|November 26, 2020|
Good morning! Today's newsletter includes:
- Happy Thanksgiving
- Something to be thankful for: Mike Flynn pardoned
- New Podcast Episode
- Why President Trump needs to keep fighting
- Remembering family
Happy Thanksgiving, America! This is a uniquely American holiday that dates back to the earliest American settlements. It was first declared by President George Washington in 1789, "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God." It was set on the last Thursday in November by Abraham Lincoln.
I hope you’re enjoying this unusual Thanksgiving as best you can, given the restrictions the government is trying to put on it this year due to the coronavirus. Many of us won’t be able to host the usual big Thanksgiving family dinners (in some places, people are told they’ve not even allowed to sing songs – I guess the virus doesn’t spread at leftwing protests, but it does spread at hootenannies.) But maybe we can find a silver lining in this dark cloud.
With the government trying to rein in our rights, especially our First Amendment rights to assemble and to express our religious faith, maybe this would be a good year to reflect on the deeper meaning of Thanksgiving. It’s not just about turkey and stuffing, football on TV and early Christmas shopping. It even means more than a big family get-together, although that’s a very important part of it.
Thanksgiving is about giving thanks to God for our blessings, many of which we only enjoy because we are fortunate enough to be Americans, and we inherited rights and liberties that were revolutionary in the early days of this nation. Many of them had their genesis in the arrival of the Pilgrims.
This year marks the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landing at Plymouth Rock. They set out on a dangerous journey across the ocean in the small ship, the Mayflower, to a hostile wilderness where survival was far from certain. Indeed, half the settlers died during that first harsh winter. But they were willing to risk their lives for the right to be free to worship God in their own way, without the government telling them what they were and weren’t allowed to say, do or believe (is this starting to sound surprisingly relevant to today?)
Earlier this week, I linked to an excellent op-ed by Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton.
In it, he talks about not just the history and importance of the Pilgrims’ arrival and the first Thanksgiving, but another, even more important legacy they bequeathed to us. It was the way they organized their settlement, codified in the Mayflower Compact, the first example of the principle of “government by the consent of the governed.” Its ideas would still reverberate more than a century-and-a-half later when it became a huge influence on the writing of the US Constitution.
Sen. Cotton writes, “In this covenant, the ship’s passengers agreed to form a ‘civil body politic’ of ‘just and equal laws’ based on the consent of the governed and dedicated to the ‘Glory of God’ and the ‘general good of the colony.’ Immediately after signing the compact, the signatories conducted a democratic election to choose their first governor.”
As he notes, it’s no wonder John Adams called the Pilgrims’ arrival “the birth-day of your nation.” These are the principles America was founded upon, and they arrived 400 years ago, in 1620. America was not founded upon slavery, which arrived in 1619, and which Christian abolitionists, Republicans and many of the Founders strongly opposed and we fought a bloody Civil War to end.
To counter the left’s assault on America and its history, The Federalist has launched “The 1620 Project.” At this link is an excerpt from that specifically about the Pilgrims’ and the Puritans’ experiences and what they contributed that helped make America such an exceptional nation and a “shining city on the hill.”
This year, the feasts may be less expansive and the family gatherings smaller. But while we’re thanking God for all our blessings, let’s give even bigger thanks than usual for the brave men and women who risked all to come to the New World, seeking religious freedom. Let’s also give thanks for the blessings of liberty and self-government that they secured for themselves and their posterity (that’s us.) And let’s honor their legacy by making sure that we protect and defend those rights and liberties so that we can hand them down to the next generations.
SOMETHING TO BE THANKFUL FOR: MIKE FLYNN PARDONED
Here’s something for Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn --- and all of us --- to be extra-thankful for right now: Flynn's seemingly endless legal battle with the FBI is finally over. It took a pardon from President Trump for that to happen.
Late Wednesday afternoon, Trump tweeted: “It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon. Congratulations to Gen. Flynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!”
His attorney, Sidney Powell, has made a statement that reads in part, “The FBI and the DOJ have been a national embarrassment for more than 15 years. It was my fervent hope to make our judicial system work to exonerate an innocent man --- as all the Left would want if he were anyone but Trump or Michael Flynn, but enough is enough. This is sick. It’s painfully obvious Judge Sullivan is playing an evil political game with a good man’s life and family.”
Trump’s adversaries are screaming, of course, even though this man did nothing wrong and has been subject to abusive treatment by the judge in his case. We’ve followed the Flynn case from the beginning, but if you haven’t kept up or would like to review the argument for his complete innocence, Dan Bongino’s Wednesday podcast, which was recorded before the pardon came through, easily shows that Flynn was set up and that he did not lie to the FBI about discussing sanctions with the Russian ambassador. According to the agents' own notes, they never even ASKED him about sanctions during their ambush interview. And as the incoming national security adviser during an official presidential transition, Flynn was just serving in his job capacity when he talked to him.
Thank you, President Trump.
NEW PODCAST EPISODE
The double standards must end! How can the government keep casinos and strip clubs open, but keep us from going to church? Listen to The People's Podcast during your holiday travels and get our Election Special before it ends!
WHY PRESIDENT TRUMP NEEDS TO KEEP FIGHTING
"We want to disqualify 675,000 votes so that 74 million people are not disenfranchised.”
–- Rudy Giuliani, referring to the number of people who voted for Trump, at Wednesday’s hearing of the Pennsylvania Senate Republican Policy Committee
Also, this commentary by Michael Walsh at THE EPOCH TIMES says it well. In his words, the stakes are not just Trump’s political survival, “but the survival of the Republic itself under a Constitution the left increasingly and openly despises.”
Walsh says Trump should go on national television, in sort of a “Thanksgiving fireside chat,” to explain this, and then let the evidence come out and “the judgments –- political and historical” be made. Sounds right to me.
Thanksgiving is not only a time when we give thanks for our many blessings as Americans (this year, I am particularly thankful for the “mute” button on the TV remote), it’s also a time when we normally gather together as families and get reacquainted with relatives we don’t see any other time of year. The coronavirus has made that difficult if not impossible for many of us. I hope that if you can’t host your older relatives, you will be sure to call or Skype or Zoom or use whatever technology they can figure out so that you can visit and they’ll know you’re thinking of them.
Every Thanksgiving, I find myself thinking back on beloved family members who are no longer with us. There’s one who meant so much to me that sharing my memories of him has become sort of a holiday tradition. So I hope you’ll indulge me as I share the story of a very special relative from my childhood. I usually saw him only once a year, but he taught me a lesson that helped make me what I am today and for which I still give thanks.
When I was a boy in Hope, Arkansas, one thing about the holidays I most looked forward to was the annual visit from my Uncle Garvin. Garvin Elder was my mother’s half-brother from her dad’s first marriage, and so much older than her, he was like a grandpa to my sister and me. He was an accountant and a lifelong bachelor from Houston, and he cut quite an impressive figure whenever he arrived by bus in Hope.
He owned stocks (I could hardly imagine such a thing!) and carried a real leather suitcase with travel tags, not like the cardboard suitcase we owned but never used. And he wore a suit, tie and starched white shirt -- every day! In our town, if you saw a man in a suit, it could mean only one of two things: either it was Sunday, or he was going to or coming from a funeral.
Over the holidays, while my parents were at work, Uncle Garvin was the only adult in the house. So when he wasn’t taking his daily unbreakable appointment with the “Perry Mason” rerun, I would constantly pester him to play checkers with me. Now you must understand, this was in the days before self-esteem classes and helicopter parents. Uncle Garvin didn’t realize how impolite, damaging, even psychologically traumatic and triggering it was to beat the daylights out of a sensitive young boy at checkers. No, he played to win. And he relished beating me…which he did, over and over and over.
Of course, I hated losing to him. But that just made me want to challenge him again. Over time, I gradually got better until I actually beat him occasionally
Looking back now, I realize what a huge favor Uncle Garvin did for me by developing my competitive spirit. These days, we’ve built a society of handwringers so afraid of hurting a child’s self-esteem that everyone gets a trophy just for showing up, no matter how poorly they perform. We’ve taken away their incentive to work hard and get better.
This is the same mindset that’s given us incompetent CEOs who crash companies, then run to the government for a bailout because they’re “too big to fail.” And idiots in government who bail them out with money they confiscate from hardworking taxpayers, because it’s “not fair” that some succeed when others don’t. And who also think that "fairness" means taking money away from people who earn it and giving it to people who don't work but do vote.
Call me crazy, but I believe there’s something to be said for competition and for rewarding hard work, talent and intelligence. And there’s a lot to be said for the lessons learned and the character built through trying your best, failing and trying again.
So every Thanksgiving, when I’m giving thanks to God for my countless blessings, I include a little prayer of thanks for my Uncle Garvin…and for all those long-ago checker games that were so painful to lose at the time.
And of course, I’m thankful for all the folks who help me create my newsletters and website and my show on TBN, and all of you who read and watch. I hope to be giving thanks for that for many Thanksgivings to come!
BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY