Truly, what is propagated in the name of God, has only one shaping purpose—to promote God’s kingdom just as democracy was meant to be a source of American Thanksgiving to God for good governance and prosperity of the people. American Thanksgiving celebration beyond food and drink is about democracy becoming ‘of the people, by the people and for the people once again, in process and in outcomes, in deed and in truth.’ American Thanksgiving is expression of thankfulness and gratitude to fellow human beings who, both directly and indirectly, have contributed to our lives. The regret is that Brexit referendum, the election of Donald Trump, and other elections in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Spain, and many other parts of the world ‘have together tested the limits of people’s faith in democracy.’ Under an increasing proliferation of fake news as a terrifying reality, it is very sad today, as each citizen in a democratic society hardly has a voice in the decisions that affect them and their loved ones. Families are politically polarised, hence spent less time around the Thanksgiving dinner – ‘a loss of 27 million hours of “cross-partisan Thanksgiving discourse.”

While thinking about the American Thanksgiving, Valson Thampu’s recent work ‘Who’ll save Christianity from Church’ resonate with my reflection on the need to save democracy from the politicians. According to Thampu, men and women of faith must wake up in the face of ‘denominational mercenary-priests’ and preachers ‘who live lives of hypocrisy serving Mammon while pretending to serve God …’ Thampu’s argument is that an enemy cassock has been ‘allowed to enter the cemetery,’ just as the heartless professionals, in the same way an executioner is a professional. He slips the knot clinically over the head of the condemned by way of doing his duty.’ The reflection is that, who will save democracy from the politicians – greedy professionals, political chameleon who are pretending to be something they are not? How do we stop political chameleon in our democracy?

The story of democracy in the 21st century that ‘has been reduced to a mere process whose outcome no longer matters, as long as elections are held calls for a rethink on the essence of American Thanksgiving.  In the United State of America, the world’s largest democracy, ‘government can push through a trade agreement – the TPP – without so much as consulting people.’ Money-shaped Democracy built on greed and personal interest is no longer built on the power and needs of the people

In the beginning, democracy was built on the power and needs of the people. It has since sold out to money – the biggest threat to it today. All over the world, the corruptive influence of money has not only left voters disenchanted, it has been divisive and destructive. Why American Thanksgiving when ‘the dreams of collective prosperity promised by democracy are being turned into nightmares for the majority, and monumental wealth for the privileged ruling class and their allies?’ Democracy continue to loose its way and its essence as ‘dictators who came to power by undermining elections … are enthroned and legitimised by elections.’

American Thanksgiving celebration began when democracy using Abraham Lincoln’s definition was indeed a ‘government of the people by the people for the people.’ The question is where is the place of Thanksgiving in such a polarised time and age when democracy is sold out to corruption, greed, and fake politicians? It is no longer news that the ‘billionaires control politics. Foreign governments meddle in elections. And not enough people vote to demand a change.’

2018 American Thanksgiving reminds us that it is not too late to save democracy from our fake politicians. American Thanksgiving celebration is an opportunity to remind the government and our politicians the need for them to recognise public’s right to know through transparency and accountability. It is not easy to protect the citizens from corrupt politicians because they mostly control the judiciary and law enforcement agencies. Democracy as a means of American Thanksgiving is increasingly becoming a means of division and hate, people don’t ‘talk to one another, see one another, hear one another.’ The question is that, what hope does the nation have?’ In a genuine American Thanksgiving, people can find common ground beyond our present divisions and turmoil. Just as democracy depends on American Thanksgiving, American Thanksgiving could become effective under a government of the people by the people for the people. 2018 Thanksgiving Day summons men and women all over the world to wake up in the face of political chameleons who are building empires for themselves while pretending to serve the people.