Friday, November 20, 2009

In Defense of Turkeys

What did turkeys ever do to be compared with human beings who behave badly?

Being a city boy, I haven't met many turkeys over the years, but the ones I've encountered are pleasant birds who have a remarkably sunny disposition considering the fact that many of them won't live past Thanksgiving. It's funny to hear the sounds they make and to watch them spread their wings. I can't say the same about those people who are called turkeys. They're not fun to watch or listen to, and generally don't have pleasant dispositions even though they're very likely to be alive after November 26.

So I'm not going to call the politicians who I think behaved badly this year turkeys, because they don't deserve to be in the same company as our fine feathered friends.

Because turkeys would never put politics and their personal self-interest above the greater good, the way almost all Republicans did this year in the healthcare debate.

I know it's hard to tell, but I even think turkeys have the sense of humor sorely lacking in many of our leaders. While President Obama has a wonderful sense of humor and is spontaneously funny, I can't say the same for our Congressional leaders.

John Boehner is humorless, Mitch McConnell has never come close to cracking a smile, and Harry Reid acts like a well meaning undertaker. Nancy Pelosi, on the other hand, is always smiling. Even if she may not always get the joke.

Turkeys aren't hypocrites either. Like those sanctimonious politicians who preach family values and then get arrested in public restrooms, or abandon their state and their responsibilities to run off with a mistress in Argentina. These politicians are given a sacred trust by the people and promptly abuse that trust.

Turkeys seem to have a sense of the limited time they have on earth, and seem content to make the most of their wing flapping, cute noisemaking days.

So this Thanksgiving, let's show a little respect for turkeys, whether they bought the farm or are still on the farm. And the next time you see a human being behaving badly, don't call them a turkey. Turkeys deserve better than that.