Years ago — 20 — I wrote a piece on presidential Thanksgiving proclamations for The Weekly Standard, where I was then working. Here it is. This is kind of funny:
Bill Clinton? It will shock no one that last year’s proclamation was pointedly political, well beyond the norm for this forum. It featured a plaintive call for “meaningful work experience” (i.e., not “McJobs”) and “protective health care” (i.e., the sprawling, repudiated plans of the first lady).
I was talking about 1994’s proclamation. Clinton issued it right after the historic Republican landslide of that year. Good thing Hillary-style health care was killed off once and for all, right?!
Gratitude in general is a great and glorious thing. And a necessary thing. Thanksgiving, though, was intended to be a holiday for the expression of specific thanks: thanks for life in these free, republican United States.
I mentioned this in the podcast I recorded earlier this week with Mona Charen, Scott Immergut, Kevin Williamson, and Charlie Cooke (a lineup to be thankful for). We titled that podcast “America, a Many-Splendored Place.”
In a podcast the week before, with Mona, I quoted a hymn (which is still legal, so far as I know): “Our gratitude is riches, complaint is poverty.” I also quoted my favorite bumper sticker of all time — which I spotted in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel in Virginia in 1998: “KWICHERBITCHIN.” I need to tell myself that a lot. In fact, it’s something like a life motto.
Anyway, happy Thanksgiving, dear ones.