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Writer Implores Trump To Stop Pardoning The Thanksgiving Turkeys And ‘Fry Them Instead’

Posted on 28 November 2019

Sparing the White House turkeys from ending up on the dining room table, as President Trump did on Wednesday, stretches back to the 1940s. The first president to officially issue a “pardon” to his turkey was Ronald Reagan, and every year since George H.W. Bush did it, his successors have followed suit.

For many years the spared turkeys were sent to a park in Virginia, then during George W. Bush’s second term, they were sent to either the Disneyland Resort in California or the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, where they served as the honorary grand marshals of Disney’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Barack Obama sent some off them to live at Mount Vernon, the estate and home of George Washington, and more recently, they’ve gone to Virginia Tech, which has an esteemed poultry science program.

But Rich Cromwell says next year, Trump should whack the turkeys.

“You can help make us the great nation we were destined to be. You can dispense with the stupid birds with luxury accommodations and start a new tradition, of feeding the hungry rather than feeding a fox or coyote on the farm where pardoned turkeys go to end their days,” Cromwell wrote in The Federalist. “The time is now, and you’re just the president to do it. Stop the tradition of pardoning the presidential Thanksgiving turkeys and instead cook them and feed them to the homeless. It’s the only way.”

I mean, they’re birds. And while pardons are cute, at least to people who enjoy waste, turkeys aren’t subject to the U.S. legal system. Is this argument overly process-oriented and legalistic? Sure, but that’s all the rage right now, although don’t go too far with that or some scholar will figure out a way to accuse Bread or Butter of violating the Logan Act.

More than that, though, we’re talking about food. They’re not cuddly pets providing companionship and stress relief, nor are they wild mustangs roaming the plains. They’re not useful for home protection or dealing with rodents. They serve no noble purpose, and when converted to “bacon,” they can serve rather ignoble ones.

As you mentioned during the speech that culminated in pardoning Bread and Butter, Democrats have accused you of being soft on turkeys. Well, even a blind pig finds an acorn every now and again. Your critics are correct; you are soft on turkeys.

In 2020, you have a chance to change that, to rule with an iron roasting pan. You have the opportunity to serve your constituents, literally, rather than continuing a senseless tradition in which two perfectly good meals get sent to a farm to spend their days pointlessly wandering around, not being food.

Cromwell concludes by saying: “Forget the presidential pardon and bring on the presidential picnic. Cook up the birds and feed the people. Heck, get even more turkeys to not pardon. Get a whole flock of turkeys, don’t pardon them, and host more people than you could with just two. It’s what Thanksgiving is all about, coming together and sharing the bounty, not about photo ops and leaving a giant mess for the hotel cleaning staff. You can do it, Mr. President. Stop pardoning the turkeys. Fry them instead.”

 

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