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The president, who recently switched his residency from New York to Florida, claimed at his “homecoming rally” that the left wants to change the name of the upcoming secular holiday after what he previously described as “a war on Christmas.”
“As we gather together for Thanksgiving, you know, some people want to change the name Thanksgiving,” Trump began Tuesday night. “They don’t want to use the term Thanksgiving. And that was true also with Christmas. But now everybody’s using Christmas again. Remember this?”
While campaigning before the 2016 election, Trump vowed he was “a good Christian,” and therefore, would ensure people could “say ‘Merry Christmas’ again” in stores and public places instead of being obliged to opt for the more secular greeting “Happy Holidays,” according to The Hill.
“But now we’re going to have to do a little work on Thanksgiving,” Trump continued at the Florida rally. “People have different ideas. Why it shouldn’t be called Thanksgiving. But everybody in this room, I know, loves the name Thanksgiving. And we’re not changing.”
Twitter users used the hashtag “#WhatLiberalsCallThanksgiving” to mock the president’s remarks. One person, who said she was Native American, pointed to how she prefers to instead name the fourth Thursday of November a “#nationaldayofmourning.”
Since 1970, Native Americans in New England have organized an annual protest dubbed the National Day of Mourning on the same day as Thanksgiving, gathering at noon on Cole’s Hill in Plymouth.
“Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers,” according to a plaque erected at the protest site by the Town of Plymouth on behalf of the United American Indians of New England.
“Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the relentless assault on their culture,” the plaque states.
Also at the Florida rally, Trump said “Americans have so much to be thankful for,” this year.
“The economy is booming. Wages are rising. Crime is falling. Poverty is plummeting. Confidence is soaring. And America is stronger than ever before,” the president said. He also spoke of his administration’s work to create new jobs, take care of the American worker, build a border wall and protect veterans.
“For years and years and years, I was like you. I was a civilian,” Trump said of his previous Thanksgiving celebrations. “I loved my life. My life was so much simpler. It was so nice and soft and easy. You build a building and you have fun. But I’d always see you turn on the news…”
Trump said the mistreatment of veterans is what inspired him to run for president. He also said Americans should be thankful for “the rebuilding the awesome power of the United States military,” pointing to the recent death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during a raid in Syria. The president also defended his decision to pardon three service members caught up in the military justice system last week, who he says were being targeted by the “deep state.”
“It was a beautiful, beautiful thing. We gave a pardon because we’re going to take care of our warriors,” Trump said. “I will always stick up for our great fighters. People can sit there in air-conditioned offices and complain.”
He also accused “the radical left Democrats” of “trying to rip our nation apart,” first with the “Russia hoax” and now with House impeachment hearings.