Travis Irvine

As Americans wait to see who will officially take the presidential oath of office in January, many of us are simply breathing a sigh of relief. Finally, one of the most tumultuous, indecent times in American politics has (almost!) come to an end. Life is slowing down again. The sun feels warmer and the tap water tastes better. Heck, some people are even sayingthe election of president-elect Joe Biden (after Rudy Giuliani confirms the results, of course) could usher in a return to the decency we once had in our politics. And while that may be what most of us fatigued Americans want, it’s hard to say if it’ll happen anytime soon.

Naturally, this hopeful shift back towards decency is occurring just in time for Thanksgiving – a holiday known for getting together and decently talking politics with relatives, friends and other people you only see once a year. In fact, it’s known that Thanksgiving dinners involving family members with varying political beliefs often end well. Competing personalities typically get along and nobody ever argues about anything. Especially politics! Yes, that topic has never gone awry at a Thanksgiving dinner ever. And now we get to keep it that way by avoiding each other!

After all, no matter if your relatives believe we stand at the precipice of a constitutional crisis that will bring about the end of the republic – or if they’re ready to stand up against the globalist Deep State for taking over our freedoms and precious bodily fluids – at least we can all agree it’ll be easier to “mute” our relatives this year than to pass them the potatoes. Maybe this year, we could all use a little space. Maybe this Thanksgiving will make us thankful for time away from others. Maybe, just maybe, a virtual Thanksgiving is what our families need to close out 2020.

Don’t get me wrong – there was a time and place for families to get together and have a peaceful political conversation at Thanksgiving dinner. It was called the 1990s and it was a simpler decade. The only political conversations to have back then were about that whacky Saddam Hussein, the Clinton Family’s crazy antics and the coming Y2K apocalypse! Nowadays, it seems like people just talk about that whacky Vladimir Putin, the Trump Family’s crazy antics and the coming COVID apocalypse! Times have really changed. No wonder we’ve grown so far apart politically over the last 30 years.

I used to wonder why Thanksgiving happened a month before Christmas, but now it’s starting to make sense. Maybe Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving an official U.S. holidayin 1863 so families could feel out who should and should not be invited to any future holiday gatherings following the Civil War. If you think the country is divided now, how awkward was that 1866 Thanksgiving? Could you imagine the arguments? “Don’t blame me Matilda! I voted for Millard Fillmore!” Yes, at that point in American history, it was literally brother versus brother, but they actually wore uniforms and shot at each other in the fields. Sadly, it was a very popular thing for brothers to do back then. On the other hand, all we had in the 1990s was a sitcom called Sister, Sister. But again, it was a simpler decade.

Above all, maybe this Thanksgiving will give everyone a chance to take pause, catch their breath and hold their tongue. For decades, the political rhetoric on both sides has become increasingly polarizing, but as we’ve seen during Donald Trump’s turbulent presidency, now it seems like our political hatred for each other has exploded. While it’s fair to say Trump is just a symptom of our toxic politics, the cause behind his presidency has been stewing for years. The division, hyperpartisanship and lack of decency in our political discourse has become almost irreparable. Unfortunately, it’s taken a toll on families sitting around the Thanksgiving dinner table as well.

This year, I encourage everyone to do what some of us have tried to doin the past and be the peacemakers in the room. While we can’t exactly shake hands anymore, it’s still important to reach out. As we all eat with a smaller group than usual (or alone!) it would be good to think about 1866 and how those families were able to mend ties broken between blood, after so much blood had been spilled. We’re not that far into our political hatred yet, so let’s take a moment to catch up with each other. Let’s be decent and make sure our families are doing okay. And of course, feel free to use the “mute” button if you have to.