Ah, the holiday season. A time to litter Instagram with literally thousands of pumpkin spice latte and freshly fallen snow pics, images whose purpose is to provide an aesthetically-pleasing-yet-insincere backdrop to the real reason for the season: low, low Black Friday prices, the engine of our runaway consumerist culture.
Not only that, but ’tis the season for dozens upon dozens of #hottakes, setting the internet ablaze with angst, each of them purporting to tell you how to “survive” Thanksgiving with your racist/sexist/Islamophobic/backward family. (Ugh!) The New York Times even made an “Angry Uncle Bot” you can use to practice having these horrendous and (apparently) inevitable fights—all from the comfort of your home and with the aid of that soul-sucking black hole of interpersonal isolation you keep in your pocket: your smartphone.
It shouldn’t need to be said, but this eggshell attitude that’s become so common is at once sad and lame. First, we don’t need bluecheck Twitter personalities—let alone stupid chat bots—telling us how to deal with our own family members. We ought to know our families best, each of us, and if we don’t, it’s still beyond foolish to outsource to impersonal forces and pundits who don’t give a damn about us a “strategy” for how to “deal” with them when we’re home for the holidays.
Further, all of these articles about how to “survive” the few hours one spends around the dinner table miss the point. Not only are these vacuous screeds politically motivated, SJW-approved hit pieces on your “racist Uncle Clyde” (whereas your “woke” anti-white Aunt Beth gets a pass), but they also fail to acknowledge that Thanksgiving, and the holiday season generally, are about gratitude and the acknowledgement of the wonders and gifts of life and togetherness.
Agonizing about, and repairing to the internet—of all places—for help with the daunting task of just speaking with your “crazy” MAGA-loving uncle or sharing the kitchen buffet line with your Ocasio-Cortez fangirl cousin is not healthy. It’s wholly contrary to the spirit of this joyous season. If you feel compelled to do this, seek help.
At this time of year, we come together as a family, and, to the best the best of our ability, break bread and put our differences aside so we can enjoy with gratitude the love we have for one another and the blessings we share. We should not let those who are obsessed with a politics of division inject them into a time of mutual affection, destroying the possibility of unity.
Think about it: Many said President Trump would start a nuclear war, crash the economy, or round up minorities like a Hitler wannabe. Perhaps all three at once! In fact, none of those things has happened. President Trump has simply made good on his many campaign promises, as is his right and duty as the 45th duly-elected chief executive of the United States.
We have much to be thankful for. At a political level, the United States is remarkably stable; political violence remains a fringe phenomenon; and in the main we use our words to resolve our differences rather than our fists.
All of this is so good and so rare. Sure there are problems. Perfection, after all, would be Paradise. But that shouldn’t stop us from being happy right now. This season, Thanksgiving especially, is about cultivating a certain disposition toward our surroundings, one of love and openness to good things, as well as hope for a future of peace and prosperity for everyone.
Not to get too political right before dinner starts, but one might plausibly hear “Make America Great Again” as a kind of resolution—one filled with a cheery expectation to return us all, as a country, to a disposition of gratitude for what God has given us. MAGA can mean, if we are open to a fulsome patriotism, returning to a shared conception of the good, a politics of the common good, one properly ordered to securing all our flourishing. But we as Americans, shared inheritors of a “government of the people, by the people, for the people”—an extremely rare and wonderful thing—must resist the efforts of a new priestly class, those cynical “experts” ensconced in Hollywood, the media, and the academy, who would demonize as “bigoted” our love of country and replace that love with lesser, wicked ideologies like progressive “social justice,” thin and empty secularism, or soulless, anti-Christian nihilistic atheism.
We as a country have overcome much worse, and we certainly have it in us to meet this challenge.
So, give thanks, America. And pass the turkey.
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