Sunday, November 27, 2016

Discussions at Thanksgiving Tables in 2016

While folks across the country were gathered around their holiday tables, I suspect that conversations were not focused on the First Thanksgiving when the Pilgrims broke bread with the Wampanoag native Americans over a 3 day feast in 1621.  There was no pumpkin pie or cranberry sauce served then, and it was more likely that venison was on the table than turkey.  Sometimes, myths are more fun than facts.

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth

I surmise that the many of our Thanksgiving dinners were sites of spirited discussions regarding a recent political earthquake that convulsed this country.  Indeed, over the past 3 weeks, I have departed from this blog’s medical commentary, to offer some thoughts on what occurred and why.

The nation is sorely divided, but I sense that there will be healing, depending upon everyone’s ability and willingness to listen deeply and absorb the views of reasonable folks whose opinions differs from ours.  Reasonable people are rarely all right or all wrong. 

The campaigns were ugly and many of us abandoned the better angels of our nature.  While candidates must be held to account for what they said and did, I expect that the incoming administration will operate within normative restraints.  The republic is like an ocean liner whose course is not easily derailed. 

The American experiment is succeeding.  For over two centuries, we have witnessed a peaceful transfer of power in accordance with the wishes of the governed.  Not a shot was fired. The current president and his administration stepped up to assist the president-elect and his team to effect a smooth transition.  The fact that the president so vehemently opposed the president-elect, and yet pledges to help him now, only reinforces the majesty of our democratic republic. 

Can we all be thankful for this?

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