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On Thanksgiving, a generous helping of stuffing

Credit: ISTOCK

Turkey, cocktails, and a side of impeachment. A recipe for Thanksgiving disaster?

As relatives you may see only once or twice a year swoop in for the holiday, some Thanksgiving hosts are getting nervous, desperately trying to figure out seating charts that separate those who can’t get enough of the president from those who have already had a bellyful of the man. Something has definitely gone haywire in the way too many of us interact, or have stopped interacting at all. 

The United States of America (united being the key word) ideally should be a country where we don’t abuse or ostracize people who disagree with us politically. That’s the bedrock of this nation — the freedom to have different opinions.  

You don’t have to like the political views of your brother, sister, aunt or nephew. They’re still your blood and fellow Americans. It’s all about family and friends gathered to give thanks for living in this great nation. And if that means being subject to an opinion that makes your eyes roll, then swallow hard and fill your mouth with stuffing! Because trust me: Your opinions are having the same effect on some of your dinner companions.

In the highly partisan political atmosphere of today, social media makes it possible for many of us to never hear anything we don’t already believe. 

But those people attacking each other online and on cable TV don’t represent the majority of the American people. People who encourage us to be tribal, to dismiss and even disdain anyone who disagrees with us aren’t patriots, they’re divisive. On Thanksgiving, we want to enjoy the bird, not flip it. So let’s not only be tolerant, but also generous of spirit. It’s the American way.

The only people who rejoice when we are at each other’s throats are this nation’s enemies. Let’s show them what America is truly about —a successful melting pot of people with differing ways to worship, celebrate, and yes, think. We are honoring a wonderful American tradition, counting our blessings for being lucky enough to reside in a country where those with different opinions are not only tolerated, but welcomed. On Thanksgiving, we don’t want to fight, but bond with our families and friends, and be thankful for having the good fortune to be living in the land of the free. 

So don’t be the jive turkey that starts a political discussion!

And Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Follow playwright Mike Vogel at @mikewrite7.

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