The annual National Thanksgiving Turkey ceremony was a nice one to be remembered, or at least it was from the perspective of watching the video of it online.
But I must admit, I was a bit nervous that the 2020 edition of the event, during the final Thanksgiving season under President Donald Trump’s term, might be a bit of a train wreck.
I’m sure being the chairman of the National Turkey Federation (NTF) and getting the opportunity to present the National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate to the president of the United States at the White House Rose Garden has to rank up there as one of the greatest honors of a lifetime.
But let’s face it, regardless of what Trump has accomplished in office, he isn’t exactly known for having good manners. And at previous Thanksgiving ceremonies, his tendencies to be disrespectful to others were evident.
I blogged about the matter two years ago. To me, in 2018, it seemed that rather than keeping the ceremony about being thankful for all of God’s blessings, including the U.S. turkey industry and the ability to enjoy such a nice November meal, he also devoted time to fanning the flames of the political divide in the country. He took a swipe at the court system and the opposing political party, saying the 2018 presidential turkeys, Peas and Carrots, were pardoned by a “fair election.”
“Even though Peas and Carrots have received a presidential pardon, I have warned them that House Democrats are likely to issue them both subpoenas,” Trump said. “Nonetheless, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I will be issuing both Peas and Carrots a presidential pardon. Unfortunately, I can’t guarantee that your pardons won’t be enjoined by the Ninth Circuit.”
Then it got worse in 2019, the year of his impeachment hearings. He referenced that process, calling Democrats “vultures.” He even compared turkeys to vultures to provide a segue into the subject. Yes, that’s right. He compared turkeys to vultures in front of the chairman of the NTF and others in the turkey industry who work so hard to make people’s Thanksgivings so enjoyable.
Given his latest displays of hostility as he works to discredit the election results that show Joe Biden as the projected president-elect, I was expecting the 2020 ceremony to be a disaster.
Luckily, it wasn’t.
Trump spoke of the 73-year history of the National Thanksgiving Turkey ceremony, and the pardoning ritual that began with President George H.W. Bush.
He talked about how beautiful the 2020 presidential turkeys, Corn and Cob, were, and he complimented NTF Chairman Ron Kardel and his wife Susie, for the excellent job they did in raising them. He petted Corn with an admiration a person would have for their pet.
He spoke kindly of the veterinarians and faculty at Iowa State University, where Corn and Cob will spend the rest of their lives.
He on multiple occasions expressed being thankful to God, and did so in a tone that showed sincerity. He also expressed his thanks to the health care workers who have worked tirelessly to provide the best for the sick during the COVID-19 pandemic, and he thanked those in the military for keeping the nation safe.
The only negative remark was referring to COVID-19 as the “Chinavirus,” but considering what else he could have said, I’ll give him a pass on that.
While it is a shame that it took this long, I thank President Trump for putting his frustrations aside, keeping the ceremony classy and about the turkeys and for being thankful.
On the flip side, I regret that one reporter shouted out something to the effect of will Trump pardon himself. But I’m grateful Trump ignored that person, and let us go about enjoying our Thanksgivings, no matter what our political persuasions may be.