The Pnyx: Politics & Thanksgiving

Joshua Schuetz
Staff Writer

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today’s topic will be a bit different than usual. I’ve no more post-election takes to give. That supply has been fairly exhausted. But I do have a few thoughts about Thanksgiving. 

I’ve written about how to talk politics at the table in another article; I’m not going to cover it here. But I do want to give you all a little food for thought, something to put between the turkey and cranberry sauce, as it were. 

Have you ever asked yourself why politics is such a despised topic among family members? Have you ever asked yourself the implications of that state of mind?

In my opinion, the notion that politics should not be discussed with family assumes that our relationships with loved ones are so weak that they cannot withstand a little political disagreement. Moreover, it assumes that reasonable people cannot disagree respectfully about politics.

But I’ve always found it worrisome. If we cannot even breach the subject of politics with our loved ones for fear of argument, how much less can we discuss it with our other fellow citizens? In the age of partisanship that we now live within, it seems as though political disagreements have the power to dissolve even the bonds of family.

It’s not just Thanksgiving: the 2016 election led to the dissolution of numerous marriages, so rancorous was the discourse.

This is not a state of affairs that we should accept. It is not a state of affairs that we can sustain. We must do better. For our own sake, and for that of those to whom we shall hand down this nation.

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