Politics at the Dinner Table: It’s Important When The Holiday Comes Around

Do we use this as an opportunity to reason and discuss?

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During this past Thanksgiving holiday, we were admonished by several talking heads on television not to discuss politics at the dinner table in order to maintain peace and harmony. I vehemently disagree as I see this as more political correctness running amok.

As we all know, our young people are no longer learning the important lessons of civics and history at the high school level, and college professors are twisting American history in order to make us feel guilty about our past. Concepts such as “American exceptionalism” and “Manifest Destiny” are very much frowned upon by liberal professors who are busily rewriting history and reshaping the perspective of our past.

So, if youth is truly not learning the lessons of government, what better place to do so than at the dinner table? For starters we should use this opportunity to determine what our youth are learning in school, how it affects their perception of our country, and clear up any misconceptions. For example, ask about their patriotism. Do they stand for the flag and recite the pledge of allegiance? Do they regularly vote? Do they understand their responsibilities for serving on a jury? What is their understanding of current events?

Discussion should allow for the open exchange of ideas, not unilateral. I don’t mind an opposing view, but I want to know why they have it, and certainly do not want to ostracize the person. In my day, everything was on the table for review, including drugs, religion, politics, war, law and order, sex, etc. The discussion should be more in the form of a debate as opposed to hotheaded slander or sarcasm. Interestingly, I find this is more easily done with conservatives as opposed to liberals who are trained to passionately attack rather than reason.

As to history, discuss the necessity of the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. What were the events leading up to the Civil War, World Wars I & II, as well as Korea and Viet Nam? Do they understand the “Domino Theory” of communism? What are the differences between capitalism and socialism, or Democrats vs. Republicans, liberals vs. conservatives? What is gerrymandering and the electoral college?

There is a lot to discuss at the dinner table. Failing to discuss such subjects does nothing but promote ignorance and encourages misunderstandings that may lead to emotional meltdowns as we saw recently following the 2016 elections, but even worse, withdrawals from our obligations as citizens.

Christmas is rapidly approaching, and we’ll once again gather around the dinner table. If you want to stick your head in the sand as the pundits suggest, be my guest. As for me, I’ll have an extra helping of discussion with that turkey and dressing.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a freelance writer and management consultant located in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. As an avid writer and speaker, Tim discusses everything from business and management, to politics and morality, to systems and technology, and our ever changing world.