Conservatives have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
If you think about it, more than a year ago, the Republican primaries were just getting underway, and the GOP field was filled with 16 clashing candidates, opposing viewpoints, geographic divisions and ideological differences.
For a while, it appeared as if the elite Establishment candidates of the “old” Republican Party would dominate and their globalist ideas and values would push others off to the side. But slowly, one candidate began to emerge from the shadows and outshine his competitors in terms of ideas, style and freshness: business magnate Donald Trump.
At the time, it was most unexpected because a great percentage of people didn’t take Trump seriously; he seemed to have radical proposals and extreme solutions for many problems. However, within a few months, his ideas struck a chord, and more and more people began to relate to his propositions and to vote for him in the Republican primaries.
By the spring, he was leading the GOP pack, which had dwindled down to just a few candidates after more than 10 dropped out. It took a while, but eventually many Republicans could see that Trump’s ideas were representative of the views of a majority of GOP and independent voters.
The old policies and doctrines of generations past in many cases simply didn’t apply anymore. Thankfully, they didn’t necessarily need to.
When one thinks about this communal holiday, there are actually many particulars we should be thankful for politically. We should be thankful that the Republican Party has found in President-elect Trump a savior who’s been able to unite the party and bring new blood to it while integrating many of the themes and visions of earlier champions.
Trump is someone who’s been able to effectively see the future of the GOP and has molded himself to it, rather than attempting to force Republican voters to conform to some outdated platform.
He’s seen the reality of life in America today and was able to respond to it and communicate more cogently with middle-class Americans than his rival Hillary Clinton (or, for that matter, earlier Republican competitors Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich and Jeb Bush). His exciting vision has re-energized the party and put the Democrats firmly on the defensive.
Now, in spite of all their advantages in terms of money, influence, connections and media dominance, the Democrats have failed to connect with most voters and are left with only out-of-touch coastal elites, who are either members of the “1 percent” or their lackeys.
Conservatives can rejoice that all their hard work — following a few key websites (such as Breitbart, American Liberty Report, Patriotic Viral News), discussing issues that matter to them and attending Trump rallies and events — has paid off. Trump is no longer just the Republican nominee for president; he’s the President-elect!
Conservatives can also be thankful that a number of potentially dreadful policies and initiatives are now off the table. The Transpacific Partnership pact was just one free-trade agreement that President Obama wanted to sign before he left office. It now will be killed on Trump’s first day in the White House, and Trump has promised to veto any other free-trade agreements like it.
Second Amendment rights, which looked like they might be threatened under Hillary Clinton if she had become president, will be safeguarded via Trump and his nominees for the Supreme Court. Religious liberty, which is important to both Trump and his supporters, will be protected by government regulation if Trump has anything to do with it. And immigration controls — particularly the vetting of people coming into the country — will finally be improved, and our border will be made more secure.
Our military will be strengthened to a level it hasn’t been in decades, and the U.S. will involve itself far less in foreign conflicts, allowing us to use precious tax dollars on our own infrastructure, rather than fighting faraway battles that result in tragic deaths and misery.
Thanksgiving has its roots in English traditions of Fall harvest festivals. Thanks were given for bountiful harvests and for acts of holy provenance. The first Thanksgiving in America was held in Massachusetts in 1621 by religious Pilgrims, who had brought the tradition with them when they emigrated from England.
It was a three-day feast and was attended by both Pilgrims and Native Americans. Thanksgiving holidays were held sporadically after that and became an annual tradition in the 1660s. Thanksgiving proclamations were given by both political and religious leaders, and in 1789, President George Washington made Thanksgiving a national American celebration.
The event became formalized as a holiday by the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, in 1863. It was Lincoln who decided that the holiday would be held on the last Thursday in November.
Football began to be associated with Thanksgiving as early as the 1890s. President Franklin Roosevelt moved the official date of Thanksgiving from the last Thursday of the month to the next-to-last one, allowing more goods to be sold in department stores before the Christmas holiday. (Many say this was at the urging of Fred Lazarus, Jr., the founder of Macy’s.)
Macy’s began sponsoring its Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City beginning in 1924, and there’s a lesser-known parade that occurs in Detroit that also was begun the same year. Both parades memorably finish with the arrival of Santa Claus.
This Thanksgiving, give thanks to those who worked hard for conservative political ideals and for President-elect Donald Trump. This is the first Thanksgiving in many years that Republicans have much to be thankful for; make it a good one, and look forward to the Christmas holiday to come.