It’s that time of year again.
According to some, the holidays are nothing if not a prime opportunity to exploit seasonal get-togethers to dish up some hot political controversy along with the roast and eggnog.
This kind of ham-handed politicizing is nothing new. In 2013, President Obama’s campaign group, Organizing for America (OFA), posted talking points (“Health Care for the Holidays”) on how to maximize the “downtime after meals or between holiday activities to start your talk” on Obamacare (and counter its busted rollout).
Not to be outdone, in 2013 and 2014, Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety offered up a gun-sense turkey, a conversational guide to deploy on friends and relatives to “set the record straight” when “talk around the table turns to politics and current events.” This year, another Bloomberg-backed group rolled out a similar holiday debate template.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest, speaking recently on how Congress should “pass a law that would prevent somebody who’s on the terror watch list from being able to buy a gun,” added that, as people are sitting around the holiday table talking about these issues (“as they should”), folks should seize the chance to steer the conversation to “some pretty obvious things that Congress can do,” like pass the aforementioned law.
Really? Americans are being told to spend the holidays, shared with our cherished and chosen few, focusing on making a compelling case for some political chestnut? It’s certainly a change from the usual quality time spent catching up with family and friends, stepping back to refresh ourselves spiritually, and indulging in some mild overeating.
We’ve said it before – quite apart from his fictional factoids, we’ll pass on taking cues on holiday fun from a killjoy like Michael “No salt-no soda” Bloomberg. So ho-ho-hold the homilies and talking points. (Yes, Virginia, there are other ways to make your holiday meaningful.) Reconnect with the people you care about, and forge new bonds and relationships. Take the time to truly count your blessings and give thanks for another year. Share with those less fortunate.
Because maybe the only piling on this time of year should involve a holiday plate or playful jests at the worst sweater at the party.