When you pack up the car and drive to Mom and Dad’s for Thanksgiving, be sure to look in the rearview mirror. You’ll see your children struggling to contain their excitement for Grandma’s famous pumpkin pie. You yourself are excited, and yet, hesitant about spending time with family and friends. Why? Dinner tables this Thanksgiving will no doubt turn to political discussion.
“Never discuss politics or religion,” goes the popular etiquette advice. Yet, as we prepare to gather with our family and close friends this week to celebrate Thanksgiving, just weeks after one of the most divisive presidential campaigns in modern history, it may be hard for some around the table to mind their manners. The polarization of the past election has left everyone with a sour taste.
Instead of being filled with dread, anxiety or worse, let your eyes wonder over to the “kids table”. Their conversation is likely to be a bit more optimistic — talking about what they want for Christmas, the best games to play, or the outfit on their American Girl doll.
Adults take heed — on our present course, these kids stand to inherit more than our bad manners. Consider this, future generations will pay today’s debt.
As long as Congress keeps the bi-partisan status quo of spending money without having the resources to pay for it, we will continue to saddle future generations with mountains of debt. Today, in the most bipartisan effort, our nation has borrowed in excess of $19 trillion. In fact, if you spent $1 per second it would take you 47 years to spend what Washington borrowed TODAY.
According to the U.S. Census, the median income of young adults today is $2,000 less, more are living in poverty, and fewer are employed, compared with their parents in 1980. With Washington unable to hold itself accountable or think beyond the next election to the next generation, the economic impacts are sure to worsen for our kids.
It is time to come together for the good of our nation. We have a rich history of tough, contentious elections. We also have a long record of coming together when it counts most. We are in just that kind of season now, the stakes could not be higher.
As we gather with friends and family to give thanks, it’s time for us as a nation to come together. We have within us the power to demand accountability of our leaders and set the nation on a more sustainable course. And maybe, just maybe, that can start around the Thanksgiving table this week. Just as passionately as we defend our preferred candidates, can we not as passionately talk about the kind of future we want for the kids across the room?
We must come together and voice to the President-Elect, Congress, and your next-door neighbor that a plan for our fiscal future should be a top priority. It seems useful to remember that this holiday, as we recognize it today, was born in the midst of the Civil War. Surely we can come together again to work for a better future.