Thanksgiving 2020: Come Back And Be Family

One of the many things I remember about my parents across their 55-year marriage is that they always followed politics. When I was little, I’d hear them mention off-handedly about friends or relatives, “Oh, they’re just Republicans.” And when I was older, after their political persuasions had moved right of center, “Oh, they’re just Democrats.” My parents did not care how their relatives and friends voted. They loved the people.

How tragic of late when families face rifts over an election, even over a tremendously important election as we have just experienced. But it happens. Many Thanksgiving celebrations this year will be “distanced” more over Trump-Biden than because of the Covid-19 Virus. Don’t let it happen to your family. Love your family, vote how you want, and then come back and be family.

As far as I know, Mom and Dad most always voted the same, with a few notable exceptions being the presidential races of ‘68, ‘72, and ‘84. Dad basically followed the instructions of his Teamster’s Union, first voting Republican in 1988, even though they endorsed Reagan in ‘84. Mom made the move rightward earlier.

This year I had differences and concerns with how some of my relatives and friends voted, but I still love the people, regardless of their vote. And they loved me. Family is always family, even after the election of a lifetime, and I really believe this one was.

Allow me to state that I love politics and I post often. But in the weeks leading up to November 3rd, I wanted to respect those whom I love, regardless of their politics, so I was mindful of the tone of what I posted on social media, knowing that many of my readers differed. When I wrote about protests and riots in major cities, I realized that my African American friends and relatives might have a different opinion. When I posted about abortion, I knew that some of my extended family disagreed with my position on the unborn, as they or others were with other hot-button issues, such as the economy, taxes, immigration, the border, LGBT, and healthcare, to name several.

Also, as I relate the above principles to other matters of American life, I wonder if the country really must fall apart over politics. Should mom and pop businesses that have been around for decades lose customers because they were pro-Biden or pro-Trump? The two houses of Congress are already so deeply divided that a bipartisan vote is almost a thing for the history books, but must the citizens be as well?

In 1946, two young men were elected to Congress, both Navy veterans, one Republican and one Democrat. They served in the House together, and later in the Senate, both were top contenders for their party’s vice presidential role in the 1950s (one becoming vice president), and in 1960 they ran against each other for president in one of the closest popular vote elections of all time. But Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy exhibited more civility — and frankly more of the spirit of what it means to be an American — than most marching in the streets this year, or commenting on social media, or talking on television.

May we as trad men set a different standard. May we find areas on which we agree. Long live the buttondown. Hail to the sack blazer. Extol the virtues of the penny loafer. Seek to win a friend, not to create an adversary. Allow discussions of Tucker Carlson wearing his Mercer & Sons shirts, or CNN’s Anderson Cooper in Bean duck shoes, without haranguing about their politics, and be mature and avoid promoting thinly veiled political messages under the guise of Ivy.

May we as Americans, Ivy and otherwise, come together and declare that when a man is 80% my friend that does not make him 20% my enemy? Far more than a small number of deadly threats to America are out there, so, perhaps we should concentrate on those. I purpose to do that in 2021 and hope that my fellow Ivy devotees will also.

Use elections, but love people, what a wonderful recipe for families this Thanksgiving. May God bless America as we give thanks to Him. — JDV

9 Comments on "Thanksgiving 2020: Come Back And Be Family"

  1. Charlottesville | November 26, 2020 at 11:34 am |

    Amen, JDV. Wise and welcome advice. I wish you and the rest of our Ivy Style friends a very happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Hear, hear

  3. Many thanks to JDV for this wonderful essay.

  4. Well said.

    Best Regards,


  5. Kudos to you, JDV for your sage advice.

  6. Excellent.

    Who your Mayor & governor is of more impact on your life day to day then President.

    Anyways live and let live.

    Many times it seems that when person A gets elected their policies end up being like person’s B.

  7. Rene Lebenthal | November 27, 2020 at 2:57 am |

    Thanks for this wise essay, which is not only valuable in the US but also in France or elsewhere.
    I wish a happy thanksgiving to all the Ivy followers out there, right here from Paris.

  8. NaturalShoulder | November 27, 2020 at 8:16 am |

    Thank you for the timely post about the importance of relationships over political views. Technology provides many benefits, including the ability of a group of individuals to form online communities to discuss shared enthusiasms such as IS. Unfortunately, technology has also increased the rate of incivility and coarsened the public discourse with the ability to sit in front of a keyboard and post comments which would not likely be spoken in person. I certainly have much for which to be grateful this Thanksgiving, including relationships with many who share views dissimilar to my own and those relationships are more important than my political views. I was especially thankful to received a box for Mercer & Sons delivering my latest order. I wore the silver and white university stripe OCBD and highly recommend it.

  9. I lean in one direction, but have friends of all stripes. All I care is that you are a good person and pleasant company.

    If it helps anyone, one way to be tolerant is to remember that each of us has a different combination of: Where you were born, who your family was, how you grew up, the environment you found yourself in, good or bad things that happened because of luck, etc. Also that there are 100 different topics on which a person can have an opinion. Given the many many possible combinations of the above, we can assume that a person is good and that their vote has been shaped by their unique combination of the above. And after all, do you want to live in a world where everyone thinks the same way?

Comments are closed.