This week the media cranked out stories about how to peacefully coexist with jerks who end up eating Thanksgiving dinner at the same table with you. The sort of stories that are especially relevant if there are Trump fans among your relatives, or among your relatives’ friends.
This is from a piece in Time magazine that I read to Swamp Rabbit during Thanksgiving at my shack in the Tinicum swamp:
Avoiding politics has always been a good rule of polite dinner conversation, but acrimony this season rivals the friction felt in November of 2016, when many Americans saw family members for the first time after Trump won his election.
“How ’bout you just don’t invite them Trump fans to your house and you don’t go to theirs?” Swamp Rabbit said. “Who says you gotta eat dinner with somebody you don’t even want to be in the same country with?”
I told him his attitude was 100 percent wrong. That Thanksgiving was about peace and gratitude and reconciliation. That it was exactly the right occasion to celebrate that we all live in a free country, and to demonstrate we can disagree with our fellow citizens without being enemies of them.
“Forget it, that dog don’t hunt,” Swamp Rabbit said as we set the table with my best paper plates. “Ain’t no way I’m gonna sit down with peeps who are cool with having a racist, climate change-denying old conman in the White House.”
We don’t have to agree with Trumpers, I told him. All we have to do is exercise tolerance, that noble quality that the great Enlightenment thinkers believed in — the thinkers who popularized the ideas that inspired the Constitution. All we have to do is be civil.
“Civil is a weasel word,” the rabbit said. He asked me what’s the point of being civil with white supremacists and other morons who know Trump has been a heartless liar and cheat his whole life, but who support him anyway. It’s important to not be civil with them, he said.
We ate the turkey burgers and cranberry sauce that Swamp Rabbit had swiped from the SuperFridge up the road. He fed his leftovers to my two swamp cats, Thoughts and Prayers.
I noted that he was being more civil to the cats than he would be to Trumpers, if his words were any indication.
“That’s because them cats is a lot more civil than Trumpers,” he said. “They got better table manners, too.”