Why Executive Orders Banning Thanksgiving are Executive Bullshit

Kevin McElroy
4 min readNov 25, 2020

Rule 1 of effective leadership: never EVER give an order you can’t or won’t enforce.

In 2015, John Kerry journeyed to war-torn Iraq, which was facing a full-blown ISIS-crisis thanks to the bungling of post-war efforts coming from everyone in American foreign policy.

If you were cynical or paying attention, you might imagine that such bungling actually was on purpose, in service of the forever war that enriches the political class and their friends in the defense industry.

Rather than being ashamed, of y’know, helping to utterly destroy an entire country to the point that it was marauded by warlords and religious zealots, Kerry got behind the podium and confidently spewed pompous promises about how the US would totally help Iraq to regain stability.

Hearing that stability in the region was an actual American goal might be surprising to hear if you were say, an Iraqi who had watched their country devolve into a Mad Max hellscape over the decade previous.

One intrepid Iraqi reporter asked John Kerry something along the lines of “Are you serious about your promises?”

Kerry responded, “Well, yes of course. I’m very serious. I’m up here talking, aren’t I?”

In Iraqi culture and maybe even in Arabic, the concept of “serious” means “doing more than just making big promises.”

For Iraqis, being serious means you will put action behind your words — or perhaps skip the words part entirely and spring right into action.

Of course, Kerry was not being serious. He was doing a very American politician thing called “bullshitting.”

Spoiler for anyone reading this without the curse of knowing anything about the war in Iraq or political promises: Kerry did not follow through with anything resembling serious. Iraq is still a disaster.

I like this Iraqi concept of serious, because it makes the word actually mean something. Being serious isn’t just putting on a thoughtful face and making statements in an expensive suit.

Keep this useful definition of serious in mind: if you are…