A day before the holiday, President-elect Donald Trump's transition team published a Thanksgiving message from Trump that had all the fixings of a presidential address. As he sat in front of a stately scene, with an American flag just off to the side, the polarizing president-elect called for unity and peace. Trump's Thanksgiving message was much more appropriate for a future president than his sentiments previously have been.
"It's my prayer that on this Thanksgiving, we begin to heal our divisions and move forward as one country," Trump said in his holiday address, which hit YouTube on Wednesday. His statement was clearly a response to the widespread unrest that has erupted in much of country since his victory in the election more than two weeks ago. In calling for peace, Trump seemed to remind Americans that he wants to make America great again.
We've just finished a long and bruising political campaign. Emotions are raw and tensions just don't heal overnight — it doesn't go quickly, unfortunately. But we have before us the chance now to make history together: to bring real change to Washington, real safety to our cities, and real prosperity to our communities, including our inner cities — so important to me, and so important to our country.
Trump's message was perhaps the most presidential move Americans have seen from him to date. It was certainly more presidential than the Thanksgiving message he shared in 2013. That year, he took to Twitter to wish a happy holiday to all, including "the haters and losers."
Who doesn't like their Thanksgiving turkey with a side of subtweet? Trump's sassy 2013 tweet has more than 16,000 retweets and a seemingly infinite scroll of replies, including some messages as recent as Wednesday.
Sadly, it's the brash tweets, and not the presidential addresses, that many Americans have come to expect from Trump. By the looks of it, Trump's early followers may have gotten used to it long before the rest of us. In 2012, he wished the country a happy Thanksgiving by saying, in part, "Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving. But get ready, our country is in big trouble!" He also gave a shout-out to his "many enemies."
Now that Trump is the president-elect, it's good to see a more appropriate Thanksgiving message from him. However, it's too soon to say that he's left the wild tweets behind for good. Hopefully, Trump can work on healing the divisions between him and his many enemies while the country works on healing its own divisions.