Thanksgiving. The truly American holiday, and one that can be celebrated both religiously and secularly. Its purpose is in its name, and it serves to remind us that we are social creatures, happiest and best-off when connected in positivity and gratitude with our families and friends.

Newspapers and websites, social media feeds, and pundits of all stripes, however, are stumbling all over each other to instruct us on how to “survive” Thanksgiving dinner, presumably because it’s inevitable that politics will arise and that there will be differing opinions. And, apparently, because in the age of Trump, people are prone to verbal violence even at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

I’m here to do the same.

Sort of. I’m not going to offer tactics for keeping debate civil, or for deflecting the topics away from the hot-buttons (or hot-button, aka Trump).

Instead, I’m going to ask you a simple question. Has your life – not the thoughts in your head, but your life – been so altered by Trump’s presidency that you feel the need to either rage against his existence or trumpet to the skies in fervent adoration because of his Presidency?

Be honest. If you are reading this, the answer is almost certainly “no.”

So, take a breather. Relax. Don’t feel you have to attack his defenders, or defend against his attackers. Let it all roll off your back if someone else agitates. Be happy in the day. Enjoy the company of your family and friends, even if you disagree vehemently on politics in general or Trump in particular.

No minds are going to be changed at the Thanksgiving table, and you garner no performance stars for stepping yet again into the fray. Eat, drink, enjoy the company of others. Yes, talk politics if that’s where the conversation goes, but take the challenge to prove, to yourself and to everyone else, that you can debate a matter in a pleasant and civil fashion. And, if someone else gets wound up, just shut yourself down. Think of it as performance art. Be the unshakeably happy person at the table, and mean it. You have every reason to take a day to embrace all the good associations in your life and their importance to your happiness.

As for the polarizer-in-chief? He’ll still be President tomorrow, and you can resume your unfettered adoration or raging hatred, if that’s your bag. Or, not. Maybe a day of perspective will help restore some balance, tone down your emotional commitment, and remind you that things really haven’t changed all that much.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.


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