Thanksgiving is a special time when family reunite for great food and awesome desserts. But it wouldn’t be a normal family gathering without some passionate political rhetoric. And after the turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, cheddar broccoli, maple carrots, and biscuits, who wouldn’t grab at the opportunity to burn some calories by cursing your ideological foes vis-à-vis your loved ones?
Then gram gram chimes in: “No politics on Thanksgiving!” But she already knows… It’s too late to stop it, gram gram.
This crazy train has left the terminal!
But dear reader, AL.ME is not a place for hard-line party politics and I don’t intend to explain why ‘merica has become a communist, totalitarian state run by a Muslim… (no, I’ll save the “truth” for my other blog.) But honestly, listen closely, I have some shocking news to share with you…
Not everyone debates politics during their Autumn harvest holiday!
In one East Asian culture, your author has witnessed the complete opposite. During holidays the Chinese barely utter a word on politics, let alone give a family member the pulpit for 10 minutes. And it’s not because they lack freedom of speech or anything. (In fact, they can say just about anything they want – they just can’t gather.) What they do have is doubt- a healthy doubt, I think.
They don’t assume that auntie is a “bleeding heart liberal” who only gets her news from Rachel Maddow, or that uncle is a “staunch conservative” who has memorized Hannity’s lines verbatim. Their common people just think, “I’m not a politician” or “How would I know what’s best for the country?” or “Don’t we have enough problems to think about in our daily lives?” And voilà, conflict averted – peace restored.
Over there, politicians listen to economists, scientists, and engineers more so than what is trending on Main St. Ideally, if corruption were better managed, the government wouldn’t have to listen to the heavily subjective views of any non-economists, non-scientists, or non-engineers. The “they took are jaabs!” reactionary crowd-thinkers wouldn’t impede on their longer term national goals for things like educational investments, health care, or defense spending.
Admitting you are not a scientist is tough- whether climate change is really happening, whether the national debt is a ticking time bomb, or whether solar power will be the future of our national energy grid. But we should doubt non-scientists when it comes to many issues like these. Remember to
silence that noisy idiot inside and realize that pundits are usually selling you fear, their books, or both- because they certainly aren’t reporting their research…
I used to think holiday-time political debates with friends and family were healthy. Expressing your own views is at the heart of what it means to be American. But I’ll never forget the day I began to heavily doubt our media-centered culture and despise it for misleading listeners/viewers just so they could sell some advertising. They call themselves “news” programs but they are purely entertainment. What is your media channel of choice feeding you these days?
Now, have a happy holiday season and listen to your gram gram…
“No politics on Thanksgiving or Hanukkah or Christmas!”