Just when you thought there would be a Thanksgiving dip in news surrounding president-elect Donald Trump and his plans to make America cringe again, he released a special holiday video. Watch the Trump Thanksgiving message and see how it times out well with the holiday but not with the spirit of his campaign or initial appointments to his future Cabinet and Trump Administration.
That's because his Thanksgiving message is all about unity and coming together. If you remember, he ran his campaign on one of division and exclusion (literally of Muslims and undocumented immigrants — walls and bans, oh my). Now he has built a team for his cabinet and future administration that is just about as bad and divisive. So why would anyone listen to him push for unity?
For the record, here is how Trump starts the short video that was posted to his Twitter:
We are very blessed to call this nation our home, and that's what America is. It is our home. It's where we raise our families, care for our loved ones, look out for our neighbors, and live out our dreams. It is my prayer, that on this Thanksgiving, we begin to heal our divisions and move forward as one country, strengthened by a shared purpose and very, very common resolve.
That sound nice. It really does, but you have to wonder how he thinks that will happen when he nominates cabinet members like Steve Bannon that have been accused of being a member of the white nationalist extremists, the alt right (he denies his roles with Breitbart have been about antisemitism or racism). Then there's his new National Security Adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn, who said that Islam isn't a religion — only a political ideology masked by religion. Wednesday's pick of Nikki Haley as UN ambassador might not be too bad, except for her view that Syrian refugees shouldn't go to South Carolina. Working out humanitarian aid is a big part of the gig.
Trump of course has more to say:
In declaring this national holiday, President Lincoln called upon Americans to speak with 'one voice and one heart. That’s just what we have to do. We've just finished a long and bruising political campaign. Emotions are raw and tensions don't just heal overnight. It doesn't go quickly, unfortunately. But we have now the chance 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.
But to succeed we must enlist the effort of our entire nation. This historic political campaign is now over. But now begins a great national campaign to rebuild our country, and to restore the full promise of America for all of our people. I'm asking you to join me in this effort. It's time to restore the bonds of trust between citizens. Because when America is unified nothing is beyond our reach, and I mean absolutely nothing. Let us give thanks for all that we have, and let us boldly face the exciting new frontiers that lie ahead. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.
This would maybe be believable — a possible reset — if he didn't already try this one. Unity was one big part of his speech on Election Night at his hotel in Manhattan. He talked about binding wounds of division. And then he went on to pick people to join his team that would do anything but. "I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans," Trump said. But his team so far doesn't seem to be a reflection of that — and almost none of them are known for their centrism. So happy Thanksgiving. And don't forget that none of this is normal.