Ah, finally! The holidays are here, and we can finally enjoy time with our family and friends, and rejoice in the winter season, play in the snow, curl up by a warm fire, and most of all, not worry about the state of the world or political issues for a little while!
Actually, I take that back. At this moment in history, we’re seeing politics in everything. Sports, TV shows, movies, and Twitter are but few of all the various parts of the 21st century that have become entrenched in one way or another in politics. The holidays, ripe with controversy over religious holidays, historic backgrounds, and the holidays don’t get a pass either, which brings us to the real question: is it really necessary to incorporate politics into the holidays?
I don’t think it’s anywhere near necessary. From October through New Year’s Day last year, it felt like we were going through controversy after controversy, like the still ongoing issue of offensive Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving dinner table politics (especially post-election last year in 2016), and the debates over the “War on Christmas.” This year doesn’t seem any different yet, and that’s the problem.
The issues have even made it into the White House: last year, the then president-elect Trump said, “We are going to say ‘Merry Christmas’ again,” according to the New York Times, in reference to the ongoing “Happy Holidays” vs. “Merry Christmas” debate.
I’ll be honest: even though it’s something I want to cover as a journalist, I sometimes get sick of all the politics in everything now. I’m not alone. Last year, according to a study by the Pew Research Center, 37% of Americans were worn out from all the politics they saw on social media. 59% found it “stressful and frustrating” when discussing politics with people they disagreed with online. The fact it’s becoming part of the holidays isn’t helping.
Overall, the huge reliance on politics is becoming too stressful for a time like the holidays. A time that is commonly a happy time of year for people all over the country is now drawing battle lines over what is supposed to be a good time of year. I do think that it’s necessary to be aware of what’s happening in the world, and the countless viewpoints about it. For once, though, I think we need to just try to let go of our attitudes towards the world, and just enjoy what we can without needing to argue about what that is.
So, you’re wondering, how do I get around talking about politics this year? Well, I propose a simple solution: stop talking about it. Period. That’s it. Why? Because for every time you bring it up, whether you have an opinion or just don’t care, you’re reminding someone else about it, along with yourself. If you don’t talk about it, though, they won’t be reminded, and hopefully, they’ll forget about it, too– because the only way to stop it from going on any longer is to stop giving it the attention it doesn’t deserve.
John Boughey, Staff Reporter