Have a different Thanksgiving conversation with the family about politics

Let’s do something different this Thanksgiving. As usual, give thanks for what we have and to those who bequeathed it to us. Since eating turkey and watching football is not enough, take an easy first step to reforming America. Instead of fighting about politics with your family, find points of agreement with them about the need to reform America. Make it a pleasant surprise for everyone, and a small but useful one.

The First Thanksgiving
“The First Thanksgiving” by Jean Louis Gerome Ferris (circa 1913).

Showing Up for Racial Justice provides a guide and hotline for people to call if they need help handling tough political discussions with their families on Thanksgiving (charmingly described as “help support white folks in having tough conversations with other white folks”). The resulting food fights will not promote racial justice or anything that might help reform America. But doing the opposite might.

Look across the table and seek to find common ground with those on the other side of the political spectrum. Our elites seek to keep us fragmented and quarreling — and so weak. Promote goodwill for both your family and America by exploring the views of those on the other side of the political spectrum. I will bet that you will find profound areas of agreement, not only about nature of America but also about our immediate needs.

The Founders created Thanksgiving Day understanding that our good fortune was political: the opportunity to build and maintain the Republic.  We have lost that awareness, but today can begin to regain it. Today invite others to help reform America. Awaken their recognition of the Republic’s peril. Discuss the problem. Encourage them to assume a share of responsibility for America and its government — and then act. It’s the ideal after-dinner conversation.

So what do you say when someone asks how we will accomplish this, despite the great forces arrayed against us, despite our divided and weak state? I recommend this answer…

We will set fire to the rain.

Enigmatic, open-ended, provocative, loaded with unseen meaning. It points to sunny days beyond the storms that loom over the horizon, but that we know will soon hit us.

We do not yet know how to set fire to the rain. To take the first steps we need only confidence that we can build a better America and that we can rely on each other.

About the song

The song “Set Fire to the Rain” is by Adele (2011). See the lyrics here.  See the video below.


George Washington’s First Presidential Thanksgiving Day Proclamation
3 October 1789.

“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me ‘to recommend to the people of the United States a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.’ …”

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“Set Fire To The Rain”

1 thought on “Have a different Thanksgiving conversation with the family about politics”

  1. .Yes. It will take setting fire to the Rain, at least that. A song and performance of seething from a personal Betrayal. And the Links …….
    The truths are just too hard to bear for most of us immediately but when they start to look, when the Rain is is too severe, they will take hold.
    Reading the links the most disturbing one were the stories of mass slaughter of Indians. The beginning of a Trend for the fledgling colonies. Now we barely wince when we hear about such things within or own borders. The Indians have ever forgotten. Visited a reservation lately? Had a discussion with the generations to follow?
    Basic Civil Disobedience in North Dakota is now met with militarized gendarmes fit for ISIS. Happenstance? Unlikely. A warning for those to come.
    The Rain? Oh yeah…..now we have a woman from Michigan as the new Sec of Education. Perhaps she can dismantle finally the last vestiges of Public Education! Privatize. Getting help from her brother, he of BLACKWATER fame! And her husband can find some way to sell more overpriced Dishwashing soap via classes set up for entrepreneurs in the Charter Academies. Free market is grand.
    Surely the Rain will increase in intensity if POTUS Elect names the the Man from Bain as our Sec. Of State? Do the Chinese need a few LBOs?
    Free market is grand, is it not?

    Wow, just wow.

    But Adele…….always vocalizes from the heart.

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