How to Win Votes in 2022: Navigating  Family and Politics This Thanksgiving                   

A golden opportunity to win votes ahead of the 2022 election lay in front of us this holiday season. Take advantage of it, but be careful how you proceed.

Thanksgiving Dinner Image

Happy Thanksgiving from SD57 Republicans!

Sharing Perspective

This season is a time to gather with family first with Thanksgiving, which is a holiday unique to America. Thanksgiving was first observed by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoug Native Americans in 1621 to celebrate the autumn harvest.

The 53 Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving were the only colonists to survive the long journey on the Mayflower and the first winter in the New World. Sickness and starvation struck down half of the original 102 colonists. The remaining 53 Pilgrims were joined by 90 Wampanoug whom the Pilgrims invited.

The feast lasted three days and included “fowl” (which we presume included turkeys) and deer. Beyond that is anyone’s educated guess, but may have included corn, fish, squash, and cranberries.

While Thanksgiving remained vivid in the memories of Americans, and was established at different times by different states, it was not observed as a national holiday until declared so by Proclamation by America’s first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln’s Proclamation came during the height of the Civil War and during the what was the most distressing time in our Nation’s history.

Still, Lincoln found a way to be Thankful:

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.

In our time, we have faced the threat of sickness and division in our Nation. Not in proportion to what was faced by the Pilgrims or by American’s during the Civil War, but nevertheless real suffering and division.

As inevitably occurs during times of great suffering, family gatherings can be delicate and even difficult as discussions inevitably drift towards politics. As this occurs, though our grievances and differences are great, we have the opportunity to, in emulation of President Lincoln, rise above enmity to give thanks for what we do have.

We still live in a Country where our views can be expressed. We also live in a Country where our Thankfulness can be expressed. We can be thankful for our Constitution, which stands as an indictment against tyranny and government overreach. We can be thankful for our police, first responders, nurses and frontline healthcare workers, dedicated teachers, and others who make our communities function and thrive even during periods of uncertainty.

Breaking Bad Habits 

Now it may be tempting to take the opportunity to “rub in” more than the turkey flavorings during interactions with loved ones. Those around us have, in some cases, fallen for the relentless lies of the mainstream media. Some may have even voted for President Joe Biden because he “wasn’t Trump.”

But if they are honest with themselves, they are likely very uncomfortable with the dismal performance of the current occupant of the White House. They, like we, see that things seem out of control as costs rise, wages are not keeping up with inflation, supply shortages abound, workers cannot be found, those who are working are more anxious and overworked, America’s standing in the world has diminished, and our borders are insecure.

Because of inflation, this cost of putting a Thanksgiving meal on the table will be the most expensive ever, with Thanksgiving food prices having risen 14 percent since last year.

And so, your family members may want to discuss these things. If such a discussion is unavoidable, consider these things when having a political conversation.

It may be your first instinct to make logical arguments as to why Democrats have not only created the problems we have but do not the solution to them. But before you rush to logic, consider that there are three facets to any political discussion: the logos (logic), pathos (emotion), and ethos (ethics).

Presenting Your Case

It is not merely enough to present the logical argument, which Republicans tend to reflexively do. Consider first acknowledging their anxiety and emotion—"yes, it HAS been a distressing year, and even though I see it differently, I can empathize with how you feel!”

Once the emotional connection is established, then make a value statement to demonstrate your ethical consideration of a matter: “It is only right that everyone should live in some degree of economic security.”

If they seem at unease, you can ask them, “why are you not at ease when most—if not all—of your elected officials are Democrats? Does that not put you at ease?”

Then and only then, do you apply logical statement such as: “do you realize that prices going up is a result of overspending in Washington? The only way we pay for our deficits is through printing more money, which makes everything more expensive.”

Perhaps you will have family that is coming in from out of state or vice versa. In spite of Minnesota being a “blue” state, more people are leaving then coming. Why is that?

You could even share with them this article entitled “It’s Not the Weather” about how Democrat policies and over taxation are causing a net outflow of residents. Are those fleeing the new Pilgrims? This impacts all of us—for each taxpayer citizen we lose, we lose their contributions, ingenuity, and our tax base erodes.

Or here’s another one: typically, Minnesota is only one of 11 States in which this is the case and each Minnesota taxpayer on average received negative (that's right negative) return from the Federal Government. As a whole, each Minnesotan loses an average of $336 per year. How are our Democrat elected officials working to address this?

If Minnesotans have received more money from the Federal Government recently than usual, it is from money that comes out of the Debt and Deficit, which in turn is fueling the problem of inflation and shortages.

Even as politics complicates Thanksgiving, gently invite these relatives and friends in with openness and reconciliation, just as the Pilgrims welcomed the Wampanoug and President Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving on behalf of the entire Nation.

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Emma Brown
Chad Bayse
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Chad Bayse is a Twin Cities south metro resident. He is attorney, and Navy Judge Advocate. He was a Counselor to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Attorney-Advisor at the National Security Agency.  The views expressed in this article are his own and not those of the Department of the Defense, the Navy or 57th Senate District RPM.