Just Don’t

Many left wingers are eager to use Thanksgiving to give their Trump-supporting/right-leaning relatives a smackdown lesson in politics as they see it. One Thanksgiving host I know of has set the wifi password to IMPEACH45 as to require their Trump-supporting relatives to type the words if they want on wifi. I would argue that this and other holiday political hi-jinks is a bad idea and ultimately counterproductive.

There are three big reasons why arguing politics at Thanksgiving is generally not a good idea. I say generally because there I have heard of families full of people who love nothing more than to have a good-natured argument, and are able to do so with good humor and without rancor. If you’re from a family such as this, than feel free to ignore this.

First of all, from a purely personal perspective, the Holidays are a special time when you actually get to spend time with people, many of whom have limited life time remaing and enjoy a feast together.If this Thanksgiving turns out to be the last time you see a grandfather or a beloved aunt, would you really want to remember that you browbeat them about their political preferences?

Secondly, our inability to have a peaceful Holiday meal without getting into an argument about politics is a part of a much larger problem. Politics has become too big and too important. Spaces and days free of political angst are shrinking. It’s poisonous to our national life and when you start an argument about politics at Thanksgiving, you’re becoming part of the problem.

Third, it’s really a question of “time and a place.” I have yet to hear of any minds being changed by a belligerent Thanksgiving argument. You’re far more likely to annoy rather than persuade as the fact you’re starting an argument and “ruining” the family time together we’ll obliterate the value of your message.

Sometimes, we find ourselves in the midst of arguments we didn’t start. Arguments are started by others and we have to choose how to respond. In doing so, remember to be respectful and to work maintain the relationship. Carly Fiorina had some interesting thoughts on handling political disagreements in her latest podcast, encouraging the use of “open-ended genuinely curious and caring questions” which is probably more effective than most other approaches to political disagreements.

We face many serious problems. However, the best thing we can do for our country’s future tomorrow is to come together to celebrate Thanksgiving in a spirit of goodwill and do our best to be agents of peace and unity.]

Happy Thanksgiving.