NEWS AND OPINION:
Former President Donald Trump remains a political force these days through frequent broadcast appearances and daily statements. The 45th president also has a new book titled “Our Journey Together” arriving in mid-December.
But wait. Let’s consider his very first Thanksgiving in the White House after a hard-fought battle to be elected.
Though nonstop negative media coverage and partisan critics were a fixture from the start of his presidency, Mr. Trump persevered, moved forward and tended to business. Here is what he said on Nov. 23, 2017, in his official proclamation:
“This Thanksgiving, in addition to rejoicing in precious time spent with loved ones, let us find ways to serve and encourage each other in both word and deed. We also offer a special word of thanks for the brave men and women of our Armed Forces, many of whom must celebrate this holiday separated from the ones for whom they are most thankful. As one people, we seek God’s protection, guidance, and wisdom, as we stand humbled by the abundance of our great nation and the blessings of freedom, family, and faith.”
THANKSGIVING DINNER ALMOST ARGUMENT FREE
Two noteworthy polls on Thanksgiving Day habits more or less shatter the popular notion that the Thanksgiving dinner table is a battleground.
Here are the numbers from a YouGov poll: 79% of U.S adults say that there are no “arguments about politics” at their Thanksgiving celebration. That includes 80% of Republicans, 81% of independents and 79% of Democrats.
However, 17% do acknowledge that political disagreements occur in their house on Turkey Day; that includes 17% of Republicans, 16% of independents and 18% of Democrats.
The takeaway message? Even all three political persuasions appear to be in harmony on this matter, a promising finding. The poll of 1,500 U.S. adults was conducted Nov. 14-16.
Another survey had similar results.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday found that 66% of the respondents planned to avoid political chatter at the Thanksgiving table this year; 68% of Republicans, 66% of Democrats and 69% of independents agree.
The poll also found that 74% said political arguments among family and friends were not likely to occur in the first place. The survey of 1,378 U.S. adults was conducted Nov. 11-15.
A REAGAN THANKSGIVING, 1985
So what was on the holiday table of the nation’s 40th president 36 years ago? Here’s how it went, according to the research from the White House Historical Association:
“President Ronald and First Lady Nancy Reagan traveled to their 688-acre ranch 30 miles north of Santa Barbara, California, to join family members for the Thanksgiving holidays. A local pilot, Pete Cottle, flew over Rancho del Cielo with a 120-foot red-and-white banner that read: Happy Thanksgiving Ron and Nancy. In addition to turkey, the Reagan family enjoyed a menu of cranberries, cornbread dressing, salad, mashed potatoes, monkey bread, string beans with almonds, and pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream,” the research noted.
“Let us thank God for our families, friends and neighbors, and for the joy of this very festival we celebrate in His name. Let every house of worship in the land and every home and every heart be filled with the spirit of gratitude and praise and love on this Thanksgiving Day,” Reagan said in his Thanksgiving proclamation that year.
FOR THE LEXICON
This handy new term was coined by Axios to suit the era of COVID-19.
“No one really wants this job. But millions of families may need their own Thanksgiving bouncers,” wrote Margaret Talev and Tina Reed, both analysts for the news organization.
“The cover charge: A negative COVID test before admission to Thanksgiving dinner — either ahead of time, or at the door. Why it matters: Rapid tests are a practical way to help extended families feel more normal around holiday dinner tables,” the pair explained.
“How it works: Most at-home rapid tests take about 10 minutes, and cost around $25 for packs of two,” they note.
And the next inevitable question: Will there be Christmas Bouncers, too?
COCKTAIL DU JOUR
Well, sure. Why not mull over this special libation on Turkey Day?
From BonAppetit.com comes this suggestion for a Thanksgiving cocktail which seems seasonal and not as much fuss as, say, a pumpkin pie martini, which sounds intriguing but demands that the glass rim be edged in graham-cracker crumbs. Here is Bon Appetit’s Applejack Sour:
2 ounces of applejack (preferably Laird’s)
3.4 ounces of fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce fresh orange juice
1/2 ounce pure maple syrup
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Combine all the ingredients except the nutmeg in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until the outside of the shaker is frosty, about 20 seconds. Strain the cocktail into an ice-filled rocks glass and add a dash of nutmeg.
STATS DU JOUR
In keeping with the holiday, here are the states which raised the most turkeys in 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Minnesota is at No. 1, producing 40.5 million turkeys. North Carolina follows, with 29 million, and Arkansas is in third place (27 million). Indiana ranks fourth (19.8 million), followed by Missouri (16.5 million) and Virginia (14.5 million).
The census advises that these six states account for 69% of all turkey produced in the U.S.
According to the National Turkey Federation, the U.S. turkey industry provides some 440,739 U.S.-based jobs with direct wages of $24.1 billion, particularly in rural communities; thousands more are employed in product distribution, equipment manufacturing and affiliated services.
“The turkey industry has a direct financial impact of $35.3 billion, which increases to a total economic impact of $109.5 billion,” the industry group says. Find them at EatTurkey.org.
• Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you for reading Inside the Beltway.