President Donald Trump was elected to shake up Washington, change a pattern of arrogant and wasteful government, and simply "drain the swamp."
And that's why instead of following years of silly presidential tradition, President Trump should decide not to pardon the Thanksgiving turkeys Tuesday.
Don't be fooled into thinking the annual pardoning exercise is just an amusing and harmless exercise. First of all, the whole thing isn't cheap. That includes the expensive hotel stay for the turkeys the night before their big moment in front of the news cameras. Some even get a trip to Disneyland. No, I'm not joking.
Does it make sense, even for the sake of holiday mirth, to spare a turkey expressly raised for human consumption only to have it die of natural causes a few months later because it is not suited for life in the wild or even a protected farm?
Now, this doesn't mean we have to forego pomp and circumstance, we should just infuse a little educational content to this annual event. Instead of a pardon, have the turkeys slaughtered right there on the White House lawn... humanely of course. Let's face it, too many Americans don't even know how their food gets from the farm to the local Whole Foods or even the butcher shop.
Especially at this time of year, we rely on the countless Americans who work hard to raise and slaughter our precious holiday turkeys and hams for our home enjoyment. Those people deserve their day in the sun, and for the sake of tastefulness, the cameras don't have to capture the gory details of that preparation but we should know it's happening anyway. Perhaps a tent can be constructed in the Rose Garden so the work can be done discretely.
And don't we still have a hunger problem in America, for children especially? Why not invite hungry children and their families to the White House for a meal just after the non-pardoning and donate a second turkey to a D.C. soup kitchen? Wouldn't that make for a better photo op?
Besides, all this pardoning nonsense doesn't seem to fit that tough persona President Trump is always trying to convey.
Donald Trump came to Washington and even gave an inaugural address with promises to slay a lot of sacred cows. He can prove it by starting with a couple of turkeys.
Commentary by Jake Novak, CNBC.com senior columnist. Follow him on Twitter @jakejakeny.
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