Just avoid talking about politics with your family this Thanksgiving

Just avoid talking about politics with your family this Thanksgiving

I can picture it now, sitting at my extremely privileged second Thanksgiving dinner with family, table full of food yet again, and hearing, “He’s a business man. If he can run a business, he can run our country. We need someone who will support our middle class. We need lower taxes.”

I can also imagine thinking to myself, “You DO realize your entire career has been in public education?”

It is better to just think these things and not talk about them.

(Photo courtesy of Presper Daher on Flickr Creatvie Commons)

(Photo courtesy of Presper Daher on Flickr Creatvie Commons)

Why? Because then you would have to explain to your immediate family that their paycheck does, indeed, come from the same taxes that they are begging to be lowered.

Then you would have to remind them what the call to public education is: a profession that is rooted in helping give a few success tools to children who have been born into a situation that will constantly knock them down.

And then you would have to explain to them that President-elect Trump ran his entire campaign on a philosophy that directly promoted knocking down these children, and people like them, even further.

Honestly, it is not nice to just destroy someone’s entire life like that.

But maybe your situation is not as cut and dry as mine. Maybe your family does not consist of public educators. If this is the case, your task is a little more difficult.

It is not easy to explain to your loved ones their oversimplification of issues. You might find yourself on the verge of saying, “This election was not just about you. It was not just about which candidate will make your life easier.” Do not do it.

Why should you not say that? Because then you would have to explain how this election went deeper than the issues. In the past eight years, our country has experienced a philosophical shift in the way we view people who were previously outcasts. We were voting on the continuation of this emerging philosophy of being inclusive and loving versus the complete opposite of those sentiments.

You would have to explain that the person they voted for is literally the opposite of “loving,” which I guess would be “hateful.”

Honestly, it is not nice to just call people hateful.

This election, more so than any other in recent history, was about the big picture. This is because the issues, though important, were very glossed over. Every time a candidate spoke on an issue, they found a way to swing the conversation back to some scandal in which the other was involved. This forced us to instead look at the philosophy on which the candidates operated, to look at the big picture.

It is not easy to tell your family they need to look at the big picture. It is even less easy explaining the big picture to them. It is really not a conversation suited for the Thanksgiving table, if you ask my opinion.

When would this have been a suitable conversation? Well, preferably before the election.

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Authored by: Bradley Harrison

Bradley Harrison is a senior at College of Charleston. After a long and painful stint as an engineering student at a university in Georgia which you probably have never heard of, he has decided to come back home to his native Charleston and study Spanish and Education. As a keen observer of pop culture, he loves art house cinema, Pitchfork.com, and the Ringer. FOH Army for life.

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