Thanksgiving for Conservatives
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year. Food, fun, and family.
And sometimes turkey dinner with landmines.
For some, it is a time that you get together with people you don’t often get together with and, when you do, you remember why you don’t often get together.
Time together around the Thanksgiving dinner table can come with hazards. Not everyone has the same political views and often those views are going to come up.
If you are a conservative in a not-entirely-conservative family, you might be anticipating a few grenades sent your way between passing the dressing and the green beans. A little forethought here could go a long way.
First off, don’t be the one throwing the grenades. If politics is contentious in your family, prioritize family togetherness over saving the country from socialist doom. It’s not worth risking the family relationships.
If you are on the receiving end of an ambush, however, you might consider a response.
You could simply, of course, remain silent or change the subject when the jabs come. If that is your decision, it is hard to fault you for it.
However, staying silent might be a bad habit to get into, particularly in the face of a force that is getting more bent on and better at silencing its opposition. This could be an opportunity if you do it right.
There will be many who have simply never heard the view from the other side of the aisle. The news they watch and read is 95% negative (and, of course, much of it fake). The good news is not reaching them.
The trick as I see it, is in staying positive and avoiding being combative.
If Cousin Carl starts going off on Trump or Republicans or whatever the anti-conservative issue du jour is, consider saying something like “I have to say that I sure was glad for how well the economy was going when Republicans were in charge, record low unemployment, manufacturing was coming back to the U.S. My 401K was doing great! I hope we can get that back.”
You don’t have to complain about Biden’s incompetence or his senility. You don’t have to talk about the lies, corruption, injustice, and the incompetence. Save that for another time. The temptation to go negative will be strong but resist!
There is lots of positive to say. You feel for the unborn. You are proud to live in a country where people are free. Where they can rise from rags to riches — regardless of their race. How clever the founding fathers were to enshrine free speech and freedom religion in the constitution. How people want to enter this country and not leave.
Others may argue but you don’t have to be drawn in.
If Mom, the peacemaker, requests an end to political discussion, oblige her. Be quick to change the subject. Don’t try to get that last jab in before you do. If Cousin Carl gets his last jab in, let it pass.
This is probably not the time to try to persuade or defend but it may be an opportunity to present a positive vision. It is also an opportunity to let Cousin Carl know that (1) not everybody thinks the way he does and (2) his nasty comments won’t go unchallenged. Once you have spoiled Carl’s fun, he will be less likely to persist. Others at the table will thank you for it.
Why do I write this? Because I am deeply concerned about our country and its politics. I believe we need to become effective evangelists for the principles that made this country great and which are in danger of losing out to the socialist forces that are moving so powerfully to undermine what we have.
We can’t afford to stay quiet. We also can’t afford to get locked in pointless quarrels or to turn people off. And we can’t leave it to the politicians. For many of us, it is too easy to ruin relationships and ruin what should be joyous occasions, not just for ourselves but for everyone in the room, including the children. We lose twice, first in the loss of the relationship and joy and second in closing off the lines of communication we need to get our message out.
We need to learn how to do it right.
Family gatherings like these only come a few times a year, be prepared and make the most of them.