tell you that you’re right and that they expect healthcare workers to grind themselves into dust and the American people to sacrifice themselves for the Great Cause of Thanksgiving will you stfu and stop being a little pussy?
“Yes, you should lay down your life for our American traditions” would be the most based thing the anti-lockdown crowd could say and TBPH they’re so beyond dispute right about everything rn that they might as well just start saying it to style on ‘em
Mind you, if Thanksgiving truly was a “great cause” then this would be one thing — hell, it might even be kind of inspiring to see people risk both their lives and legal danger to celebrate it. However, Thanksgiving means so little to the average American these days that doing something like this is one the same level as when Rep. Matt Gatez posed with a football to a caption reading “College Football is essential.” It looks not only silly (and that’s putting it nicely), but also like you’re dying for a tradition you did not care about until now and only pretend to care about now so you can be a pain in the ass.
I am far from the first person to notice that Thanksgiving has spent the past two decades disappearing. In early 2009, James Rolfe said the following in his You Know What’s Bullshit episode “Christmas Aftermath”:
And what about Thanksgiving? Nobody gives a flying fuck about that.
Couldn’t have said it better myself. And despite the video being up for over eleven years, you can still read comments to this day making notes of the accuracy of this statement.
In modern society, there are two things Thanksgiving serves as:
- Black Friday Eve
- The dress rehearsal for Christmas
The first one, turning Thanksgiving into the day before all the sales, was done slowly and overtime. Ever since the idea of a “Christmas Shopping Season” began in the early 1950s, the idea has been that this season needs to start after Thanksgiving. However, the idea of Black Friday as we know it didn’t start until much more recently than we think.
The term “Black Friday” did not even enter mainstream awareness until the 1990s, although the term had been used before such as when The New York Times used the term in 1975. For that matter, the holiday did not even become the largest shopping day until 2005. And how did that happen? Well that was because of a concentrated effort to sterilize Thanksgiving during the 2000s.
During this time period, another term that ruined Thanksgiving entered the public awareness, that being the term “War On Christmas.” In the early 2000s, conservatives commentators, starting with Peter Brimelow of VDARE and Bill O’Reilly of the Fox News show The O’Reilly Factor, warned of this mythical war against the December Holiday. In 2005, John Gibson even published a book titled The War On Christmas: How The Liberal Plot To Ban The Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought.
While nowhere near as common as it used to be, stories about this still happen from time to time. In 2015, a campaign was started by Conservative Christian Josh Feuerstein called “Merry Christmas Starbucks” (a franchise he had later accused of putting aborted fetuses in their coffee) where people were encouraged to tell Starbucks their name was “Merry Christmas” in order to get it written on their red holiday cups. The year before, Kirk Cameron released a film called Saving Christmas which argued that Christmas is dying and rampant materialism is the only way to bring it back — which is widely considered one of the worst movies ever made.
From the 2000s until rather recently, any store that doesn’t show 100% Christmas obsession from 12/1 onwards was attacked by conservatives. As such, most stores now have a backroom deal with this group, and that is that not only will they be accommodated, but they can start celebration an entire month early. Of course, this means that the only actual American holiday to take place in the forth quarter of the year is left out — but nobody cared about that one until five minutes ago anyway.
So you know what, I care about as much about Thanksgiving as does the rest of America — except I’m honest about it. To be blunt, I’m hoping that this would give Americans some perspective, maybe remember the holiday — but I know that won’t be the case. Next year we’ll be back to square one, and the sacrifices of those who died during the War on Thanksgiving will be remembered only in the form of a Darwin Award.