Wednesday, November 27, 2019

It's that time of year again

In which I post, or link to, my favorite Thanksgiving TV memory.  That wonderful episode of The West Wing in which fictional president Bartlett discovers the wonder of the Butterball Turkey Hotline.

You can see an old post of it here.

Yes, The West Wing was an hour long liberal version of Rush Limbaugh in dramatic form.  The liberals and Democrats were generally the good guys, the Republicans and conservatives a bunch of warmongers, bigots, sexists, homophobes, racists and what have you.  Liberal policies saved the day, the polices of the right threatening the existence of humanity.

But it was a fun show.  Cutting edge in its day, it wouldn't make it today.  In one episode, it defies modern thinking and Pope Francis by suggesting there is a radical difference between fundamentalists and terrorists. As bad as fundamentalism is, so the show reasoned, it was merely a bunch of people who were likely good hearted but terribly wrong.  Ah, such were the days.

In later seasons, after it lost Rob Lowe, it became less subtle and more partisan.  Lowe's character Sam Seaborn was essential in that he was the token 'not always right liberal.'  It was often Lowe who spoke hastily, missed the point, or dared to insult this or that group not often considered in modern debates.  In short, he was the character who could actually be wrong when it came to policy and political thinking, not just the usual quirky flaws or obsessions about silly dramatic story lines. 

There are plenty of other things I could write about than this episode of course.  I could certainly focus on what I'm thankful for.  Or I could take the cynical route and zero in on the generations of young Americans taught to hate Christians, Europeans and Americans - including the Pilgrims, the Founding Fathers and Christopher Columbus - the way Nazis were taught to hate Jews.

But I won't.  I'll let the link and the whimsical have its own, when humor could be beyond hating those we should hate with a smile, while also at least acknowledging there are some great things about our country. 

If you wish for a treasure trove of American history, Thanksgiving trivia, and an understanding of the holiday through the ages, you could do worse than visiting the always interesting The American Catholic. 

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