by Jon Sanders
Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
… you think the purpose of holidays is for causing political arguments with your other family members. “Everything is political,” so you plan ahead to harangue your “incorrect” relatives (as if such boorish behavior could ever be persuasive).
This week has seen a flourishing of tips on how to lecture your family on “progressive” politics on the day you — well, they — gathered together to give thanks.
It used to be understood that proper dining etiquette was to avoid controversial topics, especially politics.
Rudeness aside, these regrettable dining companions are also costing themselves valuable, cherishable experiences. It would be a shame for them to go throughout life without realizing what unlikely friends Stanley Fish and Dinesh D’Souza did.
As Fish perceives, there are more important things to life than politics. Breaking bread with friends is one of the greatest.
Politics is, of course, a part of life. So are the activities that take place in bathrooms, and they aren’t polite subjects either, as necessary as they are for the health of the body. Politics is messy, dirty, foul, and entirely necessary for the body politic, but that doesn’t mean we should revel in it or worse, exalt it.
As Paul wrote to the church at Philippi, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” And there we find family, friends, food, music and the arts, sports, and so on, and yes, even politicians and political accomplishments, but none to the detriment of the rest.
There are so many things in life more important than politics. Don’t trade them in sight unseen in favor of a meaningless cheap shot over pumpkin pie.