(Photo via SEMI-PARTISAN POLITICS)
As most of us know, talking politics can cause a rift in relationships when individuals participating in the discussion hold opposing views about any number of topics. People can forget the term, ‘civility,’ a moment after hearing a word, phrase, or idea that seems to trigger something in them to respond in a way that will more than likely incense the person that made the initial provoking statement. Then, it is a downhill conversation from there, where respectful and thoughtful engagement is no longer thought to be an option in the discourse.
This kind of exchange should never have a seat at any table on any day, but it especially should not be permitted on Thanksgiving Day. Everyone should remember to use their free speech in a more tasteful manner to really move any discussion forward and just maybe arrive at some common ground.
Recently, Salon released a piece that desired to show its readers how they could endure being in the presence of “diehard Trump supporters” for Thanksgiving by practicing “radical empathy”. Although I thought the piece was good and helpful, I could not help but to poke a little fun at Salon for posting something that is not as difficult as it would seem.
Practicing empathy is great, but handling discussions with family/friends that disagree with you about Trump (regardless of how you and they may feel) is actually simpler and easier than even having to practice empathy. It is as easy as remembering that the people that you are breaking bread with on Thanksgiving are the sames ones that have loved you, supported you, and embraced you before November 8, 2016. They were there before Donald Trump became the Commander-in-Chief and one would hope that they have been there since his inauguration.
It should not take anyone to learn some form of a radicalized empathy, as beneficial to the psyche as it sounds. Everyone should just use your memories for reasons why you fellowship and love the people that voted differently than you.
Do not let anyone, especially a politician, make you believe that one group in your family is truly deplorable or that another group is just a bunch of winy social justice warriors. Let this holiday be free of stubbornly holding on to Republican or Democrat ideals. As conservative sage Dana Loesch pointed out: “Party isn’t thicker than blood. Ignore the politicians who tell you to politicize your Thanksgiving dinner and instead just enjoy being with your family — all of em.”
So, when you pull up to the house of a “die-hard whatever,” take a deep breath, remember the love that you share, break bread, enjoy the moment, and leave the politics at the door.
Is this not so much simpler?
Originally published on The Daily Nerv – November 28, 2017
Jerome Danner is a member of Project 21, an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook for more of his thoughts and commentary. For more of Jerome’s writing, please check out his website. Jerome accepts email at firstname.lastname@example.org.