When I began my relationship with the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with, the topic of politics was brought up. Despite the fact that the two of us don't have the precise views on politics the other has, we agreed, early on the relationship, that the two of us keep politics in the background. Both of us felt mutually about coming to this conclusion, because of the shortsightedness and the hostility that comes part and parcel with this topic.
The Thanksgiving dinner is coming later today (at the time that I write this article), and both my girlfriend and I agreed that the topic of politics shouldn't be brought up at all. The last thing that the both of us want is to have the day ruined because of the raised voices, partisan arguments and all of the negative feelings politics brings with it.
It goes without saying that politics have no place in any of the holiday festivities. Thanksgiving has transcended the origins of the significance of the holiday, with the underlying theme of Turkey Day is to have the family (or in some cases, families) gathering together to spend time with one another. (To all the stores that think that having Black Friday deals during Thanksgiving is a smart idea, kindly go fuck yourselves). Christmas is a celebration of generosity and selflessness, where you share gifts with your loved ones and enjoy each other's company. New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are all about the end of one year and the beginning of the next, with all of the optimism that comes along with it. The last thing that any of these holidays needs is having something as divisive as politics ruining the festivities.
Yet it seems that we have our fair share of idiots out there, who believe that injecting politics as much as possible in the festivities is a smart idea. These idiots think it's a smart idea to argue about politics during Thanksgiving dinner, when there are other, more appropriate times to talk about it. It seems that with every single passing Christmas, we have some idiotic take on something involved with the holiday that makes your brain rot that people actually stooped so low as take a position that makes your brain melt. Just this past year, one of the most inoffensive holiday specials, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, was problematic, when the whole point of the special is perseverance in the face of adversity and that what makes you different is actually beneficial. It just seems like every single year, the stupidest of positions is brought up that is so cringeworthy you'd swear you're feeling your brain cells dying because of how asinine the position is.
Family gatherings during the holidays are NEVER a good time to talk about politics. It's a dick move to have to travel with your family from anywhere from a few miles down the road to four hours both ways by plane, train or car, just to have someone ruin the festivities by using the time together to preach on a soapbox. The holidays are supposed to be a time where you are supposed to bury your rhetoric deep inside. I don't give a shit that your beliefs in politics burn as deep as they do, you make it a point to advocate AGAINST any sort of political discussion when the family is together. At least when it comes to Thanksgiving, the point of it is to connect with your family, not to make you a pariah in the eyes of the rest of the family.
Perhaps it's just me thinking this way, but I feel that there is too little time on this earth to stay perpetually angry in this world. Hell, even my sister and my mother don't see eye to eye on some things, but as my sister aptly put it, blood is thicker than water. When you strip away the politics, when you put them on the backburner, it makes a world of difference in the atmosphere surrounding the festivities. It makes you think about how much our biases affect our lives and relationships. Whatever Z-grade bullshit clickbait made by a blogger with an ax to grind should never hold more stock than the the extensive memories you have with your family.
So the next time you see a groan-inducing, clickbait article that insists on shoehorning politics into the holidays in some way, fucking ignore it. When it comes to family gatherings, be mindful to not bring up politics and absolutely insist on the rest of the family to not acknowledge of it while you're together. This is the time of the year that we're supposed to be bringing people together, not pushing them away.
There's no place for politics for the holidays.
I intend to keep it that way.
So until next time, in the immortal words of Edward R. Murrow, "Good night and good luck".