Thursday, November 24, 2016

Politics and Thanksgiving.

For many, this is going to be a difficult day.

It's unlikely that extended families are monolithic when it comes to their politics.

As our house is undergoing an extensive renovation, we don't have a kitchen that's functioning.

I'll be spending it with part of the the wife's regiment, the extended family that has frequently opposed my political view, particularly when it comes to holding my brother-in-law accountable for his leftist bent and CRC support.

I am willing to take this chance because the tensions here should not impact a holiday like this.

So, here's how I'm going to play it:

I'm not going to say anything political at all.

A month or so ago, I was doing my monthly food bank bit... we had some down time... and I was watching and listening to this group of maybe 6 fellow volunteers discussing the upcoming election and their confidence that Hillary was going to, effectively, slaughter Trump.

I didn't say a thing.

One of the more sure of this group decided that he had to know what I thought the outcome was going to be, given they knew my work as a consultant and analyst.

I tried to back out... but he was insistent.

So I told him:

"It's going to be Trump.  And it's not going to be close."

I thought these fine, Christian, church going folks were going to string me up.  I told them that it was a professional judgment and not a personal judgment... and that if I had seen evidence to the contrary, I would have joined them in their conclusion.

I live in a world of numbers and experience.   The conclusion I had reached several months ago, that Trump was inevitable, would have been starkly different had the numbers I was watching and my experience told me it was different.

That the same experience which told me that the election of Hillary Clinton, and her doubling down on the destruction caused by Obama, would be a disaster if it were to take place...

... but at this point, we'll never know for certain.

The more insistent fellow came to within an inch or so of becoming violent, which would have been very bad...

For him.

Last weekend, we went back to the food bank and did it again.

This group... that was oh, so sure I was wrong.... didn't say a word about it.

Including Mister Insistent.

It was as if the election never happened.  And I was fine with that.

I am thankful for a great deal today.  I am mostly thankful for my family... my health isn't bad... the kids are doing well... we're in pretty good shape.

I'm also thankful that of the two candidates who stood any kind of realistic chance, the disaster that would have befallen us was avoided.

That brings us to the Thanksgiving table...

When obvious political divide exists, the thing to do is to avoid it altogether.

Everyone has a role in this day.  And among those roles is the wisdom to understand that first, the election is over and nothing can be said or done to change that; no one is required to defend or attack any position and no one is either required to get mad or get hurt by those closest to them.

On this day, I would keep politics off the table.  This is one of those rare occasions that should result in a commonality of goals: no matter what anyone's position may have been on November 8 or may continue to be today, none of it is worth causing even superficial scars amongst family.

Do your best today.  Be thankful for what you have.  Understand that regardless of your political perspective, if we can survive 8 years of Obama, we can survive anything.

The quality of mercy is mightiest in the mighty.  There's no point in gloating or hurting anyone's feelings.  And whatever may be said to you, understand it's the temper of our times and just smile and nod.  Don't rise to the bait.

There will be many Thanksgiving days ahead of us and remember, both no matter how much the outcome may have disappointed or elated,  this too shall pass.

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