The Creepy Precedent Behind Democrats' Push to Politicize Thanksgiving

The president and his allies have asked supporters of ObamaCare to push the unpopular law on their relatives, this Thanksgiving – even to the point of supplying them with strategies and talking points. 

But that’s not all – Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-gun group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns wants families to spend their time around the Thanksgiving table talking about gun control, and they’ve provided a handy-dandy placemat, “Talking Turkey About Guns” to help get the conversation started.

Not to be outdone, Planned Parenthood recommends that supporters discuss “reproductive health” at the Thanksgiving table. “Talking Turkey: 8 Easy Steps for Discussing Reproductive Health and Justice at the Holiday Table.”

You won’t find any conservative organizations pushing a political agenda, this Thanksgiving – the very idea is repugnant to most right leaning folks. Politicizing holidays is a uniquely left-wing impulse which has a troubling history in Communist East Germany, as Byron York reminds us in a post at The Washington Examiner, today.

He recalls his visit to the old headquarters of the East German Ministry of State Security, better known as the Stasi during a recent stay in Berlin. 

The upper floors display some of the tools of that surveillance — miniature cameras, listening devices, files on everything — that the German Democratic Republic used to control every aspect of its citizens’ lives.

But the first floor of the Stasi Museum is not about spying. Instead, it is devoted to the propaganda that East German bureaucrats used to foster socialist consciousness in an unwilling public. One display explains the GDR’s efforts in the 1950s to politicize what in the past had been family and religious occasions. The state sought to transform weddings, confirmations, and other personal events into “socialist celebrations,” to be “committed collectively and aimed at a confession to socialism,” according to the awkward English translation of the exhibit.
The exhibition informs visitors that the project “did not gain popular acceptance.” Amazingly enough, people didn’t want to turn their family holidays into socialist celebrations.

The left’s efforts to use holiday family gatherings as a venue to push their political agendas will also fall flat. It’s disgraceful that it is even being attempted.

To paraphrase Obama, who once wanted to eat his waffle in peace – “why can’t we just eat our turkey?”