It almost seems like a cruel joke that Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving Day to occur a few weeks after Election Day.
Especially after an election as contentious as this, it gives family members time to stew and froth, formenting their arguments and fueling their anger and hatred for the other side, only to sit down for a nice mean and try not to get into a fight about politics.
So in the interest of harmony, here are a few talking points that might calm things down.
First, appeal to what we all have in common. We’re all Americans, after all. Try something like:
“Lots of people voted for Trump and lots of people voted for Hillary, but since Trump will be the president, if he does well, then the country does well, so no matter who won, I’m going to root for the president.”
For the ultra-leftists in the family, point out that Trump – by his own admission – isn’t going to repeal Roe v. Wade, eliminate gay marriage or begin deporting millions of illegal immigrants (just the genuinely dangerous ones). Ask them if they watched the “60 Minutes” interview. Unless they’re completely insane, and they very well may be, it should calm them down a bit.
Trump’s not an “ideological conservative”; he’s practically said so himself. He wants to “get things done.” He said he’s good friends with Sen. Chuck Schumer, the new Senate Minority Leader, and thinks he can work well with him.
If they point out the disgusting remarks that Trump has made about women, or Mexicans, or other groups, it can’t hurt to agree. Tell them that’s not why people voted for him. They voted because they want change. If they’re big Bernie supporters, appeal to their “anti-establishment” views that Trump himself shares.
If the Second Amendment comes up, find the common ground: nobody wants gun violence. Not the NRA, not gun control groups, not gun owners. Ever. It’s just the solutions that we’re debating over. Find common ground: both sides believe that existing gun laws need to be enforced. Anyone committing a crime with a gun should receive enhanced sentences. They’ll agree with you there.
And if all else fails, just pretend you agree with them. Honestly, it’s better to enjoy the fellowship and family of this uniquely American holiday than have it disintegrate into chaos. Family is forever.
You’ll find many leftists won’t give an inch, so you might have to give a mile.
Be big, be a gracious winner, and sympathize. Put yourself in their shoes. Think about how you would feel if Hillary Clinton won.
And love them. They’re friends, they’re family and they’re Americans. You’re stuck with them for a lot longer than we’ll have Donald Trump around.
Who knows, the next time a Democrat is elected, maybe they’ll remember how kind you were this Thanksgiving.
Good luck. God bless. And Happy Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday.