RUSH: I don’t know about you, folks, but as I look at the news every day and as I study it and as I prep the program, you know what I give thanks for every day is that I am not in the news. What an absolute cesspool the news is! It is a cesspool. And yet we wade around in it each and every day here at the EIB Network.
Great to have you, my friends. We’re gonna do Open Line Friday on Wednesday today because of the Thanksgiving holiday, will not be here on Friday. Who did you say is gonna — that’s right, Ken Matthews of the NSA will be here on Friday guest hosting. So the rules are whatever you want to talk about, have at it. No restrictions in terms of what you can — normally Monday through Thursday callers have to talk about things I care about Friday or am interested in but that’s not gonna be the case today. Can be anything. Have at it. It’s 800-282-2882 and the email address, ElRushbo@eibnet.us.
A tradition on this program, the real story of Thanksgiving, we will share it with you yet again. This has been a tradition since my first book, The Way Things Ought to Be, and it’s especially relevant now since the original Thanksgiving is so misunderstood and so much of education is mistaught and actually young people lied to about much of the founding of our country. And so our tradition is to set it straight each and every day here.
So the real story of Thanksgiving. It is a tradition on this program. And this is the time of year, to me, the holiday season begins and I think to most people. This time of year I just become overwhelmed with so many emotions, memories. And the way I’m built, most of my memories are positive. I think, in my case, when I think of nostalgia or the past, the things that automatically occur to me are pleasant ones.
Now, I’ve got bad memories; everybody does. But they’re not the first ones that surface. I think of my childhood, memories of my childhood. My first real demonstrable success track in radio was in Sacramento, California. My first job away from home, Pittsburgh, in the early seventies when the Steelers dynasty was forming, which is why I’m a Steelers fan. Then moving to New York in 1988.
None of these things were foreseen. None of these things were objectives. None of these things were goals. I’ve never be a focused goal setter. To me that’s always been too narrowing. It’s been too limiting. I’ve had wide, broad-based goals, like being the best at whatever I did. I don’t mean at things I’m not good at. I mean, I never dreamed of being the best golfer in the world. But, I mean, this is my business, and my objective was to be the most listened to and have that be defined as the best. I didn’t want to be said to be the most listened to. I didn’t want some PR firm or buzz suggesting I was. I wanted it to be legitimate and real.
So I went wherever I could to climb the ladder. Well, those were not specific places. I never said I’m gonna have to go to Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Kansas City. I was just open to it. In many cases, they were the only places I could get a job. So it really wasn’t a matter of choice. And yet I think about all of these things that happened to me in the past that all led — you’ve heard people say that they wouldn’t change a thing in their past. If they’re honest with you, that’s what they’ll tell you, because you can’t anyway, and everything in your past is a factor in defining and determining who you are, the good and the bad.
So there’s not a thing that I would change. Well, maybe if I actually sat down and thought about it, there would be a couple of things, but on the grand scale, no, because it isn’t realistic. So I have all these great memories at this time of year. Some people these memories occur over and around other events. But for me it’s always the holiday season. And I’ve got family scattered all over the place now, and, “Are you coming home for Thanksgiving?” we’re at the stage now where it’s changing.
Thanksgiving has always been at someone’s home. But not anymore. Now it’s gonna be at a different location. Changes the dynamic. You roll with it, flow with it. Everybody hopes you can make it, gonna try, don’t know, ’cause there are a lot of tugs and a lot of pulls. And sometimes I end up feeling guilty ’cause I can’t get everywhere every time. I’m feeling a little guilt right now, even though the memories are positive and even though the time of year is my favorite, there are still commitments and other things which stand in the way.
Now, I’m not complaining about anything, folks. I’m sharing. I don’t complain. I don’t whine. And you know why? ‘Cause I don’t know how to deal with it when other people do. I literally don’t know what to do when somebody’s complaining, other — well, I shouldn’t say this. No, I’m gracious, but, I mean, I don’t know how to help ’em. I don’t know what to do. Other than say, “Oh, man, what a bummer.” But I always think if somebody’s complaining to me, they’re asking me to fix it, and most of the time it’s not the case. They’re just venting. But I think I have a responsibility to fix it or to offer a solution, so I struggle, “Well, what the hell are they asking me for here?”
And that’s why I don’t whine and complain because I think other people are gonna think I’m asking for something, so I hold it all in. And what do I have to complain about, anyway? I’m just not good at dealing with other people’s complaints. So I just now, the way I’ve dealt with it, they’re just venting and they’re not expecting me to have the solution. And then if they are, I’ll find out.
It takes me to The True Story of Thanksgiving. It was written about in chapter 6 of See, I Told You So, book two. It’s in a chapter titled, Dead White Guys or What the History Books Never Tell You. And this chapter, by the way, served as the foundation for the first book in the Rush Revere series, Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims. Where, in addition to the true story of Thanksgiving, we have the true story of the Pilgrims, who they were, where they came from, why they came, what happened when they got here, what they had to do to fix what went wrong when they got here, and what role the Pilgrims play in the overall founding of America.
Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, that’s the first book of five in the Rush Revere Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans series, which is written for young people. Why did the Pilgrims risk everything to get on a rickety little ship, compared to ships and boats today, it was a rickety little thing. They traveled the Atlantic Ocean to a place that was foreign and unknown, and they were on a boat that the last thing about it was pleasant or luxury. They had no idea what they were gonna encounter. But it had to be better than what they were fleeing. And what they were fleeing was religious persecution.
Now, the real story of Thanksgiving, I wasn’t even taught the whole version. Like everybody, I was taught a sanitized, modern version that has elements of political correctness and multiculturalism. I was taught that Thanksgiving was about the Pilgrims being saved from starvation and deprivation by the loving, good-hearted, compassionate, and caring stewards of the earth, the Indians. The Pilgrims didn’t know how to grow corn, food, maize, popcorn, anything of the sort when they got here. The Indians showed them all of that. And Thanksgiving was the Pilgrims inviting the Indians over for dinner to thank the Indians for saving them, the Native Americans. Everybody’s been taught a version of that.
But, ladies and gentlemen, it isn’t true. The story of the Pilgrims begins in the early part of seventeenth century. For those of you in Rio Linda, that would be the 1600s. The Church of England under King James was persecuting anybody and everybody who did not recognize its absolute civil and spiritual authority. The government was god, the government was the religion, the government was the church. And those who challenge that, those who believed strongly in freedom of worship, were hunted down, they were imprisoned and sometimes executed for their religious beliefs in 1600s England.
So a group of separatists, people that didn’t want any part of this, they’d had their limit, first fled to Holland. That’s right. The Pilgrims did not come on the same route as the Titanic. They didn’t come from England. They fled to Holland and they established a community there. And after 11 years, 40 of them agreed to make the journey to what was then called the New World, where they knew they would certainly face hardships. But the promise was that they could live and worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences.
The belief in freedom of religion to engage in this kind of activity in order to be able to do it, to be able to cross an ocean to a place you have no idea what to expect just to be able to worship as you choose. So August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. There were 102 passengers, including 40 Pilgrims. The whole ship was not Pilgrims, 40 of them. They were led by a man named William Bradford.
On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract that established — well, what it was was socialism. Just and equal laws for all members of the new community, quote, unquote, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Where do the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? These are religious people. They came from the Bible. The Pilgrims were a people that were completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. And the Pilgrims looked to the ancient Israelites for their example, and because of the biblical precedents in Scripture, they didn’t doubt their experiment would work.
They were people with incredible faith. The journey to the New World was long, it was arduous. When they landed in New England in November, according to Bradford’s journal, they found a cold, barren, desolate wilderness. No friends to greet them, no dock, no Motel 6, no gas stations, no strip mall, nothing. Rocks and coastline. No houses. There were no hotels, no inns, and the sacrifices they had made for freedom was just beginning.
During the first winter, half of them died, including William Bradford’s own wife, of either starvation, sickness, or exposure. When spring finally came, Indians, Native Americans, did indeed teach the settlers how to plant corn, how to fish for cod, skin beavers for coats. Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they didn’t prosper. Not yet.
Now, this is important to understand, because this is where modern American history lessons end. This is what the modern Thanksgiving story is. Pilgrims show up, don’t know what they’re doing, nothing for them, no place to stay, they’re starving. The Indians fed them, showed them how to feed themselves and make coats and stay warm and Thanksgiving happened.
That’s not the story. That’s not why the Pilgrims gave thanks. That’s not why George Washington proclaimed the first Thanksgiving holiday. The Indians did indeed help them, and they learned how to plant corn, and they had a big feast. And we celebrate that today. But Thanksgiving is actually explained in textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, rather than what it was.
The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving was a thanks to God for helping them in their belief in Him and Scripture and to arranging their affairs and forming their colony in a way that ultimately they could survive. And if you doubt this, go look at George Washington’s first Thanksgiving proclamation when Thanksgiving became a national holiday. I’ve got it here and I might even share excerpts from it before we’re through here today. But let me move on.
You cannot escape the fact that Thanksgiving was a national holiday rooted in thanking God for America. That was George Washington’s purpose. Thanksgiving was to thank God for America, for everything that had happened leading to the founding of America, everything. Washington, many of the founders felt divine inspiration throughout the entire period of time following the Pilgrims’ arrival.
Now, here’s the part that’s been omitted from the textbooks. Remember that original contract that the Pilgrims all signed aboard the Mayflower. Well, they had merchant sponsors. They didn’t have any money. They had people paying them, sponsoring their trip. They didn’t have the money to make the trip themselves. These sponsors were in Holland and London. They had to be repaid.
So that contract called for everything the Pilgrims produced to go into a common store, a single bank account, if you will. And each member of the community was entitled to an equal share of the gross. This was fair. This was equal. This was same. All the land they cleared, the houses they built, they belonged to the community as well.
Nobody owned anything. Everything was owned by the community, everybody equal share to all of it. They were gonna distribute it equally. Everybody would get the same, everybody would be the same. All the land they cleared, the houses they built, belonged to the community.
Nobody owned anything. It was a commune. It was Humboldt County, California, minus the weed. They even had organic vegetables. Now, William Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this wasn’t working. They weren’t making any money to pay off the sponsors. But you know what else was happening? Since everybody got an equal share no matter what, there were some lazy sloths. Yes. Some of the original Pilgrims, some of their offspring just sat around and did nothing all day while the others picked up the slack.
And Bradford saw this isn’t gonna work. And so they essentially tore up that first contract, which, they didn’t know it, but that was socialism. And what they did was create a new community based on what we would call capitalism today. The more you produce, the more you got to keep. The harder you work, the greater were the fruits of your labors. If you wanted a bigger home than somebody else, and you could afford to build it, you did it, you didn’t have to share it.
And this change unleashed everything, and the Pilgrims became a going economic concern. And they experienced economic plenty far greater than any they had had under the previous Mayflower Compact arrangement. Bradford writes about all of this in his journal, and it is for this that the original Pilgrims gave thanks. Not to the Indians saving them, but to God for helping them to survive and thrive in a place none had ever been.
RUSH: Okay, folks, now, here’s where this gets good. William Bradford, the governor of the colony, after abandoning the original compact and then converting to, “Hey, you can keep what you earn and earn as much as you produce,” when free enterprise of turned loose in Bradford’s journal, this had very good success, “for it made all hands industrious so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.”
In other words, they had economic growth, they had prosperity because there was personal incentive rather than everybody getting a share of what others, some, not everybody else produced. And so the Pilgrims found that they had more food than they could eat themselves.
Now, this is where what you’ve been told about Thanksgiving enters the picture. The Pilgrims had more than they could share, more than they could eat, more food than they could serve each other. They invited the Indians. They set up trading posts. They exchanged goods with the Indians, and the profits finally allowed them to pay off the debts to the sponsors, the merchants in London and Holland who had sponsored them.
But it was the sharing of the bounty that was created by the change in governing structure that led to the plenty that allowed them to invite the Indians and share all of this with them. That’s the story most people get, but they’ve been mistaught that the Indians provided all the food ’cause the Pilgrims were incapable. It is the exact opposite.
RUSH: Now, there just one more time element to this, The True Story of Thanksgiving. You may or may not have heard the story of the great Puritan migration. That is what happened after the Pilgrims original two or three years setting up shop. Now, this is fundamentally important to understand.
The great Pilgrim migration occurred because of the overwhelming success at growing their community. The word of what the Pilgrims had done spread — I mean, there are ships going back and forth, New World to England and Europe all the time, and word spread of this newfound prosperity, of this New World, of the new opportunities, of the religious freedom and other freedoms that had been created after the arrival of the Pilgrims.
Had none of that happened, had the real story of Thanksgiving been that the Pilgrims were a decrepit bunch, out of place and didn’t know how to take care of themselves and if it weren’t for the Indians they would have died, there would have been no reason for anybody to follow ’em. It would have been judged a failure. But it was anything but. And it’s it is not taught today.
But the fact of the matter is that the Pilgrims — they were not ideologues. It wasn’t that somebody said, “We’re gonna try socialism.” It’s just the way they set it up. They wanted to be fair with everything. It was a natural thing. “We’ll have a common store. Everybody has one share, and everything we do and make goes into that bank, and everybody gets an equal percentage of it.” Well, human nature interceded, and there were some lazy people that didn’t do anything, they don’t have to, they were entitled to an equal share no matter what they did.
That didn’t work very long. They set up free enterprise where the fruits of your labor determined what you got, what you had, and what you’re able to do. And it formed the basis of forming the basic arrangements they had as a community. Well, it was so successful, and that’s what they gave thanks for.
These were deeply religious people. They were giving thanks for having been shown the light, and the word spread, and that began the Great Puritan Migration, and that’s when the flood of European arrivals began, after the success of the original Plymouth colony.
That’s never taught as part of the original Thanksgiving story, and now you know it. Every year we pass this on because the audience always has new members each and every year. Well, not just year, each and every month, every day.