For years now, I have heard Americans talk endlessly about bringing people together. But how do we bring together truth and Trump? Is that even possible? How do we engage relatives who truly believe Trump and angrily dismiss truth?
Even before the public hearings, 62 percent of voters said they were not changing their mind on impeachment. An additional 19 percent said there was only a small chance they would change their mind. The case appears closed for nearly every American.
And so, as in previous years, most American families are planning to avoid political arguments around the holiday table. But some families are bound to bitterly argue again at Thanksgiving over the truth and Trump: faces frowning, chests burning, words cutting, and wounds deepening. No jabbing and joking, like me and Unc.
That includes black families like mine. African Americans are arguing over Trump, too—albeit mostly over whether former Vice President Joe Biden is the candidate to beat Trump, with younger African Americans indignantly opposed and their elders stubbornly supportive.
I know what it feels like to argue for years with a family member, to pack away emotions into bags, to want to avoid them—how stressful the holidays can be managing the divide. But the easiest thing to do is often the worst thing to do.
We should not be skipping family gatherings to dine with like-minded people, or in like-minded solitude. Nor should we be planning to avoid talk about politics. Nor should we gather with loved ones and bite our tongues as they regurgitate narratives of Biden’s electability, or regurgitate Trump’s talking points. Nor should we unleash our tongues on our loved ones as if they are Trump.
Our relatives who defend Trump are not Trump. They are not facing a “witch hunt.” In fact, Trump and his operatives have bewitched ordinary Americans into supporting his interests over their own. Our relatives are the victims of Trump’s lies, of Trump’s policies, of his raids on democracy, of his tax cuts for the rich, of his tariffs, of his assaults on affordable health care, of his terrorization of job-creating immigrants, of his do-nothing climate and gun policies, of his use of the presidential power to enrich himself rather than low- and middle-income Americans.