President Barack Obama stepped up on Wednesday and issued a pardon to keep an innocent creature from experiencing the wrath of capital punishment.
Yes, we are referring to the annual White House sideshow that is the pardoning of the national Thanksgiving turkey, an event officially started during the presidency of George H.W. Bush. This is a harmless little event and, as reported by The Christian Science Monitor, Obama seized the opportunity for some self-depricating humor, joking, “Now, for the record, let me say that it feels pretty good to stop at least one shellacking this November,” in reference to the beat-down that Democrats experienced on Election Day.
Today is Thanksgiving, the day where we as a nation pause to express our gratitude for our many blessings.
Whether you agree with Obama’s politics, we all should be thankful that we live in a nation where leadership change is nonviolent, where citizens’ votes matter and where opposition voices can be raised without fear of punishment or imprisonment.
We should be thankful that even in the toughest of times, our bounty is seemingly boundless. There are countless outreach agencies and efforts that seek out those who need assistance and provide those people with a meal, a warm coat or the medication they need to make it to the next day.
We should be thankful that creative minds — artists and actors, writers and photographers — are able to create and innovate without government shackles muting their message.
But most of all, we should be thankful for each other, and the wealth of kindness and support that resides in all of us. Many of us share that blessing on a regular basis; others would do themselves and their community well to extend those attributes more regularly. As the comedian Bob Hope once said, “If you haven’t any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.”
Thanksgiving is the most American of holidays: It centers on family, faith, food and football. As you celebrate today, we encourage you to consider the many blessings that our nation affords us, and that we afford to one another.