I always try to think of something special to say on Thanksgiving Day, my favorite American holiday; no deadlines to meet, except for dinner, of course, and I feel something aspirational about the whole thing.
It’s about giving thanks for meaningful blessings and doesn’t conjure up thoughts of what we’ll get in return. There’s no pressure to spend money on things that go unneeded the other 364 days of the year.
In fact, the only debt owed, and it’s a big one, is to the indigenous people of America who tamed the wilderness before we could pave it. They gave us a blueprint for survival in an untamed land stretching from sea to shining sea.
But words always seem to fail me, the event being bigger than myself, leaving me with the knowledge that I’m not the writer I aspire to be, not as clever as I think I am. It’s a good thing that humility is good for the soul.
However, I, i.e. we, are living at a time and place best described as the Divided States of America.
We all have theories about how we lost our way, the most reasonable being that facts, needed to provide clarity and order, no longer seem to matter.
This is the time when good people on both sides no longer implicitly trust their source material. The lines have become blurred, like Rorschach images.
So, rather than feign clever, I choose to share the thoughts of a talk show host. I won’t say who it is–most of you can figure it out if you haven’t heard this editorial monologue already.
Spoiler Alert: Stop reading now if you think you are going to hate what follows. Sharing a Thanksgiving table with your crazy uncle should be punishment enough.
Here, then, one man’s guide to surviving the Thanksgiving Dinner Table Debate with those us lucky enough to be surrounded by our family, even if the prime motivators are duty and tradition, not peace, love or understanding.
The monologue was entitled “Feast of Burden.” Be warned there’s some “language” in it. To wit:
“This year, just celebrate Thanksgiving, don’t try to “win” it, and never forget the single shining truth about democracy; you share a country with assholes you can’t stand.
“Thanksgiving is a lot like democracy, you don’t get to choose the guests because those freaks are your family.
“Think about that the next time you think you can “own” someone politically. Think about how you can think about things so differently from the people who share your blood.
“We have to accept something about people, that half of them have their taste in their ass.
“They eat sweet potatoes with marshmellows, they wear matching family outfits and put nuts on their truck.
“They laugh at Jeff Dunham; we laugh at Lena Dunham. Forty six percent of the country looked at our president imitating a physically challenged person and said: ‘I want that guy picking the Supreme Court’.
“We will never understand a brain that thinks like that, and they will never understand worrying about gluten all the time, or a Puerto Rican Alexander Hamilton.
“That’s how you get two completely differently headlines about the same thing: “Jim Jordan Destroys Democrats’ Star Witness” v “Room Erupts in Laughter as Democrat Peter Welsh Destroys Jim Jordan.”
“We’re so divided it’s no longer enough to just make a point, you’ve got to destroy, you have to “own” people–except the person that gets owned doesn’t change their mind.
“They just make a mental note to never interact again [Tweeting] ‘DM_Me_Your_Titties, lmfao, owned!!!’ ”
“We have to drop this fantasy that we can destroy the other side, or crush, or shred, or pulverize–those aren’t real things; they are the four settings on the blender that no one ever uses.
“America is a big country filled with millions of people who don’t think the way you do and never will, and you can’t own, vanquish or disappear them. We’re stuck with them and they’re stuck with us.
“They’re here, they’re annoying, and get used to it because the pendulum always swings back, even when we had a Civil War and we physically owned the South.
“We burned their cities to the ground and occupied their territory. Reconstruction only lasted for 12 years before the mint-julep crowd took over again.
“And Jim Crow, the KKK, and sharecropping became slavery 2.0.
“We tried to own the Germans after World War I and that just got us World War II.
“Now, lately, we’ve been hearing more and more about a second Civil War and that sounds impossible in this modern, affluent country; it is not.
“We all talk about Trump as an existential threat but his side sees Democratic control of government the exact same way.
“And when both sides believe the other guy taking over means the end of the world–yes, you can have a Civil War.
“Trump rallies are filled with words like ‘enemy of the people’, ‘human scum,’ they talk of people to be locked up; well, you can’t lock us all up.
“Liberals are described as weak, lame, coddling, over-sensitive and limp-dicked, which are strong words for a bunch of mouth-breathers, shit-kickers, knuckle-draggers, bible thumpers, sister-fuckers and rubes.
“Yes, I have been guilty of saying things like that but I’m going to try to stop because I have learned that the anti-intellectualism on the right doesn’t come primarily from stupidity, it comes from hate.
“Telling people you think they’re irredeemable is what makes them say ‘You know what, I’d rather side with Russia than you’.
“Even if the Democrats win everything in 2020, the Republicans will still be here, they’re not going to self-deport.
“They’re in Congress, in your office, sometimes your home.
“Home is where you learn that the three magic words in any relationship aren’t ‘I love you’; they’re ‘Let it go’.”
“Let It Go.
“You can’t own your spouse, you just have to make peace with the fact that you’re married to someone who believes in ghosts, or won’t throw out their baseball cards, or thinks essential oils are essential.
“Or, yes, likes Donald Trump.
“We’re going to have to learn to live with each other or there will be a Civil War and there will be blood.
“So don’t freak out if Ellen sits next to George Bush at a football game. Bush was not my idea of a good President, but I was never worried he was going to lock up his political opponents, or reporters, or me.
“Bush was wrong, but he wasn’t trying to enrich George Bush, he condemned Islamophobia after 911,” and he did a lot for Aids in African countries without calling them shitholes.
He risked Dick Cheney’s friendship because he wouldn’t pardon Scooter Libby, because it wasn’t just about loyalty.
“He stood with Obama when Obama took his job and said ‘We want you to succeed’.
“If you can’t see the difference between that man and Trump, Democrats are doomed.
“Michelle Obama gets it; she hugs him. Ruth Bader Ginsburg likes Brett Kavanaugh.
“For a country that loves to look at pictures of entirely different species getting along, can’t we try it in politics?”
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families from HorseRaceInsider