At a rally this week in Florida, President Donald Trump made the claim that liberals were trying to rename Thanksgiving. Incidentally, he also claimed that he had essentially won the “war on Christmas” and that everyone was saying “Merry Christmas” again instead of “Happy Holidays.”
Here is a video of the Thanksgiving portion of the rally so you can see it for yourself. Then we’ll dig into the claim itself.
As is often the case, Trump’s assertion led to a Twitter trend, with Americans flocking to the social network to tweet about the #WarOnThanksgiving and #WhatLiberalsCallThanksgiving.
However, actual evidence for a full scale war on Thanksgiving is sparse at best. The topic of changing the name of Thanksgiving has gotten far more play on conservative talk radio over the years than it has in the public square.
There is not a large army of progressives and socialists aiming at Thanksgiving and attempting to change the name of the holiday.
There are some on the left who are dissatisfied with the way Thanksgiving is celebrated and with how Native Americans have been treated by European settlers historically. There are also some small petitions by college students at liberal colleges to change the name of their school’s Thanksgiving Break, but there isn’t anything that resembles an actual movement to rename the holiday.
The paranoia and threat amongst conservatives that a change to Thanksgiving isn’t new either. In 2015, rumors circulated around the Internet and on talk radio — because where else would rumors circulate — that President Obama was about to sign an executive order changing the name of the holiday to “Immigrants Day.”
According to snopes.com, that claim came from a White House conference call that was open to several special interest groups. One of the people representing one of the special interest groups on the call made a comment about changing the name of the holiday and another person who was on the call took that information to talk radio.
The talk radio hosts turned the comment into a pending executive order that the president of the United States was actually considering, despite it only being a fringe suggestion on a group call.
In short, be thankful, eat your turkey, and don’t worry about someone coming to change the name of Thanksgiving. Not only did Donald Trump not ward off the attempts to change it, there were never any serious attempts to begin with.