Wednesday, November 21, 2007

This Year Let's Celebrate Thankstaking Instead of Thanksgiving

The United States is the only country in the world that celebrates Thanksgiving (unless you count Canada, which I don't). Since the days of the pilgrims Americans have been giving thanks, but isn't it about time we got some thanks for all that we have done for the world? Just once I would like to celebrate Thankstaking instead of Thanksgiving. Just once I would like the rest of the world to show us a little gratitude.

Traditionally the Pilgrims started Thanksgiving in 1621 to thank the Wampanoag Indians Wampanoag for helping them through a difficult winter. For the last 400 years we've been thanking the Indians for what they did for the colonists, so would it kill them to take one year to thank us for civilizing them and for introducing them to casino gambling, which has proven to be such a boon to their culture? Regrettably, the Wampanoag can't thank us because most of them were killed off by the colonists and those who claim to be their descendents can't prove they who they are so they aren't officially recognized. But there are plenty of other Native-Americans who could certainly take an hour or two off from running the blackjack tables to say, "Miigwetch, kimosabe."

They don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Iraq but maybe they should start. And perhaps we could celebrate Thankstaking this year and ask the Iraqi people to show us some appreciation for liberating them from Saddam Hussein and leaving the majority of their population intact. And perhaps they could thank us for the three hours of electricity they have every day, and the 30% of their citizens who have clean water and the 20% with decent sanitation could thank us for that. And they might want to thank us for the billions of dollars we have pumped into that country, some of which has actually gotten to Iraqi citizens. Things are better now in Iraq than they have been at any time since we invaded. Shouldn't we get a little appreciation for that?

And there are many other countries that should be thanking us this Thankstaking holiday. Iran should thank us for not bombing them yet. Pakistan should thank us for helping to keep them free of an Islamic dictatorship, which would be much worse than the dictatorship they have now. Burma should thank us for asking their government very firmly not to kill all their monks. China should thank us for buying all of their very cheap and usually GHB- and lead-free toys. Mexico should thank us for giving so many of their citizens jobs that sometimes pay as much as minimum wage and for not rounding them all up and deporting them yet. India should thank us for sending so many of our other jobs over to them. You're welcome.

In 1973 Canadian broadcaster Gordon Sinclair made a powerful radio address called "The Americans" in which he praised our incredible generosity and selflessness. "The United States dollar took another pounding on German, French and British exchanges this morning, hitting the lowest point ever known in West Germany," he began. "It has declined there by 41% since 1971 and this Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least-appreciated people in all the world." With the American dollar now at record lows against the Euro, perhaps it's time to heed his words again. The United States is the world's largest giver of foreign aid. We give a whopping 0.13% of our gross domestic product in foreign aid, 81% of which we cleverly tied to the purchase of U.S. goods and services. Of the 21 richest countries in the world only Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Ireland, Belgium, Finland, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Canada, France, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Austria, Italy, Germany and Portugal are more generous than the United States when it comes to foreign aid, according to the Center for Global Development. It's about time someone thanked us for being more charitable than Greece and Japan.

President Bush is certainly entitled to ask for a big thank you for keeping this country safe from terrorists despite the efforts of Democrats, who will have only themselves to blame if there is another terrorist attack. And the American people certainly owe him some gratitude for what he's done for the economy, which has begun to falter not so coincidentally only since the election of a Democrat majority in Congress. Thanks to his policies a number of Americans got a chance to see what it would be like to live in homes they could not afford, memories they will always cherish long after the banks foreclose on them. And if it wasn't for President Bush, there might be no New Orleans at all. Thanks to his efforts, New Orleans has the first white majority city council in 22 years, which as James Joyner at Outside the Beltway points out, is a "good thing" because it means the city has shifted "away from race-based voting." This would not have been possible without President Bush's leadership. I hope that on this Thankstaking holiday, the President takes some credit for all that he has done for this country.

And I'm sure there are many of you out there who aren't getting enough appreciation for all of the hard work you do. Isn't it time you got a little recognition for it? This Thankstaking holiday, instead of saying "thank you" why not say "thank me" for a change. You deserve it. And don't forget to thank me while you're at it.

Update: Here are some great links from the comments: "The Lost Lesson of Thanksgiving" from Caveat Bettor and Michael Medved's "Responding to Lies About America's 'Isolationist' Past and 'Imperialist' Present" recommended by Michael Bérubé.

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37 comments:

caveatBettor said...

I thought the Pilgrims were thanking God, not the Wampanoag. You're not revising this to appease the leftists, I ask hopefully ...

Jon Swift said...

You're exactly right, but we should be thanking God every day, not just on Thanksgiving. By the way, your piece, "The Lost Lesson of Thanksgiving" is must reading.

Ontario Emperor said...

So does this mean that the world should thank us for the entertainment that Paris and Britney provide?

Raphael Alexander said...

Very clever article. And nice usage of Canadian humour to highlight the drowning greenback.

a said...

The concept of Thankstaking is not original with you, sir.

Brendan said...

Thank you, Jon Swift, for a post in which you were even more reasonable than usual.

I have not actually read any of your other posts, but I still feel sure that my estimation is correct.

Michael Bérubé said...

You shouldn't be so dismissive of Canada, Mr. Swift. As Michael Medved has recently pointed out, "Those who claim that the United States has become a rapacious, arrogant, destructive, domineering and imperialistic power must somehow explain the continued independent existence of the nation of Canada." Of course, Canadians would do well to read your post, and set aside a day to thank the US for not invading or annexing them. That would seem appropriate.

Raphael Alexander said...

Of course, Canadians would do well to read your post, and set aside a day to thank the US for not invading or annexing them. That would seem appropriate.

So far we're just glad most Americans believe the map of North America ends somewhere around the city of Detroit and reappears near the Arctic west.

Carl said...

Sir! You have given me a brilliant (and I should know from brilliant!) idea!

We can rename Iraq Thanksgivistan, and as a sign of respect for freeing them from the terrors of Saddam Hussein, when their economy was one of the strongest outside of Europe and America and their people educated and safe and giving them daily dread and terror, they can *give us* all their crude oil!

Daniel said...

Didn't the Canadians throw back not one but two American invasions a couple hundred years ago? Thankstaking, indeed.

Raphael Alexander said...

Jon, as a fellow blogger can I ask you... how did you install all those widgets in your blogger template? Is it complicated? Can you point me to the way I could add a few?

Randall said...

Thank you, Mr. Swift.

ROTUS said...

Thank you, Jon, now I know what to say for grace, if asked tomorrow.

purvis ames said...

First, calling yourself a "reasonable conservative" is an oxymoron. Second - and I don't care how many of your relatives had to be wiped out - I have a few myself - wouldn't you like to own a giant gambling casino?

WomanHonorThyself said...

woohoo..luv it Jon!...bet that list could go on for volumes!..Happy Thanksgiving !

purvis ames said...

Mr. Berube
I don't care what anyone else says. Michael Medved is NOT a homosexual!

Miss Cellania said...

Thank you, Jon.

Well, isn't that what you wanted?

Now go stuff yourself! (with turkey)

Anonymous said...

a said...

The concept of Thankstaking is not original with you, sir.


The creator of the original concept should be thanking Mr. Swift for taking his idea.

Anonymous said...

Wha-whah. The governor ASSIGNED each family a plot of land? What kind of capitalism is that? Why didn't he sell them the land with a jumbo adjustable mortgage and offload the default risk to the Wampanoags?

parsec

Grace Nearing said...

Which reminds me: Did we ever get a thank-you note from Grenada? Not even a small, unembossed one made by Hallmark?

a said...

Mr. Swift, I gather this series of articles has angered Left Blogistan; ready to take it on?

homeyra said...

Sir
I therefore Thank You for not bombing me - yet.

Lord James-River said...

Yes but we have Guy Fawkes Day and you don't.

Smellington G. Worthington III said...

Excellent points. I've always wondered why the Canadians were so patently ungrateful that we never invaded them. How arrogant they are to have a country larger than ours within the same continent. And they deserve a good thrashing for allowing their dollar to overtake ours.

Perhaps we should invade now simply to show what we think about their lack of gratitude.

Unanimous said...

Jon,
I started to read the Michael Medved column you linked to but about 45 seconds into it I thought to myself " Why am I letting the thoughts of Michael Medved into my mind? I don't have to listen to this A hole ." I immediately closed the link and was overcome by a feeling of serenity.
Truly something to be thankful for.
Unanimous

BillyWarhol said...

I herewith Order our Diesel Submarine Fleet to Immediately Attack the United States of America!!

This may take a little time cuz they are currently LandLocked in the West Edmonton Mall!!

;))

I'm glad to see yer supporting Kucinich mainly cuz he's got a Gorgeous Wife but also cuz he's not one o those Religious Nutbars like Huckabee or the others that have completely Ruined America in the Eyes of the Whole World*

+ U were right - America has done a ton of Good Stuff for the World - too bad Bush + Cheney had to piss it all away*

;))

Peace*

Dumb Ox said...

Excellent post. Note that I had joined your MBL community quite awhile ago. Big fan, but I haven't popped over as much as I should for your great commentary! I'll add you to my "Oxen and Oxettes" blogroll too.
All the best,
D. Ox

pretty shaved ape said...

"Smellington G. Worthington III said...
Excellent points. I've always wondered why the Canadians were so patently ungrateful that we never invaded them."

Pshaw! Smellington old bean, you did invade us. The skirmish of 1812. And we did indeeed thank you. Why, we thanked you by burning down your "white house" and returning the lands we seized. Heavens forfend we deprive you of Buffalo, New York. No, no, don't thank me...oh all right, you may thank me and I shall receive your honours humbly and with good grace. You're welcome.

KEvron said...

"I herewith Order our Diesel Submarine Fleet to Immediately Attack the United States of America!!"

it's progressed as far as that, has it? i've always imagined skin boats and bark canoes....

KEvron

Mindy said...

I love thie idea of a "thankstaking" holiday, perhaps expensive gifts for us busy and practially single moms (the ones who are married but their spouse is really just an extra child) could be required!

Enjoyed your blog, I'll be a regular reader.

R.E. Visionist said...

The Lost Lesson of the First Thanksgiving....

A few additional lost lessons of the first Thanksgiving. Communistic Indians apparently rescued the Socialistic Pilgrims, by teaching them how to grow native crops and how to hunt native animals. Remarkable, considering the Indians had absolutely no concept of private property and thus were ignorant of the greater benefits of Capitalism.

Additionally these Communistic Indians allowed the Pilgrims to steal from them to get seed corn and other foodstuffs and goods that enabled them to survive when their European crops failed, due to harsh weather, unsuitability to the climate, and obviously inferior socialistic farming methods.

John Stossel tells us that after two years in America, capitalism saved the colonists. Plus it couldn't have hurt that they planted native corn intead of European wheat and barley, crops which had repeatedly failed.

But what John Stossel doesn't explain, is how this lesson learned after two years in America, was aborbed by the colonists at the First Thanksgiving, which of course occurred during the first year in America. If he knows the secret of this learning a year before the fact, I think it's something America could still use today. Wouldn't that be a Thanksgiving miracle? Thankstaking in advance.

I suppose the miracle of the First Thanksgiving, was that those Socialistic Pilgrims and their Communistic Indian friends, were able to feast for three days on all those native foods, like corn, squash, pumpkin, beans, wild fowl, and venison, while at the same time starving due to their lack of capitalism.

Remarkable indeed.

punkinsmom said...

God bless you, Jon Swift. You always make me laugh and cry at the same time.

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

I'm with you. We Filipinos should thank the Americans for stealing our won Revolution from Spain in 1898 by disallowing entry to Filipino forces in Manila after we shed blood for it. George Dewey simply walked in and took over because he was trusted by Gen. Aguinaldo. We should also thank America for buying us from Spain for US $20 million and then prostituting the entire country by taking all its natural resources and selling us worthless products plus being the dumping ground of all their rejects and tainted items, like some sort of guinea pigs for banned produce. Also, we should thank America for teaching us torture, pillage, and plunder of the countryside during the Philippine-American War. Lastly, we should thank America for bringing the Second World War to the country to spare Australia so we can enjoy meager USAID and have our dying veterans remain unrecognized and unpaid after fighting for USAFFE. At least a great number of them are starving to death in the good old USA and not here. Also, we should thank America for WWIIsince we would not see the return of that egotist MacArthur nor enjoy Sony, Toyota, and all other Japanese products.We can't thank America for Democracy because its all nice words but no substance. Rich and powerful men rule! Democracy sucks! There's no such thing equality, even Americans don't practice that.

--Durano, done

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katty said...

I love when my husband and i pass time together specially when we are with all the family celebrating the thanksgiving. Is sure this year we´ll be happy all of us together and enjoying. But i am thankful because my husband buy viagra and he has more self-steem.I am really happy.

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